Joinery Bench with Benchcraft Moxon Vise and Lie-Nielson dowel plate

  • Advertise with us
Project by Holbs posted 05-13-2018 01:48 AM 12015 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a joinery bench inspired by Shannon Rodgers of “The Renaissance Woodworker” joinery bench.
36” wide x 24” length x 4” benchtop and 7” apron depth. Benchtop comes an inch shy of my elbow for height, and is removable incase I have to move it around.
4”x6” douglas fir legs and feet with 4” mortise/tenon. 4”x4” cross members with bridal joints and mortise/tenon, 1”x3” stretchers with mortise/tenon. All joinery (except stretchers) were drawbored with 3/8” straight grain oak, my first time with this method and very happy with results. 7” hard maple apron with half blind dovetails in the front (my first time), and standard dovetails in the rear. All dovetails pegged with 3/8” pegs. Lambs tongue on front chop (my first time). All pieces have 3 coatings of Shellac Sealer (except inside jaws and benchtop).

I needed a taller workstation than my existing Lervad workbench. It’s torture to bend over often for dovetails or chiseling, leading to hurrying things up, being in a rush to get done, and mistakes that comes afterwards. I also decided to start learning and using more hand tools that I never tried before: Stanley #8, Stanley #40 and blade camber, hand saw cleaning, jointing, sharpening, split top saw bench, winding sticks, shoulder planes, etc. It was a blood, sweat, and tears feeling to rely more on hand tools than machinery at first. It also became evident I should not solely rely on hand tools until my experience is increased, especially with 4”x6” , 4”x4”, and 8/4 lumber!

This joinery bench is by no means 100% perfect, flaws and errors are everywhere which I kept visible instead of trying to hide so I can be reminded of my errors and hopefully not repeat them for future projects.
Added a LED scissor light above table to add lighting as the overhead lighting is actually behind me. I do not like shadows when dealing with knife walls and such.
Learned alot of information regarding bench top flattening, grain orientation, wood movement. There is a 1/8” gap in the side apron mortises in the rear for expansion.
I tried to keep a running blog of my experience with this project for those curious to see the progression:
Joinery Bench blog

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

8 comments so far

View swirt's profile


6346 posts in 4134 days

#1 posted 05-13-2018 02:00 AM

Solid and stout. Looks about perfect. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2648 days

#2 posted 05-13-2018 02:10 AM

Vedy nice

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View icemanhank's profile


547 posts in 3318 days

#3 posted 05-13-2018 02:33 AM

Looks great, can I rip off your design?

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4028 days

#4 posted 05-13-2018 01:25 PM

I love this bench and you have done a beautiful job on it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Holbs's profile


2380 posts in 3191 days

#5 posted 05-13-2018 01:44 PM

Ice… not my design but came from Shannon Rodgers idea that I just expanded on with the 4×4 cross bracings.
If I had to do things over again, I would not do mortise/tenons for the 4×4’s (as you can see some blowout from chopping the mortises) but rather another 4 bridal joints or maybe chop the mortises before the bridal joints.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View aerialcopper's profile


26 posts in 1175 days

#6 posted 05-14-2018 05:30 PM

Really nice! Douglas fir is a force to be reckoned with, isn’t it! You are probably fully aware that it’s one of the most difficult woods to work with hand tools.

-- Dylan-

View Holbs's profile


2380 posts in 3191 days

#7 posted 05-15-2018 12:42 AM

OH yes yes yes, copper :) I know all too well how badly douglas fir works with hand tools. But, for this project, the wood species was selected for it’s economical value and availability. I knew from the start, many errors will arise (first time working with big lumber of this size) and was not too worried of it’s overall end game prettiness of being on front cover of Vogue or Time magazine :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View WoodenDreams's profile


1358 posts in 1073 days

#8 posted 09-27-2018 05:14 AM

I like your small work bench. Looks well built with a nice vice. A good addition for a extra bench.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

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