|Project by Justus||posted 03-11-2009 04:17 PM||4400 views||4 times favorited||11 comments|
This was my first project where I extensively used the plug-it-&-strap-it-concept. The bench is made from construction grade timber with OSB panels resting in grooves. The top is a 24 mm baltic birch multiple ply board, the most expensive part of the whole bench.
The construction relies on the I-beam concept: the panels join two rails/posts in way forming an I-beam, provided there is some force holding it together. And that is provide by the straps. As long as the panels do not buckle out of plane, they can take the weight of a Soviet tank.
The bench is constructed in such that all rails and posts have their joinery cut into them (a kataba job), grooves routed where needed and then the appropriate rails, posts and panels get pulled together with the web clamps. A long strap runs the whole length right under the top and back under the bottom side rails. The top is screwed on using M8-machine screws. Two leg vises and a back vise complete the set-up.
At present the back vise is at the left hand side. All it would take to put it on the right hand side is to screw of the top, loosen the web clamps and reassemble the rails and accordingly. I am right-handed, but for some reason or another work always on the left side of the bench.
The bottom shelve is only half – that way my shop vac fits nicely (second picture). The front rail is flush with the top and commonly used as a clamping surface.
The panels may be a sore sight for a bench traditionalist – but boy, do they make the bench rigid! And at a very low cost.
Of course I keep on dreaming about building the next, truly nice bench, but this one works. And as already many other people noticed: it takes a bench to build a bench. You can see it from the fact, that the lumber of this bench is not planed: I did not have a bench to plane the lumber. It just does not work on a workmate. But it does work on a bench like this (picture 5).
As with most of my projects, there are plans available.