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Workbench: new-fangled hybrid

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Project by AaronK posted 10-25-2015 11:15 AM 5532 views 9 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built of locally sawn pine 2×4x8s, top finished with a light coat of BLO. Pipes are 1/2”. 90” long, 28.5” wide.

I have the space to get into woodworking again, and since I stopped a few years ago have been researching workbenches. On one hand I really like the features of John White’s NFW, but the structure looked flimsy to me. I also read Schwartz’s book, and was convinced that, while a Ruobo doesn’t really suit my work style, he is onto something in terms of his guidelines (worktop square to the sides, fairly narrow so you can reach across it, etc.). I also like the split top of the 20th Century workbench. So i took all of these as inspiration.

What you see here looks most like the New Fangled Workbench, so that’s what I’ll call it – pipe clamp vises and planing beam are prominent features. I changed mine to include critical features:

1. Solid built up top that’s 3 1/2” thick.
2. Solid substructure with full mortised leg stretchers.
3. Width of the near-side top is 10 1/2”, and the other side is 6”. Full width is 28 1/2”. This gives a good amount of working surface on either side. Keeping these narrow enough so that casework could straddle the ends was important to me.
4. The other side is built so that there is no overhang and the top is perfectly square to the sides.
5. boring out a bunch of holes for the face vice was a little tedious, so I minimized the number of them. There’s really no need to space them all 6” and have a row of 15 of them going across the bench. I figured I’d only use spacings of 12, 18, 24, and 30”, so that’s all I built.

To me, this design represents the full variety of combinations I foresee using in my work.

In the future I’ll add panels to the top to create fill in the middle, and add a shelf to the stretchers below for storage.

Also, I have a sketchup model, feel free to PM me if you want it.





10 comments so far

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

1369 posts in 1749 days


#1 posted 10-25-2015 01:21 PM

very nicely constructed and functional. and at a reasonable cost. I like your ideas if i was to build one. Right now I have a very poor one.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#2 posted 10-25-2015 01:40 PM

I hope it serves you well,As for me I call myself old Fangled woodworker :)

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1471 posts in 2104 days


#3 posted 10-26-2015 02:46 AM

Looks very nice. Although I can’t look at it and tell how to use every part of it, I’m sure you thought of all the ways you would use a bench and designed it to fit your needs. That’s a great way to do things.

Some more photos of usage scenarios would help me to understand it better.

View muesli's profile

muesli

232 posts in 975 days


#4 posted 10-26-2015 07:17 AM



Looks very nice. Although I can t look at it and tell how to use every part of it, I m sure you thought of all the ways you would use a bench and designed it to fit your needs. That s a great way to do things.

Some more photos of usage scenarios would help me to understand it better.

- Ocelot

Hi Ocelot,

the video by John White explains all:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/workshop/video/new-fangled-workbench-revisited.aspx

hth

Uwe

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1471 posts in 2104 days


#5 posted 10-26-2015 07:21 PM

Thanks for the link. The video won’t play on my computer, but I’ll take a look later on another machine.

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2800 days


#6 posted 10-27-2015 05:26 PM

Very nice build. I remember this from FWW mag. A great and economical bench designed by George White as I remember.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1441 posts in 2930 days


#7 posted 10-27-2015 06:00 PM

See also http://www.finewoodworking.com/workshop/video/new-fangled-workbench-revisited.aspx. Basically, the pipe clamps are used as face and end vices, and the stationary end of two pipe clamps function to support a planing beam, which is essentially a sliding deadman.

I’d say it cost no more than $75 in materials, with the hardware being slightly more than half the total.

View Peter's profile

Peter

21 posts in 3578 days


#8 posted 10-27-2015 06:36 PM

I really like the modifications you have made to the New Fangled Workbench!

I have been planning on building the bench for a while now, but like you I have wanted a more substantial top and legs flush to the front like a Ruobo. But I guess you have your legs flush to the back edge. Had you thought about having the legs flush in the front and using T-slot track to raise and lower the planning beam?

I noticed that John White recommends cutting the wood out of wider home-store planks, 2×10” and 2×12”... Were you able to get the right gain direction from the 2×8’s? And are you finding Pine a hard enough wood for the top?

I’ll be PM’ing you for your Sketch-up file!

Great job! I am impressed!

~Peter

-- ~Peter

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1441 posts in 2930 days


#9 posted 10-27-2015 06:47 PM

Interesting idea to use T-track. I hadnt thought of it. I just figured I’d have the entire other side to use if I want the top flush to the sides… I always envisioned using this bench from all sides, not having it up against a wall. Similarly, I made it very long so that the protrusion of the pipe clamp end vice wouldnt be in my way when working on anything reasonably sized.

I used locally sawn 2×4s (8’ long). I didn’t try to match grain direction. If I was making it from store bought material, I’d use 2×6s or wider, since the wood tends to be less knotty than 2×4s.

I also havent banged on it enough to tell, but I think the pine should be sufficient. Although it’s not precious wood, it still took work to make, so I’ll protect the surface with a backer board if I get involved with anything too hard or messy.

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1441 posts in 2930 days


#10 posted 08-08-2016 08:02 PM

UPDATE: I surface the entire top with 3/4” MDF, which i coated with a thick soaking-in of poly. It makes a nice hard and solid yet renewable work surface.

I’m really enjoying the split top design, it basically allows for super flexible clamping whenever and wherever i want it. I’m still debating adding some sort of shelf to the stretchers, and maybe some hooks to hold things like a dust brush, bench hook, shooting board, etc.

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