Work Bench Build #7: Finished!

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Blog entry by jmos posted 03-20-2012 06:07 PM 8697 reads 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Leg Vise and Assembly Part 7 of Work Bench Build series no next part

Well, I haven’t gotten a lot of time in the shop lately, but I did get two coats of BLO on the bench, and I’m calling it complete.

Overall I’m happy with the way it turned out. I might still ad a shelf underneath, or I’ll just store my bench jigs on the floor underneath. I installed a wall mounted shelf and tool rack, so most of what I need easy access to is just behind the bench in easy reach.

I’m happy with how the LVL worked out. I would have preferred solid maple, but the cost difference would have been a lot. With a 3.25” thick top, there is no perceptible flex in the top when I stand on top of it and jump up an down, and at over 300#, it’s plenty solid.

I tried out the leg vise, and found it wasn’t gripping that well; the boards had a tendency to rock. Even thought everything was planed flat, I found there was a very slight crown on the inside of the chop. A few strokes of a hand plane fixed it and the grip is impressive. I do like how fast the Lake Erie screw moves; running the screw in and out is very quick.

I’ll try to remember to post one last entry after I’ve had time to really get to use the bench and decide how well I like the layout.

If anyone has any questions I’d be happy to discuss it.

-- John

17 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4382 posts in 4451 days

#1 posted 03-20-2012 07:03 PM

Great work, John! That LVL looks sweet. I was a little skeptical of LVL at first, but it looks awesome and I bet it will perform well too. Again, congrats on such a fine bench. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17837 posts in 4118 days

#2 posted 03-20-2012 07:42 PM

Suggestion: Add leather to the inside face of the chop for extra grippiness. It really works wonders…

A beautiful bench, love your veritas hardware too!

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

View hhhopks's profile


663 posts in 3877 days

#3 posted 03-21-2012 01:21 AM

Great looking bench.
I hope mine will be as good.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4443 days

#4 posted 03-21-2012 03:22 AM

Terrific job John.
Thanks for blogging you work.

Do you happen to know the final weight?

-- Back home. Fernando

View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3869 days

#5 posted 03-21-2012 11:41 AM

Thanks guys!

Smitty – I’m keeping my eyes open for some leather. I looked online, but the cost for a piece large enough to do the end vise and the leg vise was crazy. I’m hoping I’ll come across an old breifcase or jacket at a yard sale I can use.

Fernando – The base and top (including end vise) were 303#. I didn’t weight the leg vise chop and the deadman, but I’m guessing the total is about 320#.

-- John

View balidoug's profile


536 posts in 3978 days

#6 posted 03-21-2012 11:52 AM

Awesome. I hope to begin my own in a couple years, and I am definitely saving this build for then.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 3763 days

#7 posted 03-21-2012 01:34 PM

Sweet bench! I would totally add that shelf underneath to take advantage of the space. I really like the look and dimension of this build.
Well done.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3984 days

#8 posted 03-21-2012 04:04 PM

That’s one damn pretty bench.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4192 days

#9 posted 03-21-2012 04:06 PM

Outstanding. Nothing else to say about it. You’ve got the screw I’m getting:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3869 days

#10 posted 03-21-2012 04:45 PM

Thanks again.

It’s a very nice screw Al, you’ll enjoy it. :-)

-- John

View nwbusa's profile


1023 posts in 3785 days

#11 posted 05-04-2012 01:17 PM

Very nice job! I enjopyed reading your blog and your bench is an inspiration to my current project. I only hope mine turns out half as nice as yours did!

-- John, BC, Canada

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5148 days

#12 posted 05-04-2012 02:19 PM

thats a great looking bench. nice work!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6883 posts in 5479 days

#13 posted 05-19-2012 04:22 PM

Hi John;

This is first class all the way.

What a beautiful job, on a beautiful bench.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4122 days

#14 posted 06-26-2012 08:22 PM

Just read through your blog and enjoyed it. I hope you are enjoying this fantastic bench. Did you ever put a shelf underneath?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3869 days

#15 posted 06-26-2012 09:30 PM

Seems to be a good time to post an update -

Since completing the bench I’ve done one major project, a Harvey Ellis bookcase. (I’m getting around to posting projects, so it will turn up soon). Anyway, it was a joy to work on. No sign it ever even thought about moving on me. So many options for holding work I’d have to pause to think.

I’m using planing stops a lot, very little clamping boards between the end vise and the dog holes. However, I’m using the end vise a lot. There’s about 4” from the edge of the bench to the first screw, which is great for throwing in a board on edge for paring shoulders and the like. No dovetails on that project, but I can’t wait to try it out on some. My only knock with the end vise is that is isn’t the smoothest operation; probably didn’t get everything perfectly aligned. A pre-made twin screw would have been nice, but I’m still happy having the money in my pocket. Well worth the trade off IMO.

The leg vise is great; with the deadman and the vise I can easily clamp up long boards to work edges. Was able to clamp a large case door for trimming; it was well secured and well supported.

I’m loving the length; probably wouldn’t have missed the seventh foot if I made it 6” long, but the extra room is nice. Haven’t had an instance where I wanted the eighth foot. Yet.

As for the shelf, it’s on my low priority ‘I’ll get to it someday’ list. I’ve got my shooting boards, bench hooks, and other bench jigs on the floor under the bench, a tool rack behind the bench (which is fantastic) and I’m not hurting for storage, so it’s fallen pretty low on the list.

Thanks for the nice words and taking the time to read my ramblings.

-- John

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