|Project by bfd||posted 10-22-2009 06:42 AM||6406 views||43 times favorited||35 comments|
This has been a project that I have been working on off and on for the last 10 months or so between commissions. Even longer if you count the year that I took to figure out what type of workbench I wanted to build for myself. Finally I can call this complete with just a few minor things to finish up. For those who don’t know I blogged my of my process here http://lumberjocks.com/bfd/blog/8062. This bench needed to do triple duty in my modest shop. 1) I needed a stable flat workbench that was idea for working with handtools and that had storage for thoses tools. 2) I needed a run off table for my table saw. 3) I wanted a bench that reflected my sense of style that I could also use to show potential clients an example of my work. I purchased the laminated bench top which is 1-1/2”thick and then built the 4”Thick x 1-3/4d apron. The half blind dovetails are all hand cut. I decided to drill 2 rows of 3/4”round dog holes for both front and side vise. Each vise is 13-1/2” x 4” and the hardware is from Lee Valley. The legs are set flush with the front apron to give me even more clamping options. The legs and storage are my own designs and are what I think make my bench unique. The case acts as the lateral support and is extremely rigid. The legs are built up lamination of 5 layers of particle board with solid wood and veneer overlay. The bench weighs a ton! I veneered the storage case in Walnut. There are 4 drawers that hold all my hand tools in the order which I use them. From top to bottom. Marking & measuring, hand saws, chisles and mallet, and card scrapers and hand planes. Each drawer is solid beech and I have used a different joint for each drawer.
Top drawer is butt jointed and pinned with exposed dowels. The second is box jointed, the third is dovetailed using a router and jig while the bottom drawer are hand cut dovetails. Each drawer I have either routed out for each tool (french fit) or have come up with a way to give each tool its own spot. I can add more storage on the outside of each leg in the future if needed (see rendering in blog). I have been using the bench for the past two months and have already scratched and dented the top so I no longer have to worry about the first scratch. I should have this bench in my shop for the next 50 years.
There are a few design changes I made along the way from my rendering. I decided to omit the alum. track as I feel for now I have enough options for holding my work. I also ended up having to push the top to the left a bit in order to acount for the front left vise. In my design I had the overhang on each side of the legs equal. I also still need to route the top with miter slots that match my table saw so I can use my cross cut sled.
Finish: 3 coats of Wiping Poly
Dimensions: 30”d x 60”w x 34 1/4”h (not including vises)