|Project by RHaynes||posted 10-07-2014 03:16 PM||4706 views||32 times favorited||16 comments|
I recently completed my new workbench. It is a split-top, Roubo-inspired design with a few tweaks. It’s made from construction-grade lumber and with the hardwood for the vice chops and the vise hardware, came in under $650. It is 5” long, 35” high, and 30” wide. It has a 5” wide well board set off center, giving me a wider work surface on the face-vise side. The face vise is a twin-screw Series 2 from Hovarter Custom Vise. The twin screw vise has no screws, just plain shafts that slide in and out freely when the vise is not tightened down, but joined by a linkage under the bench that allows you to tighten and untighten the vise by turning only one of the handles. It’s 25” from shaft center to shaft center and the chops are 33” long, 7” high, and 2” thick. The end vise is a Groz. I know it doesn’t have a leg vise or a sliding deadman like a plate 11 bench, but it was more important to me to be able to clamp up 24” wide panels to cut joinery on the end grain, and the Moxon-style front vise lets me do that. With chops that are 33” long, I can hold just about anything I work on securely. If I need support for longer pieces, I can simply clamp it to the other leg.
The legs are joined to the top with wedged tenons. I “built” these joints up a la David Barron. But I didn’t bother to dovetail the front tenons, it just seemed like too much trouble and once the wedges were driven, I don’t think they’re going anywhere. The legs are tripled up, laminated 2×4s. The stretchers and bearer boards are doubled up laminated 2×4s. There is one set of 3/4” dog holes running the length of the bench from the end vise. There is also a piece of t-track set into the bench 3/4 of the way down to assist in using it for assembly (my shop is too small for separate benches), for which I use some of the wonderful Kreg Automaxx bench clamps and other hold-downs that work with t-track.
Since these photos were taken, the bench has gotten a light sanding and four coats of Arm-R-Seal. A complete walkthrough showing the construction and features is available on my YouTube channel.
This was one helluva project. Wow. Two months of my life basically consumed by a workbench! Many, many hours spent getting it flat. I also had to mill the vise chops by hand since they were too big for my 6” jointer. Great workout and I got to know a couple new planes I picked up at WWIA very well, and they got to know my sharpening stones very well too! The Hovarter vise ran me $375, the Groz end vise cost $70. The maple for the vise chops cost me $80. So all of the rest cost me approx. $100, which includes a gallon of Titebond, a quart of Arm-R-Seal and a whole bunch of 3/8” dowels. I’ve got to give shouts out to Paul Sellers whose series of videos on making a workbench were invaluable to me; Chris Schwartz, whose book on workbench design, theory, and construction was the key to the door; and David Barron who saved me hours chopping mortises for the legs. I hope you guys enjoy these pictures and the video.
-- "Sometimes the creative process requires foul language." -- Charles Neil.