|Forum topic by Greg In Maryland||posted 09-22-2011 11:45 PM||957 views||0 times favorited||7 replies|
09-22-2011 11:45 PM
Ok, so I am about to begin the lamination process for my 1st attempt at a real work bench with dog holes, vises and flat. The previous piece of plywood on sawhorses does not count. I’ve read as much as I could on the subject: Schwartz, Landis, Popular Woodworking, Wood Magazine, Fine Woodworking, Shopnotes, Woodsmith, American Woodworker, Woodworker’s Journal, etc. and I have come to the realization that for me, most of the benches are way too low. Based on my height (fortunately, not weight) they mostly seem to advocate a bench near 34 to 36 inches high. That just seems too low to me and I have visions of significant back aches under that scenario. Instead, I am looking at something around 38 to 39 inches.
What I really need is a bench that will assist me in creating joinery and final stock preparation, not a bench for working on rough stock. I just don’t see how creating tenons, mortices, rabbets, dados, tongue and grooves, dovetails, benefit from a lower bench. Isn’t a Moxon vise just a way to temporarily increase the bench height?
Here’s where I am coming from. I have power tools. I have hand tools. I use both. I am content in letting my jointer and planer do what they do best, make noise, make wood chips, fill up my dust collector and smooth rough lumber. I hope that by the time a piece of wood gets to my bench, it will only need minor finishing with a bench plane, smoother or scraper, not significant work with a scrub plane, a jack plane, or jointer. I realize that the significant trade off is that smoothing rough lumber will be quite difficult on a high bench. I will be forced to use my upper body to plane, not my entire body. Been there and done that, but I don’t think that I will suddenly turn into a Ray Underhill disciple and get rid of my planer and jointer.
Anyways, how do other Lumberjocks separate the stock preparation and joinery phases on their workbenches? Do you suffer though a short bench for everything or move to a higher bench for joinery? Or am I completely missing the boat on this?