|Project by Justus||posted 09-04-2009 11:03 PM||4527 views||11 times favorited||14 comments|
Building workbenches can be addictive. This is already the third and won’t be the last. Number 1 I showed previously, number 2 is a not-so-sturdy copy of number 1 build from reclaimed lumber in a hurry and now number 3.
Since in the workshop there already is this workbench #2, ready to serve as assembly table and for light (read machine) work, (see picture 3, in the back) the #3 shall focus on handplaning, sawing, chopping.
I’ve spent countless hours researching LJ, reading internet entries, books (e.g. the one by C. Schwarz) and thinking about my way to a workbench. Quite contrary to the modells by Schwarz and many others, I decided for asymmetry – what do you need similar sides for?
The lumber I used is entirely reclaimed lumber from a major storm damage to my parents holiday house, so I had no choice concerning sizes, quantity or species. I believe its all spruce. That’s what we use in Germany for construction work.
I often clamp boards to the front of the bench, so this bench had to be an apron-style bench (Schwarz calls them “English”). The front legs have to be straight and flush with the bench, while regarding the back legs I decided for an angled design (known from many traditional European benches, e.g. Spanish ones) allowing for a rather slim benchtop (only about 30 cm / 12” wide) and still a stable footprint. I also simply find it classy.
The strap reinforcing the top is not as crucial to this design as it is to my other designs, since this bench is completely glued, but it helped tremendously with assembly (I had no helper), is a very useful place to hang some clamps or other tools and does provide the force to keep the legs close together. In combination with the upper ring of boards it prevents rocking.
To add the icing to the cake I also installed a tool rack. The contruction of this tool rack had to ensure that the tool rack can quickly be moved flush with the front for front clamping and flat on the bottom rack (which does not have boards on it for lack of time, maybe next summer) when clamping to the benchtop is needed.
That I used a strap (which is actually the very first strap I ever bought at the age of 17 preparing to go to a boarding school in Italy) to adjust the angle of tool rack is no wonder to those who followed my oeuvre.
The tool rack takes the tools I most commonly use: #4 plane, low angle block plane, 4 chisels, pencils, combination square, dozuki and kataba. It has a magnet batten to keep whatever is ferromagnetic.
I had not yet a lot of time testing the bench since my holidays are over and the bench stays at my parents holiday house. See you next summer, #3!