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Forum topic by AGargulak posted 08-26-2016 05:26 AM 492 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AGargulak

6 posts in 111 days


08-26-2016 05:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question bench

So I am going to be building my first workbench in the next few days. I mocked it up in SolidWorks before building to fully understand the design.

It is heavily based on a Will Myers copy of a Moravian workbench from Old Salem NC (http://tmaking.wkfinetools.com/01-shopApl/moravBench/0_img/TheMoravianWorkbenchByWillMyers.pdf) . I chose this design because I am from Moravia. I am also moving out in a year or two, so a disassemble-able bench would be a big help in the move.

(I just realized I haven’t modeled the wedges yet.)

The vise will be a Benchcrafted Glide retro with the cast wheel and mount into the block of wood on the left.

The height is 44 inches (I am 6’ 4”). Any tall people are welcome to weigh in on the height. I plan on doing a lot of plane making so the increased height should help for detail work, but isn’t too high for planing.

The work surface is 14in with a removable 8in well and another 14in, for a total of 32in. The length is 6ft. I plan on making a bed, desk and some book shelves in the future. There are 1in rebates on the tops on the well edges to fit a well board and a modular tool system I have planned.

I plan on making one top section first, then the other once I have the money for a Benchcrafted tail vise.

The leg assemblies and long stretchers will be pine, the short stretchers will be oak, maple, beech, ash or elm, depending on price and appearance. The vise mount, chop, dead-man and one of the tops will be from matching hardwood (the one with the vise). For cost reasons the farther one will be made of pine as it will receive less use.

Any advice is highly appreciated.
I will post plans of the finished design in the build blog.

Thanks,

Adam

-- An expert plane maker, saw maker and furniture maker. (In like 10-15 years) ;)


16 replies so far

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

419 posts in 1007 days


#1 posted 08-26-2016 01:09 PM

Since you’re planning on being a plane maker I’m assuming you’ll primarily be a hand tool guy you might want to drop the height down a touch and put a little more mass in those legs. I’m 6’3” and my bench is about waist high on me and it’s great for using hand tools. If you need to raise it up for things like dovetails an add on moxon vise clamped to the top works really well.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View BulldogLouisiana's profile

BulldogLouisiana

215 posts in 602 days


#2 posted 08-26-2016 01:40 PM

44” sounds way too tall for hand tool work. You could be all legs though. I think taller is better with wooden planes as well, and so I’m probably just wrong :).

I’m not sure how I feel about the leg vise being on one side of the bench, and the wagon vise on the other side. I love the Moravian workbench.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

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johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1634 days


#3 posted 08-26-2016 01:42 PM

Check out these links if you haven’t already go to workbench ideas, workbench of the month. There are several benches based off the Myers bench. I have that bech style on my to do list.

http://www.lakeerietoolworks.com/collections/wooden-vise-screw-kits

https://lakeerietoolworks.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/announcing-our-june-2012-workbench-of-the-month/

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1744 posts in 600 days


#4 posted 08-26-2016 03:06 PM


Since you re planning on being a plane maker I m assuming you ll primarily be a hand tool guy you might want to drop the height down a touch and put a little more mass in those legs. I m 6 3” and my bench is about waist high on me and it s great for using hand tools. If you need to raise it up for things like dovetails an add on moxon vise clamped to the top works really well.

- mramseyISU

Good advice. I’m 6’1” and my current workbench is 36” tall. I’m about to start the build on a new bench and it will be 1 or 2 inches shorter because the 36” is too tall for planing and scraping. YMMV of course but, I’ll second the recommendation to knock the height down and use a Moxon when you need extra height.

At a minimum, I’d recommend making sure the design will allow you to cut the legs off in the future if you find it’s too tall.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7910 posts in 1842 days


#5 posted 08-26-2016 04:43 PM

Why is there a hole/tool well in the center? I would hate that.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View BulldogLouisiana's profile

BulldogLouisiana

215 posts in 602 days


#6 posted 08-26-2016 04:49 PM

It does sound too tall, but you may be all legs. Sounds like you’ll be using wooden planes, and I believe a taller work surface works better.

I don’t know how I feel about the tail vise being on the opposite side of the bench.

The Moravian bench looks like a great bench to me.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

View AGargulak's profile

AGargulak

6 posts in 111 days


#7 posted 08-26-2016 05:05 PM

Thanks for the advice!


Since you re planning on being a plane maker I m assuming you ll primarily be a hand tool guy you might want to drop the height down a touch and put a little more mass in those legs. I m 6 3” and my bench is about waist high on me and it s great for using hand tools. If you need to raise it up for things like dovetails an add on moxon vise clamped to the top works really well.

- mramseyISU


I’ll change the height to 40in with the ability to cut off the legs… 42in is my waist height (and I’m still growing). I’ll change the legs and strechers to 4×4s instead of 3×4s to add some mass to it.

The Moxon vise is a good idea, I will definitely invest in one asap. I’m making floats and some small backsaws first so that will probably be later this year.


I m not sure how I feel about the leg vise being on one side of the bench, and the wagon vise on the other side. I love the Moravian workbench.

- BulldogLouisiana

The wagon vise will not be on the opposing side, the tops are held on by gravity and oak pegs. They can easily be interchanged (its not in the CAD file as I do not have dimensions).


Check out these links if you haven t already go to workbench ideas, workbench of the month. There are several benches based off the Myers bench. I have that bech style on my to do list.

http://www.lakeerietoolworks.com/collections/wooden-vise-screw-kits

https://lakeerietoolworks.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/announcing-our-june-2012-workbench-of-the-month/

- johnstoneb

I am going with the Benchcrafted vises as I never want to buy another vise. I would like to buy them straight away so I don’t spend $200+ now and then another $550+ to upgrade later. Also, my friend is buying them for me for 25% off, his dad’s the manager at the local Lee Valley.

I checked out the other benches, but I’m oretty happy with my mix of Moravia and Paul Sellers (his bench inspired the top).

-- An expert plane maker, saw maker and furniture maker. (In like 10-15 years) ;)

View TheFridge's profile (online now)

TheFridge

5765 posts in 948 days


#8 posted 08-26-2016 05:24 PM

Sounds like the evolved plan would work great

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7910 posts in 1842 days


#9 posted 08-26-2016 06:28 PM

The hole in the middle is a pinch point and a bad idea. First time you pinch your fingers or pinch a tool and ding the edge of your workpiece you’ll figure out what I mean. I have no idea why Paul Sellers would recommend that. The workbench in his videos doesn’t have a tool well in the middle.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

419 posts in 1007 days


#10 posted 08-26-2016 06:34 PM

FWIW the top of my belt is 42” off the ground and my bench is 33.75” That works really well for me when I’m using a hand plane.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1744 posts in 600 days


#11 posted 08-26-2016 07:16 PM

Rick makes a very good point. Of course it’s all about how you work and your preference but, 8” is a pretty darn big tool well and having it dead in the center of the top is pretty limiting on your available flat, open workspace. I’d think 4” would be big enough for most any tools and my preference would be to locate it a little further back on the top. Again though, that’s just my thoughts but I think I’d make sure that’s where I wanted it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1813 days


#12 posted 08-26-2016 07:30 PM

For hand planing you want a bench that is low, so you can work with your back and legs instead of your arms, which fatigue much faster. Take a tape measure and measure from the floor to your wrist with your arms hanging down, that will put you in the ball park for a comfortable bench height. A tool well in the middle seems like a poor idea, the tools sticking above the top will always be in the way or underneath the panel or door or whatever you are working on.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AGargulak's profile

AGargulak

6 posts in 111 days


#13 posted 08-26-2016 07:35 PM

https://youtu.be/KoGVMgYrrr0?t=1476
It’s true that the bench Paul films his videos at doesn’t have a well in the middle, but this one does. Granted, that one is a little over 2in deep and mine will be about 4in deep (to accommodate planes on their sides). It has rebates to drop in a cover board as I mentioned earlier. Being 8in wide, I find it hard to believe I’ll pinch anything in it ;)

mramseyISU, 36 is as low as I can go ;). I have a grooming table I made for my dog, it’s 36 in high and still seems low, but I’ll make it at 36 in and saw off a few inches later if needed.

Thanks for the help guys.

-- An expert plane maker, saw maker and furniture maker. (In like 10-15 years) ;)

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AGargulak

6 posts in 111 days


#14 posted 08-26-2016 07:55 PM

I re-watched Paul’s video on bench height, he uses a a 38in bench and is 5’11”, so I think forty will be the final height. I get that the adjusted posture would reduce fatigue, but I am quite young and in pretty good shape, so I think the higher top will be fine in that regard. I have back problems from a karate injury so hunching over is less than ideal for me.

https://youtu.be/hJHrSmZQx10

-- An expert plane maker, saw maker and furniture maker. (In like 10-15 years) ;)

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1744 posts in 600 days


#15 posted 08-26-2016 09:54 PM

You can always cut more off the legs. Much hardee to add some back. By all means, start at 40. But I’d still make sure I would be able to cut 4-6” off in the future if you find you need it. Things like back injuries can definitely affect what the optimal height for one is.

I still think you may end up regretting the location of your tool well but glad to know you have thought it through and have a way to fill it in.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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