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Steve Latta's Inlay Bench

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Project by Tony Strupulis posted 383 days ago 3093 views 14 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Steve Latta's Inlay Bench
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In one of Steve Latta’s many inlay DVDs, he discusses the design and construction of his inlay bench. I built mine to do federal inlay work, but I have found it to be a very useful bench for other tasks.

I picked up an 8/4 maple slab at my local hardwood dealer. The end of the board had a split in it. I elected to go for the extra bench length and leave it in and fill the crack with epoxy. I figured the end of the bench won’t see a lot of hard action and the crack is mostly cosmetic. I drilled a single row of dog holes down the centerline of the bench. I can use the dog holes with the metal dog on the Pony vise, with holdfasts, or with a Veritas Bench Pup.

Each pair of legs is constructed like an I-beam or an engineered joist. I had some 2×10 lumber kicking around and I ripped some 2×6s out of the clear sections of the board. I cut a dado down the center of each 2×6 to accept a 1” thick OSB stair tread for the web of the beam. I glued the leg assemblies together. Once dry, I attached them to the slab with 3/8” diameter dowels. I used six dowels per leg assembly, three in each 2×6. I notched the bottom of each leg to allow the inlay bench to be clamped to my main bench.

Like I said, I find this bench to be very useful for things besides inlay work. I can clamp my Moxon vise to the bench for sawing dovetails. It is higher than it should be, but I like that height for sawing dovetails. Then I take the vise off and clamp boards flat for chopping and paring dovetails.

I am active in the local woodworking club and I have taken the inlay bench to club meetings to demonstrate techniques. It is heavy, but it fits nicely in the back seat of the car. I can then clamp the bench to one of those white plastic tables. It isn’t ideal, but it is much easier than hauling a full sized bench around.

This is a fantastic little bench! Even if you don’t do inlay work, it is a very handy bench to have around.

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com





11 comments so far

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

3014 posts in 426 days


#1 posted 383 days ago

Great idea…might just have to make one of those myself….thanks for sharing and well done…

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Jeff_in_KCMO's profile

Jeff_in_KCMO

140 posts in 942 days


#2 posted 383 days ago

I noticed your holdfast. I have the same ones. They are great.

View Sanding2day's profile

Sanding2day

923 posts in 449 days


#3 posted 383 days ago

Pretty slick… Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View WhoMe's profile

WhoMe

1081 posts in 1846 days


#4 posted 383 days ago

Several really good ideas there. Bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks for sharing.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies and the wall gets in the way.. - Mike -

View steliart's profile

steliart

1807 posts in 1290 days


#5 posted 383 days ago

nice one!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View CL810's profile

CL810

1918 posts in 1590 days


#6 posted 382 days ago

This is a great build. I marked this as a favorite.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1791 days


#7 posted 382 days ago

great work, solid build….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View dmmflys's profile

dmmflys

43 posts in 1000 days


#8 posted 377 days ago

Is that the same pony vice that you can get from Menards? If so how do you like it I’ve been thinking about picking one up for my new (yet to be built) workbench.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1691 days


#9 posted 377 days ago

Really cool.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

881 posts in 712 days


#10 posted 377 days ago

Mini benches are an often overlooked tool…

Nice job on yours, I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits of it for many years to come!

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

240 posts in 1725 days


#11 posted 376 days ago

We don’t have a Menards here. It is a Jorgensen 7” Pony vise. I need to do some work to it. The guides don’t run parallel with the bench top. When the vise is opened, the front jaw rises above the bench top by an inch or so. I think this might be intentional to counteract vise droop. I would like it to run flat so when I clamp a table leg to the bench with the pop up dog it will sit flat on the bench. It is just a matter of me taking the time to shim the vise. Otherwise, I’m satisfied with the vise.

I also plan on making wooden jaw liners and Steve’s tapered jaw liner for holding a tapered leg. Just a matter of time…

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com

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