I built a bench last summer, but I’ve never been satisfied with it. For one thing I had to use some pretty junky wood. There’s some other issues with it as well, but this isn’t about that bench. This is about trashing that bench
So I need a new bench, and I ran into an issue of ShopNotes that I had picked up, skimmed and promptly never saw it again. It’s last Decembers Issue.
It has a pretty nice looking bench on the cover and I start reading it to check it out. Its a “traditional” cabinet makers bench.
A simple face vice and a really nice shoulder vise are part of the design. I’ve seen shoulder vises like this in action on Roubo benches, they hold things very well in a number of interesting ways. Lee Valley sells the hardware for about 40 bucks shipped. A video of a Roubo in action can be found here. His has a 350 dollar shoulder vise on it, but that’s not in the cards for me.
At the same time I finally found some Douglas Fir locally for a decent price. All this added together along with my Wilton 7” vice adds up to under 100 for this bench (minus some of the niceties that they show.)
A Google Sketchup model can be found here http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/102/extras/cabinetmakers-workbench-model/ – If you follow that link there is a link to a little animation of it as well in case you want to see it without the bother of downloading a model.
I’ll be skipping the drawers and car siding for now. I will probably use some plywood instead of the car siding, maybe a nice oak veneer (unless I find some pre made siding on sale). Seems like it will help keep racking to a minimum.
I’ll finally have a good bench.