|Forum topic by AgentTwitch||posted 05-31-2012 03:27 PM||2588 views||1 time favorited||12 replies|
05-31-2012 03:27 PM
I have been tuning and using hand tools since I really got into woodworking about 10 years ago. My collection of stanley user planes continues to grow as well as saws and other shaping tools, But I have never had the most important hand tool: a decent bench. I have used my table saw’s 4ftx4ft outfeed table (which has about a 4” apron) to clamp boards for chopping dovetails and planing operations. It tends to rack when hand planing. Not the best…
My question is should I build a “test” bench with the features I think I will need, at the recommended height to see if I like it? I use it for a period of 2 years and make mental notes of what I would change.
My rationale for this approach is that I have read time and time again of woodworkers who have made significant changes to their benches or scrapped it and built an entirely new bench based on a few years experience with it. Do I want a wagon vise or a tail vise, do I want round dogs or square dogs, do I want a leg vise or a face vise, do I want the legs to be flush with the apron, or do I want a little overhang for getting clamps on the table, do I want a cabinet under the bench or a simple shelf, do I want a huge bench top, or a more narrow version…you get the idea.
I can build my ‘test’ bench from stable, 2×12 dimentional KD lumber and thoroughly put it through the paces. Based on the experience, I build a bench out of maple that I have been holding on to to build the new bench, using all of the lessons learned during the 2 year break in. Or, if I like my ‘test’ bench as is, I keep it and use the maple for something else.
I have my bench hardware and lumber ready to go.
Perhaps every workbench is a test bench of sorts…
-- Regards, Norm