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Reply by Bob, Oregon

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Posted on Work Bench

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Bob, Oregon

90 posts in 1977 days


#1 posted 861 days ago

I have to agree with SteviePete…try looking at some books.

Schwartz “The Workbench Design Book” and;

Landis “The Workbench Book”

Worth spending the few bucks on them and they’ll answer a lot of your questions PLUS open your eyes to new ideas and concepts.

I know that’s what they did for me.

I made my bench almost totally out of Doug fir 2 X 12’s ripped down. Fewer knots and tighter knots (an idea from Schwarz). It has survived for almost a year with no warping, twisting or gaps. MY thoughts are that I am GOING to put dings in the thing. It’s the way I work and I make no apologies. So why not use what’s available (and cheaper) in the Northwest? I did use hard maple for the vise chops. I am absolutely thrilled with my bench (see my “Projects”) and it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

If you want to use dog holes, I’d steer clear of MDF. It simply will not hold up to that kind of stress. MDF is great if you are looking for flat and straight. But it will fracture and crack a lot more easily than any solid wood, plus it’s challenging to assemble and requires specialized tools and fasteners.

As far as vises are concerned, it will all depend on how you work and what you intend to build. This is an area where the above-mentioned books will give you LOADS of information.

I had never used a handplane to flatten or level ANYTHING, but when I followed the advise of Schwarz and Landis on “how-to”, it was quite doable and the top turned out very nicely. I used a #6 (carefully sharpened) to flatten it.

-- 73, Bob


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