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Work Bench Smack Down (part 2)

by Cricket
posted 01-23-2019 11:54 PM


1 2 3 4 ... 8 next »
381 replies

381 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

9158 posts in 3156 days


#1 posted 01-24-2019 12:54 AM

First post. Looking like I need to build a bench this spring. Not sure if I’ll do a Roubo or a shaker style. Should have all the wood needed for the base already, and debating what to do for the top.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

3086 posts in 2982 days


#2 posted 01-24-2019 01:13 AM

What kind of hardware you going to use, Jmart?

Maybe I can stop by and give you a hand with the heavy lifting.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View r33tc0w's profile

r33tc0w

199 posts in 1490 days


#3 posted 01-24-2019 01:14 AM

I’m 2.5yrs into my workbench build – 2 kids, moving to a new house and finally acquired some decent panel saws and bits/brace to finish assembly. Glued up a 2×6 with a 2×4 section for the top and totally screwed up the gluing so now I need to level off the upwards warp. Started to hand plane the warp out and lost patience and have since decided to create a router sled.

I feel like I find multiple projects to do in the middle of the original project – such is life

-- Matthew 13:53-58

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

9158 posts in 3156 days


#4 posted 01-24-2019 01:33 AM


What kind of hardware you going to use, Jmart?

Maybe I can stop by and give you a hand with the heavy lifting.

- Hammerthumb

Most likely the Lee Valley tail vise screws I had on my previous bench from my townhouse. Already have them. Might get a new handwheel for them, but we’ll see. I’d like to have benchcrafted, but the budget won’t be allowing that since I have a kid on the way.

Leg vise with the classic peg board, and a wagon vise.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View CL810's profile

CL810

4107 posts in 3995 days


#5 posted 01-24-2019 01:35 AM

Dibs on first bench pic!!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View FloaterDX's profile

FloaterDX

1 post in 773 days


#6 posted 01-24-2019 01:43 AM



Dibs on first bench pic!!

- CL810

Beautiful work. I really want to tackle one of these soon.

View manberdo's profile

manberdo

3 posts in 764 days


#7 posted 01-24-2019 02:46 AM

My bench is a little different then what has been posted previously. This video provides a little overview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILtXNMwiLNk

I started by writing down my requirements for the bench,

-It must be rock solid
-It must work with my mitre saw
-It must look good without limiting capabilities

The only regret with the bench thus far is not having mobility as a requirement but this just means I have the opportunity to build a better version when I move so not a huge loss haha

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17224 posts in 3625 days


#8 posted 01-24-2019 02:57 AM

Bench pics? No problem, but it’s not a new one (bench or pic). These pics are from November 2013 (has it been that long?!).

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

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7222 posts in 1581 days


#9 posted 01-24-2019 03:18 AM

Gonna be a fun thread, lots of pics hopefully, and ideas.


My bench is a little different then what has been posted previously. This video provides a little overview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILtXNMwiLNk

I started by writing down my requirements for the bench,

-It must be rock solid
-It must work with my mitre saw
-It must look good without limiting capabilities

The only regret with the bench thus far is not having mobility as a requirement but this just means I have the opportunity to build a better version when I move so not a huge loss haha

- manberdo

I am leaning toward the “simple bench” for a number of reasons. The thing I would miss most with your style of bench is something to limit length of cut, for repetitive cuts. I recently had seen 2 videos that address this on a simple bench. I am leaning toward the second guys way of doing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=g-wP4SlTXm0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTFDeLoEP0g

-- Think safe, be safe

View manberdo's profile

manberdo

3 posts in 764 days


#10 posted 01-24-2019 03:33 AM

When I need to make repetitive cuts I use a similar method to the second guy, I just clamp a piece of wood to the bench. If your mitre saw won’t be out 100% of the time then his block method is definitely the way I would go.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

12453 posts in 3458 days


#11 posted 01-24-2019 04:53 AM

Bench pic

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1199 posts in 3506 days


#12 posted 01-24-2019 10:18 AM

Not a “fine furniture” workbench but a good practical one:

customisation:


Made with recycled wood except the tool well, shelf and drawer.
It is a “Paul Sellers” workbench type.
I choose it because:
- the front apron is glued to the bench-top which makes a rigid “L” beam;
- the leg-frames are wedged in dado’s in the aprons which guarantee no raking even if the legs were shrinking;
- it can be knocked down if moving (it was built in my backyard and then moved to the second floor of my house);
- there is an extensive set of video’s showing how to build it.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View surrywood's profile

surrywood

38 posts in 1282 days


#13 posted 01-24-2019 10:36 AM

Very excited about this thread. My wife and I just bought a new house and will be moving into it in April and it has a bigger shop than what I had. A year or two ago I built a Nicholson style (my first REAL woodworking bench) and it has been in storage since this past May. It is Ok for most things but I want to build something that will allow me to do the handwork better, like a wagon vise or similar. I like the Euro style a lot but I also like the Roubo and the Moravian. I used pine for the whole first bench but on this build I was thinking of a hardwood top, 3” thick with pine legs and stretchers (for the sake of expense), about 72” long and 24” wide. I have never used one with a tool tray so I don’t believe I will have one. Before Christmas I bought one of the Harbor Freight models to be able to work out of a bedroom of the house we are renting and it is alright for really light work but not for getting serious (not real sturdy), plus it is too short and not deep enough for my taste. I have scoured the site for info and researched all over the place and I really like the various things out here. I guess I would like one bench that does everything I have seen and I am afraid that when I build it will look like the Stanley 45 of benches :)
Keep the good stuff coming, there is a whole lot of great info here from a whole lot of great people

View Notw's profile

Notw

893 posts in 2760 days


#14 posted 01-24-2019 02:08 PM

So i’m in the process of researching to build another bench, the first one was more of an assembly table with a vise on it. This time I am looking to do a SYP Roubo style bench and one of the parts that has me pondering so far is how to cut the joinery for the dovetails on the legs to attach to the top. Does anyone have a good tutorial or blog that shows the best way to go about cutting this?

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#15 posted 01-24-2019 02:17 PM

Notw – one of the Schwarz books has a Roubo build from laminated SYP and he covers it. Basically, IIRC, you cut the joinery pieces individually then glue them together to create the DT/mortise joint. I was lazy on my build and skipped that and just went with M&Ts so I can’t give you any better advice.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

3019 posts in 2414 days


#16 posted 01-24-2019 02:19 PM

Benchcrafted has excellent information on their site

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#17 posted 01-24-2019 02:23 PM

Anybody used the Hovarter hardware? I love my leg vise and the LV screw works perfectly well. But, it would be awfully nice to have QR mechanism. So, I’m considering retrofitting it with the Hovarter leg vise hardware. At $140, it ain’t cheap but it ain’t ridiculous either. Just curious if anyone has hands-on with the mechanism?

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17224 posts in 3625 days


#18 posted 01-24-2019 02:33 PM

Love the Hovarter wagon vise hardware. I don’t have it, but would love it.

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

View olegrump's profile

olegrump

97 posts in 1229 days


#19 posted 01-24-2019 05:23 PM

If you decide to use a leg vise, check out YouTube for devices which allow you to adjust the base of the vice without bending over to move a pin. There are some pretty spiffy ratchet type devices which seem to be variations of one found in “The Workbench Book”. A leg vise stays in the same location most of the time, but occasionally there are projects which require frequent adjustment. If you can do that standing up, it makes the job so much easier.

On a personal note, I have used a bench with a tool well about 25 years ago. After about a year and a half, I got tired of CONSTANTLY cleaning sawdust, shavings and borings out of this area, which was ostensibly to hold tools. I wound up filling in that area with some oak and having one, flat solid surface. No more open dirt colectors for me. But this is my own personal hang-up. Some people like them.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#20 posted 01-24-2019 06:06 PM

For the time being grump, my leg vise has the traditional parallel guide and it suits me fine. In another decade or so, I may feel differently about all the bending but the scissor hardware can be retrofitted most any time. I do use mine at a lot of different positions and the only thing that is annoying is cranking the screw. I was considering just going to a double lead screw then someone showed me the Hovarter and really like the looks of that! I’m just a little leery of being an early adopter of fairly new hardware that is so different from the established…

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View MagicalMichael's profile

MagicalMichael

167 posts in 1523 days


#21 posted 01-24-2019 11:39 PM

New Bench plans. I like the idea of a new thread and hope it opens up the field of imagination. Like others on this thread I too am planning a new bench. Has anyone on this list used the HNT Gordon face vice?

I have a 35+ year old Tage Fridge bench with two worn out vices that need replacement. I also have an outfeed table, patterned after the Benchcrafted Classic Bench with a wooden leg vice screw, a built in router and the HNT Gordon end vice. It is a great bench, very versatile, but mostly use for planning & outfeed. I want the new bench to use for cutting and assembling joints. I have considered a number of front vice alternatives. I like my shoulder vice, but it’s a lot of work to build and takes up a lot of space. No need to replicate the leg vice I already have. Various options for a twin screw but I’m resistant to either a chin drive or Holvarter, which could require more maintenance down the road. That brings me back to the HNT Gordon vice, which looks great but I sure would like to read about first hand experience.

Michael

-- michael

View JayT's profile

JayT

6419 posts in 3217 days


#22 posted 01-25-2019 12:09 AM



Anybody used the Hovarter hardware? I love my leg vise and the LV screw works perfectly well. But, it would be awfully nice to have QR mechanism. So, I m considering retrofitting it with the Hovarter leg vise hardware. At $140, it ain t cheap but it ain t ridiculous either. Just curious if anyone has hands-on with the mechanism?

- HokieKen

Pretty sure woodcox has one of the face vises. I bought his Veritas twin screw because he was upgrading to the Hovarter.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View surrywood's profile

surrywood

38 posts in 1282 days


#23 posted 01-25-2019 12:41 AM

I didn’t know about the Hovarter hardware. I just checked it out and the wagon vise looks like just what the doctor ordered if I keep my current bench in operation, of course the whole bench only cost about that much except for the Eclipse 9” front vise that is on it

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

1065 posts in 3203 days


#24 posted 01-25-2019 04:25 AM

I have the Hovarter leg vise in my shop and I paired it with the chain kit I sell. It is awesome, I use it all the time and I heartily recommend it especially when paired with something that doesn’t need the pin so you can utilize all the beauty of the quick release feature. I don’t think it matters if it’s the cross or the chain or one of about three other methods I know of.

Here is a link to a review I did on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/0OxoFvDGK40

I’ll be on the road all day tomorrow but I can post some pics when I get home.
Jim

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

2386 posts in 3018 days


#25 posted 01-25-2019 04:37 AM

I have the Hovarter wagon vise. A great retrofit if you have the length under the top for the shaft. I drilled into a leg for clearance, it can be cut to fit if need be too. My bench top has moved a little since I cut into it and now the dog block is too tight in the slot. I’ll wait until next summer to see if it moves again before widening it. The mechanism works well and holds the work easily. There is one annoying thing I have noticed since the install. When you release the hub it needs the smallest tick back to get it unlocked. I can’t say it happens every time and it is habitual now to feel it the dog move back before letting the hub handle go. Slight misalignment or lube issue? There are not a lot of reviews out there but I have seen a youtube video of an earlier mechanism having the same issue. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it or buy again. My face vise chop extends all the way to the left corner of the bench and I really like it there but, someday a leg vise may replace it.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1199 posts in 3506 days


#26 posted 01-25-2019 02:50 PM

1. Paul Sellers is announcing a new video series.
A laminated plywood version of his workbench.

2. Will Meyers has republished on his new blog
- the PDF description of the Moravian workbench built including a simple tail vise, first published on WK Fine tools;
- the leg vise “ratcheting parallel guide ;
He sells a improved version of his tail vise

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

2386 posts in 3018 days


#27 posted 01-25-2019 04:17 PM

Thank you for those, Sylvain. I had forgotten where I read about Will’s ratchet guide. Soon after, I thought to try this…

A cam lobe in the leg that turns into a parallel guide passing through below.

It is working well for this and maybe possible on a full size vise?

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#28 posted 01-25-2019 04:34 PM

Huh, never considered a cammed stop for the parallel guide WC. That’s pretty darned slick. What is that you have on top of the guide? Just leather or rubber or something? Thanks for the feedback on the Hovater device!

Boatman – is there something that would prevent the leg vise hardware from working with a traditional pinned parallel guide?

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

2386 posts in 3018 days


#29 posted 01-25-2019 07:08 PM

Thank you, Kenny. A metal rule so the lobe doesn’t wear the guide.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

1065 posts in 3203 days


#30 posted 01-25-2019 11:46 PM

Not at all Kenny. It works just fine with the pin, but if you’re gonna have a quick release why bother with the pin. In the video I built it with taller jaws then on my hand tool bench and I’m often holding different dimensions as I work around a piece.
Hovarter also sells his version of the cross but I forget how the prices compare to Benchcrafted.
Jim

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#31 posted 01-26-2019 04:26 AM

Hovarter compares very favorably next to Benchcrafted. If it was anywhere near BC prices, I wouldn’t even be asking ;-). The leg vise hardware and the Scissor are $235 together. Handle is extra but I can make that :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4413 posts in 1746 days


#32 posted 02-06-2019 03:04 PM

Whew! I just went through the whole first thread and am all caught up. Seriously amazing work folks, more so, amazing convo and help from the peanut gallery. You guys are all amazing for the tips and tricks shared on the first thread. It really has been a joy, even if it took me a month to read the whole thing.

I saw you video about a month ago Jim when I was researching the Hovarter. I have a few larger projects in the works but I did just grab a trailer full of red oak at $1bf for a bench late this year and I plan to go with the Hovarter setup.

My plan however, is to get two leg vises, one with the criss cross and one without. The second will be used as a traditional tail vise which will run on mortised metal dovetailed steel plates to keep it in line and the vise “screw” obviously to run it up and down the bench. I started putting it in CAD last night but haven’t designed the tail vise portion yet and I’m probably 6 months away from starting the project with my current work load in the shop but I have carved out time so when I start, I should be able to go start to finish fairly quick at least. I’m excited to start, I wish I could bump this up on the list.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Wintergreen78's profile

Wintergreen78

96 posts in 746 days


#33 posted 02-11-2019 08:02 PM

Here is a the workbench I made about 2 years ago. It was my first time using a hand plane, first time cutting mortise and tenons, actually, it was my first time really trying to cut wood in a straight line. I built the top on the garage floor, then built the rest of it on the top on the garage floor. It is kind of rough, but it is (mostly) flat and definitely solid.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

787 posts in 786 days


#34 posted 02-11-2019 09:19 PM



So i m in the process of researching to build another bench, the first one was more of an assembly table with a vise on it. This time I am looking to do a SYP Roubo style bench and one of the parts that has me pondering so far is how to cut the joinery for the dovetails on the legs to attach to the top. Does anyone have a good tutorial or blog that shows the best way to go about cutting this?

- Notw

Get the book…great read and nice to have with plans for what you want:

https://www.amazon.com/Workbenches-Revised-Design-Theory-Construction/dp/1440343128/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1549919943&sr=8-4&keywords=workbench+book

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1199 posts in 3506 days


#35 posted 02-12-2019 10:27 AM

Notw

If you use a solid slab:
http://donsbarn.com/workbench-wednesday-10-2013-forp-bench-assembled-and-at-work/

If you make a laminated top and laminated legs:
http://donsbarn.com/building-bench-18-i/
The mortises are not chopped as the needed mortises are openings left while gluing the 3 external boards.

Chopping wide mortises (self explanatory pictures)

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#36 posted 02-12-2019 02:07 PM



...

Get the book…great read and nice to have with plans for what you want:

https://www.amazon.com/Workbenches-Revised-Design-Theory-Construction/dp/1440343128/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1549919943&sr=8-4&keywords=workbench+book

- BlueRidgeDog

+1 I’d recommend both of Schwarz’s books on benches. Even if you’ve already built your bench, they’re a good read.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4413 posts in 1746 days


#37 posted 02-12-2019 02:51 PM

I’ll jump on the band wagon here as well. I bought his two workbench books. I don’t know that you necessarily need the second one unless you really want plans for several different workbenches but the first one is great. I am in the middle of planning my bench out (it’s amazing how you have to plan something seemingly so simple) and even though I’m not building a bench exactly like Schwarz’s bench representations in the book, it’s made me change a few details that I would have over looked in my plans. Plus, there is a lot of awesome examples of historical benches and the “why” they had the workholding they did on them.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View DavidTTU's profile

DavidTTU

150 posts in 2642 days


#38 posted 02-12-2019 02:55 PM

from this to this – no work involved -

The bench dog is 1 year older.

This bench has changed how I work wood. It has been a joy to use and has made everything I have done since better.

-- -David -- Lubbock, TX

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4413 posts in 1746 days


#39 posted 02-12-2019 02:58 PM

No work involved David? You training wood projects to build themselves?

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View DavidTTU's profile

DavidTTU

150 posts in 2642 days


#40 posted 02-12-2019 03:00 PM

It is the internet. Aren’t we all being slightly sarcastic? If only you could have seen me pace around the shop for six months building this thing.

-- -David -- Lubbock, TX

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4413 posts in 1746 days


#41 posted 02-12-2019 03:03 PM

I can imagine. I’m planning mine out pretty tight to the order of operations so I should be able to dance around the shop like a monkey and make cuts and assemble if my instructions are put together well enough for myself. I’m in the middle of a house remodel so I won’t even start for several more months but the planning takes my mind off the stuff I’m doing now. I do have the lumber for it now though thankfully.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4413 posts in 1746 days


#42 posted 02-12-2019 03:04 PM

Speaking of, someone needs to start a build and post progress on here to give this thread some life again.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#43 posted 02-12-2019 03:04 PM

Excellent work David! I hope the MF jointer was a solid worker ;-) Is that a planing stop just to the left of the leg vise?

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View DavidTTU's profile

DavidTTU

150 posts in 2642 days


#44 posted 02-12-2019 07:46 PM

Kenny it has been excellent. The only thing lacking would be my knowledge, but that is getting better every day. Yes it is, but to be honest I use a simple T jig in the bench much more often.

-- -David -- Lubbock, TX

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6625 posts in 2394 days


#45 posted 02-12-2019 08:25 PM

Jim, That Chain Vise is really clever. After seeing how it works it seems so obvious now.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#46 posted 02-12-2019 08:28 PM

David, what vise hardware do you have on that leg vise?

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16645 posts in 2145 days


#47 posted 02-12-2019 08:30 PM



Jim, That Chain Vise is really clever. After seeing how it works it seems so obvious now.

- Lazyman

+1 It is damn elegant in its simplicity.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

126 posts in 1080 days


#48 posted 02-13-2019 02:48 PM

Any recommendations for casters on a heavy workbench?
Was thinking about the leaver type from Rockler, but the reviews are mixed.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

View DavidTTU's profile

DavidTTU

150 posts in 2642 days


#49 posted 02-13-2019 02:50 PM

It is the Benchcrafted Classic Leg vise. The thing is sweet and works like a champ. I have the CrissCross mechanism installed with it.

-- -David -- Lubbock, TX

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6625 posts in 2394 days


#50 posted 02-13-2019 02:57 PM

Jim, I was wondering if you could replace the chain with a cable. Did you experiment with that?

Jim, That Chain Vise is really clever. After seeing how it works it seems so obvious now.

- Lazyman

+1 It is damn elegant in its simplicity.

- HokieKen


-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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