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Forum topic by MedicKen posted 10-23-2010 03:25 PM 2574 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MedicKen

1599 posts in 2152 days


10-23-2010 03:25 PM

I am in the drawing and planning phase of a new solid maple workbench. I have purchased the materials, thanks to John Ormsby, and have begun to draw the plans. I did also purchase and have read “The Workbench Book” and have found some very nice ideas that I will incorporate. I do have one question that remains unanswered.

The trestles that will support the top will be solid maple, 3 1/2 square, and will be constructed with mortise and tenons, glued and pegged. My question is, Is there any benefit in have an upper and lower stretcher connecting the trestle assemblies together? Or, is one sufficient? To me, it seems to be a waste of material to add the second stretcher if all of the joints fit well and the top being solid material, I would think it would resist wracking with just one stretcher.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com


10 replies so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4146 posts in 1546 days


#1 posted 10-23-2010 03:31 PM

Every piece that is joined adds strength and weight to the bench.
Racking can be a major problem with benches if your hand planing rough stock.

Good tight joints that can be tightened if they shrink are a must on a bench.
It is a matter of choice.
You could just put 9×6x2” gussets though.

Jamie
In a dry Sunny Scotland waiting for the glue to dry

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7099 posts in 1993 days


#2 posted 10-23-2010 04:15 PM

to me it all depends on what your top is…when i made mine just a few months ago…my top is 3 inches thick and is solid antique southern heart pine…its rated as hard as oak and it is…very hard and dense…but that is all i needed…there will be no racking …no movement what so ever….yea you can add the extra , but if you have a thick solid top…its not necessary …your table will be solid as a rock if you have a thick solid top, what is your top going to be…if you want check out my bench and you can see what i did, and maybe it will give you some ideas, or answer some other questions…mine is all mortise and tenon..and pegged with bubinga…and walnut…grizzman

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/32212

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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MedicKen

1599 posts in 2152 days


#3 posted 10-23-2010 04:20 PM

Grizz…...solid maple, 2 1/2” thick and some walnut accents

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7099 posts in 1993 days


#4 posted 10-23-2010 04:36 PM

my top is set on top with a tenon from each corner post…it just sits on it..i think your top will be thick enough to easily stop any movement or racking..think about doing it the way i did mine…, my tenon at each corner is 2 1/2 inches long..and goes into the top mortise that is 2 5/8 inches deep…just a suggestion…mine is rock solid..good luck and have fun building it… i love mine…Ive since added a vise on the left end and am going to put some extending lights on the back side…ya know the ones that can telescope out and up…want to be able to have really good light when working on it….good luck

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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Bothus

428 posts in 1866 days


#5 posted 10-23-2010 06:23 PM

That’s a good looking table Griz but from his description I didn’t visualize Ken’s looking like that. Correct me if I am wrong Ken but I visualized yours as a more traditional trestle table. Something similar to this:

If that is the case I woud definitely use the second stretcher. It will make it stronger and it’s like the jacket theory, better to have it and not need it, than the other way around (I just read that theory somewhere recently so kudos to whoever wrote it).

Jerry

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

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grizzman

7099 posts in 1993 days


#6 posted 10-23-2010 06:56 PM

oh yea…i certainly agree , if his is like that…for sure the second timber up top…without seeing it i just didn’t visualize his…that style is much more simplistic in design and wouldn’t take very long to make…so many styles of tables and ways to use them…are you going to have any vises on yours…i would have liked a double screw from veratis , but funds lacking made that a no way…lol…but i can always add one later if i think i need it…right now im fine with just the one..grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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MedicKen

1599 posts in 2152 days


#7 posted 10-23-2010 07:11 PM

The base will have legs similar to the current video series on FWW but they will be smaller, only 3 1/2” square. There will be a small connecting stretcher between them. What I am asking is should I add a second stretcher the LONG way, parallel to the top?

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View gerrym526's profile

gerrym526

265 posts in 2498 days


#8 posted 10-25-2010 07:25 PM

Take a look at my solid maple workbench in my “workshop” pics. It has held together for 15yrs with no racking. The top has 3/4 holes (2 per trestle) drilled into the underside. These holes fit 3/4” solid wood dowels glued into the tops of the stretchers.
Never had a problem with the frame racking.
Gerry

-- Gerry

View Doer's profile

Doer

22 posts in 1513 days


#9 posted 10-25-2010 10:08 PM

Hi Ken,

I finished my workbench a few months ago and I struggled exactly as you did with whether or not to use two stretchers or just one large along the sides. My bench has a 3” Rock Maple top with 5” aprons and breadboards. The length is 7’6” and it tapes 31” wide. I chose to only use one stretcher to provide more room between the top and the floor of the trestle stand. the trestles are mortise and tenon joints that I draw-bored. There is absolutely no racking whatsoever in the bench. It is as solid as a rock.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/36678

Of course, adding the extra stretcher will certainly not hurt one thing, however, I thought you might want to know my experience.

My two cents.

Doer

View langski93's profile

langski93

68 posts in 2122 days


#10 posted 10-27-2010 10:52 PM

Medicken,
I have one set of stretchers and the table does not move. In addition, I have a rail at each end that is mortised into the right two legs at their top and the same with the left front and back left legs. The table top actually rests on these two rails. Check out my bench and you will see how I made my bench a knock down which will also allow me to tighten the connection if I ever need to. Face vise is also now installed. Good luck.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/22559

langski93

-- Langski, New Hampshire

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