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European style work bench

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Project by Tony posted 1597 days ago 6811 views 11 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been working on this bench over the last few months, in between teaching assignments. The primary wood is Finnish Oak and Birch. The side vice is Araputanga , the cap on the tail vice is Walnut the tool tray ramp is spalted birch and lastly the caps on the vice handles are Alder. All the primary woods were from trees I harvested and milled over the last few years – all the wood is air dried to about 8%

The total cost of this project was under $100 (the wood was free, apart from a lot sweat and swearing)

This design is based on the Frank Klausz articles in several FWW publications over the years. The dimensions are 84” x 27” x 36” and apart from thicknessing the boards with my planer, all the rest of the build was using hand tools – this was a real treat, with lots of shavings, no dust or noise.

The construction of the base is much heavier, than stated in the articles, plus I used through tenons which were wedges using beech wedges. The feet and top support are 3 3/4” square oak (just to give some idea for the scale) The total weight of the project is around 440lb (200kg)

The whole bench has 3 coats of tung oil, but the top needs another couple of coats – but the drying time is very slow due to the weather conditions. Both the side and tail vice jaws have 3/16” thick leather facings,, which really help to protect the work pieces and help to stop the work piece moving in the jaws with less pressure.

I may add a drawer under the bench in the future, but I want see how this bench works first.

I hope you enjoy

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)





36 comments so far

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2302 days


#1 posted 1597 days ago

Nice bench great job

View Tim29's profile

Tim29

307 posts in 1754 days


#2 posted 1597 days ago

Great looking bench. way to go

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1893 days


#3 posted 1597 days ago

very nice work

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

464 posts in 1856 days


#4 posted 1597 days ago

Wow, amazing work bench!
I hope mine turns out half as nice!

Ryan

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View JB's profile

JB

53 posts in 2232 days


#5 posted 1597 days ago

That is on my short list on the “to build list” I am still in the find lumber and design stage….could be a while. Yours turned out great!

-- JB

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4760 posts in 2486 days


#6 posted 1597 days ago

Oh my, that is pretty. Lots of really cool grain patterns too.

Very nicely done, that would be a pleasure to work on,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4289 posts in 1652 days


#7 posted 1597 days ago

Tony,
This is a very nice bench.
I have questions:
What is the advantage of the main front vice as it is?
Are you not concerned about stability with the large overhang on the right side.
Yuu call your bench European style.
I am from Europe, born and raised in France yet I never saw a bench like this one.
The only style of bench I ever saw in France, is what you would call ” Roubo” style.
This is what my grand father used, what my father used and also what I used.

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4289 posts in 1652 days


#8 posted 1597 days ago

Tony,
This is a very nice bench.
I have questions:
What is the advantage of the main front vice as it is?
Are you not concerned about stability with the large overhang on the right side.
You call your bench European style.
I am from Europe, born and raised in France yet I never saw a bench like this one.
The only style of bench I ever saw in France, is what you would call ” Roubo” style.
This is what my grand father used, what my father used and also what I used.

-- Bert

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3148 posts in 2427 days


#9 posted 1597 days ago

Tony you really when over the top on this gem. She a real beauty, should hold up to all future projects with no problems. The wood choice are spectacular in color and grain. Great job and thanks for posting…BC

View ivn's profile

ivn

9 posts in 1600 days


#10 posted 1597 days ago

Great work! Work bench like that is my dream and I hope will make it soon. Thumbs up!!!

-- Excuse me - I am a beginner... ;-)

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2634 days


#11 posted 1597 days ago

Hi Bert

I believe that this style of bench was predominately used in Sweden and Finland (my home). The original designer – Klausz was from Hungary – Finland and Hungary have close ties many hundreds of years ago – so maybe that is where the connection came from.

Stability – I can sit on the far right hand side and the bench does not move, there is a huge mass in the bench.

The side vice has a certain amount of play, both vertically and horizontally, the clamping point is in the middle of the clamping board, therefore can accept non parallel pieces and you get absolutely no racking

I think most countries within Europe have there own style of bench – I just liked this particular style, I prefer to have a side vice, rather than a notched stop (i think it is more versatile), but each to there own, what ever works for you.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1462 posts in 2169 days


#12 posted 1597 days ago

Nice Tony, this bench is fantastic. My guess is Finnish oak is similar to White oak? Nice job in the vises too.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2584 posts in 1622 days


#13 posted 1597 days ago

This is absolutely beautiful, I would be afraid to work on it and mar it’s beauty! Good Job!

Erwin

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2634 days


#14 posted 1597 days ago

The reason I stated Finnish Oak, is that I think it a species of white oak, but I am uncertain for this particular tree – the wood differs slightly to other European and American white oaks in that it is extremely hard , but does tend to be a little brittle and small splits are continually opening up throughout its life – maybe it has something to do with being frozen (down to -35°C for 6 months of the year, than baking for 4 months (+25°C with up to 22 hours daylight)

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View jm82435's profile (online now)

jm82435

1228 posts in 2346 days


#15 posted 1597 days ago

Wow, that is very nice. That is going to give you a lot of years of wonderful service.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

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