African Rosewood, Leadwood and Maple Workbench build #5: Completed top & Sliding Deadman

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Blog entry by carrera4s posted 02-16-2021 02:18 PM 585 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Pinless Leg Vice Part 5 of African Rosewood, Leadwood and Maple Workbench build series Part 6: Moxon Vice »

It has been a while since I posted an update! I finished the hard maple top and used some wedged through tenons to fix it to the base.

I also added a sliding deadman – also made for Leadwood – the same as the leg vice. I also made an “extension support” to be able to support long, narrow stock when planing them in the leg vice.

Now it is only the end cap and wagon vice remaining.

A few progress photos:


Levelling the top:

A wedged tenon’s detail:

Cleaning the end:

Sliding deadman:

4 comments so far

View MikeJ70's profile (online now)


70 posts in 957 days

#1 posted 02-16-2021 10:22 PM

That is one nice workbench you are building there!!! I really like the character of the base and the chop and your craftsmanship looks superb. What’s your plan for a tail vise and drilling dog holes?

I see you are in South Africa. How are the lumber prices between African Rosewood (Bubinga here in the states) and Maple? I just checked one of my local suppliers and I can get Bubinga for $15 – 16/bdft and Maple around $4.50 – 6.50/bdft so I am curious if it is the opposite for you.

-- MikeJ

View carrera4s's profile


18 posts in 701 days

#2 posted 02-17-2021 06:13 AM

Hi MikeJ70, thanks for the comments!

African Rosewood and Bubinga is not exactly the same, but very closely related:
African Rosewood: Guibourtia Coleosperma
Bubinga: Guibourtia spp. (G. demeusei, G. pellegriniana, G. tessmannii)

But yes, I do not think you get the African Rosewood over there.

Price wise you are correct:
African Rosewood: R 20 000 per cubic meter (c $ 3.14 per bf)
Hard Maple: R 30 000 per cubic meter (c $ 4.72 per bf). I have no idea why Maple is cheaper here than in some parts of the States!!!!
For the normal commercial woods, US walnut is the most expensive here in South Africa, around $ 8.65 per bf.

PS: I could get some ebony at our local supplier the other day – but only small pieces that are kept in the office. They cost c $ 70 per bf. I passed on that one! :-)

I am planning only a wagon vice and round dog holes for the “end vice”.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


17230 posts in 3629 days

#3 posted 02-17-2021 04:11 PM

Beautiful work you’re doing. Very nice indeed. Congrats, and thanks for sharing!

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

View Ocelot's profile


2883 posts in 3649 days

#4 posted 02-17-2021 06:15 PM

Very nice indeed.

I’ve bought a little assortment of african woods in the form of turning blanks. I have a work associate in South African who comes over here every couple of years for a couple of weeks. I was thinking to ask him to pack some lumber in his luggage. LOL. But dealing with the import police would be too much troulbe even if he were willing. It is actually very important not to import bugs.

Amongst the African stuff I bought, I really like the Mopane / Mopani. I wish I could find that lumber and not only turning blanks here but no luck. It seems that it has no trade restrictions and no alergy concerns and is quite nice. Ah well, I should be happy with our beautiful cherry and walnut and etc.

Again, very impressive bench!


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

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