|Project by TechRedneck||posted 01-27-2012 01:04 AM||10246 views||75 times favorited||37 comments|
I have a nice shop of power tools. I like them all, however I have discovered the power and joy of hand tools. Use of hand tools is taking my skill and quality up a notch.
To do things right with hand tools you need a good solid bench. A lot of the floor space in the shop is already taken up. Some time ago I built a 4×4’ torsion box assembly table. It is very heavy and stable, however not that great with vices and not adequate for hand tools.
After a lot of thought, I decided to build the “business” end of a traditional woodworking bench and just bolt it to my assembly table. In the pictures you can see how I used the combination wood/bolt threaded hardware and bolted the back of the new bench to the old and used traditional dovetailed front legs and mortise and tenon cross beam. All the joints were friction fit and then thru bolted for easy breakdown or tightening.
The table is 5’ long and a little over 1’ wide. The whole table fit in the planer after glue up. Once assembled I finished it off with a hand plane and drilled the 3/4” holes with a hand brace and bit.
I then added a Veritas large single screw for the leg vise and glued up two 6” cherry boards for a 2” thick leg. The end vise is a Groz Quick release. The top is 3” thick Ash and the legs are 4” of Ash. It was finished with a couple coats of BLO with the first coat thinned 50/50.
The height is a little more than a traditional bench which should come to the knuckle of your little finger. However I use the power tools to get most of the stock prepped and then use hand tools to finish and fit. The assembly table serves as an out-feed table for the jointer and planer. The bolts on the back of the hand tool bench allowed me to bring it level with the table and shims under the legs compensated for the slight slope in the floor.
Overall it is very solid and stable.
-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle