LumberJocks

Work holding: Pieces longer than bench

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by jeth posted 11-15-2011 08:53 PM 2121 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jeth's profile

jeth

249 posts in 2298 days


11-15-2011 08:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question workbench work holding planing

Hello all, I am procrastinatinmg further over my (hopefully) upcoming bench build. I had planned my bench around the longest pieces I imagined working in the course of “normal” furniture making, say king size bed rails at around 7ft. The thing is that space is tight in the shop and I’m wondering if I can get away with a slightly shorter bench and fudge the workholding somehow for the occasional longer pieces.

I have pondered long and hard and the only idea I have had is a kind of bracket type planing stop extending from the far end of the bench to trap the front end of a board for face planing whilst the wagon vise pinches the rear. Maybe an extra foot of extension, just not sure if it would be sturdy enough. Has anyone tried something like this or have any other solution for pieces bigger than their bench?


9 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13713 posts in 2079 days


#1 posted 11-15-2011 09:00 PM

I have worked edges and faces of boards longer than my bench, yes. Edges a couple of feet longer, actually. All things being equal (legs face with the front of the entire bench, good workholding in the form of holdfasts that run through the legs) it’s not a problem. For working faces, it’s a bit more of a challenge but really it means adjusting the stuff a couple of time while traversing, jointing, smoothing, etc. For as often as I’ve done it (twice in three years) it wouldn’t justify a longer bench OR procrastinating a bench build. :-)

Hope this helps.

My bench is 6” long as is in my Projects list, if you’re interested. Good luck!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View jeth's profile

jeth

249 posts in 2298 days


#2 posted 11-15-2011 09:13 PM

Thanks Smitty, procrastination is just a terminal thing with me I’m afraid :)
With a leg vise I don’t see any problem working edges but I’m interested to know exactly how you deal with clamping down long pieces to the top for face work? I’m guessing hold downs moved as needed but I have none and they are a a heavy /expensive item to get shipped internationally. I suppose some quick clamps and shifting the board a few times is an inconvenient but workable option.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13713 posts in 2079 days


#3 posted 11-15-2011 09:25 PM

Jeth – The various panels being held in these pics aren’t longer than the bench, but the workholding methods are universal for what we’re discussing.

http://lumberjocks.com/Smitty_Cabinetshop/blog/23153

But as you’ve stated, working faces pose a more difficult challenge because the wood simply has to be on the bench to be worked effectively. I’ve run battens across the work and used hold downs (or quick clamps. as you suggest) to keep the wood in place as it’s being planed. Then slide over and work again. Yes, it’s inconvenient. So if you’ll be working 7’ bed rails on a regular basis, I guess an 8’ bench is a serious design objective.

Another way is to keep a piece of 2”x material handy (SYP, perhaps) that serves as a backer when the occassional long pieces are brought up to work. Hold downs across the works could be a workable solution…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3372 posts in 2115 days


#4 posted 11-15-2011 09:57 PM

Mine is a 6” bench. I made it the same height as my table saw so I can use my table saw as extra bench space if need be. when working a peice of this size I just use bench stops rather than hold downs clamps or dogs (router mats work well too), this makes shifting easy but allows for solid work holding as well.

You can also build extensions or bents like the ones in Made By Hand or the Fine Art of Cabinetmaking. I regularly work peices that are 8’ on my bench and have not had to much issue so a 6’ bench is a pretty decent length. Try and give yourself 2’ worth of working area around the front and ends of your bench and you should be golden (if you can get 2’ around the entirety of your bench you are really on the right track).

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View jeth's profile

jeth

249 posts in 2298 days


#5 posted 11-15-2011 10:06 PM

Thanks Smitty for your further thoughts, and RG too. Thanks to RG’s post I changed my google entry to “workbench extension” and this came up top of the list…

Looks like a winner :) Could even include a 45 degree folding support fixed back to the leg …

edit: unusually for FWW the next link wasa the free PDF for this, though not too tough to figure out without a plan..

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13713 posts in 2079 days


#6 posted 11-15-2011 10:07 PM

Oh, that is nice! Well done, thanks for the pic!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View jeth's profile

jeth

249 posts in 2298 days


#7 posted 11-15-2011 10:13 PM

Just going to float another idea for folks opinions… how about making the dog strip a slip fit, with the front section and rear section of the bench joined by some short cross members mortsised/sliding tailed in, with various notches in the bottom of the dog strip it could be lifted out and repositioned with it’s end sticking out in front of the bench… thoughts??

View DS's profile

DS

2151 posts in 1881 days


#8 posted 11-15-2011 10:16 PM

I’m currently setting up my workshop in my new house, but, in my old workshop, I had room for only a relatively small (30” x 48”) assembly table.

To get around the limitations of my table, I made a couple of prop blocks from some scrap plywood that were fairly sturdy and that I could place on the floor a few feet from the table. They looked like wooden I-beams with a wooden square capped on each end. They would support whatever portion of the work peice that extended off the table. When not in use, they stored underneath the table. It works in a pinch.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2521 posts in 2898 days


#9 posted 11-15-2011 10:52 PM

The ‘newfangled’ bench will accommodate lots of size variations with both the end vise, top vise, and side vice. Mine’s 6 feet but lengths don’t pose much of a problem.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com