Saw benches

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Project by visualj posted 02-02-2015 05:29 AM 1830 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally got some pictures of the two saw benches I have made over the last couple of months.

The first one is one featured by Chris Schwartz in one of his books, but plans are on the net at WK Fine Tools. I followed the plans quite closely. (For a change, I very seldom build directly to the plans.)

The second one was copied from the feature article in the Work magazine from August 15, 1891. This is a from a blog over at Tools for Working Wood. I used the same length as the bench above, about 32”, but somehow it got a 1/2” taller.

Using angled wedged tenons, I thought I could get away without using a guide block. Nope. I have made a small guide, but I ended up cutting a block out of 2X material as a guide for the chisel. So I actually made two tops for the second bench. You can tell which wedges I put in first, as they are the ones with a bit of a gap. They still hold solidly, as those wedges hold enough.

The leg braces are mortised into the top, but not through. I determined the length pretty much by trial and error, then cheated and screwed them from the bottom.

I finished the first bench with a couple of coats of BLO, and the second one with a couple of coats of the BLO, thinner, varnish concoction. Personally, I don’t like the concoction, too much gloss for a tool. Maybe I just have too much varnish in the mix.

Both are very solid and add tremendously to getting some work done. They are not too big, and they work great in the basement shop that is a 10’ X 10’ corner of my 100 year old home.

4 comments so far

View mauipapa's profile


28 posts in 3051 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 05:56 AM

Great traditional benches. I need to make one myself.

-- W. Muse, Maui Hawaii

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3323 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 12:31 PM

Sweet! I keep telling myself I’m gonna do this. I’m glad you did, and that you shared some pics. They look fantastic! Nice joinery!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View handsawgeek's profile


668 posts in 2850 days

#3 posted 02-02-2015 03:50 PM

Nice shop project. You’ll use the heck out of these!!

-- Ed

View visualj's profile


36 posts in 3005 days

#4 posted 02-02-2015 05:40 PM

Thanks for the comments.

Since I have my power tools in storage for house showings, these have gotten a lot of use. I even used them to scrub plane some walnut so I could see the grain to get a match. My temporary workbench wasn’t long enough, so I put the boards on the benches, weighted them down (sat on ‘em) and started planing.

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