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Project Information

Earlier this year I bought an XCarve CNC to teach myself the basics of woodworking CNC with. The XCarve is a meter square, and I didn't have an appropriate space for it in my shop. Since I had been watching lots of videos on traditional joinery techniques, I decided to try to build a budget bench using no metal fasteners. I also wanted a bench that I could knock down to move. This is the result.

I bought a pile of 20 2×10x48 southern yellow pine boards from a local truss building company that sold them as cutoffs for $30. That, and the cost of a gallon of glue were my only project expenses.

My build steps were pretty straight forward:

  • Cut boards to size
  • Glue up boards for the top
  • Glue up legs from scrap
  • Cut feet and inlet half mortises for the legs to fit into
  • Cut stretchers from scrap, and cut tenons and mortises through the tenons for the tusks
  • Cut mortises at the top and bottom of the legs to match the stretchers
  • Assemble the legs
  • Cut oak tusks from scrap to lock the mortise and tenons
  • Set the heavy top on top and plane is smooth using winding sticks as a reference
  • Flip the table and align the legs to the top, then mark the center point of each leg
  • Drill holes for 1" dowels at the top of each leg and into the bottom of the top - these are slightly elongated to handle wood movement
  • Put the top on, and move it into place

The bench is very stable, and exactly fits the CNC system. I learned quite a bit about traditional joinery techniques, and I know I can take the bench back apart and re-build it when I move - I call that a success!

Gallery

Comments

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Beautiful! Love the simplicity. And it looks like a very space-efficient design.
Happy with the X-Carve? I'm constantly himming-and-hawing about wanting to get one, but too timid to pull the trigger.

Steve
 

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Steve

Thanks! It is pretty space efficient - I was able to add drawers underneath after this photo, and I'm eventually going to mount the control board and PC below the surface as well. I kept debating about putting a shelf underneath, but shelves under things tend to be where I put things to lose track of them.

For your X-Carve question - I'm still in the tuning stage. My initial cuts were good, but I need to get back to it to really dial it in. In the meantime, other projects have gotten focus!

My overall take on it is that if you have hobbyist level needs and don't mind spending time tuning and possibly upgrading parts to make it more rigid, you'd be fine. If you want a production grade system, an Ox or one of the other systems out there is likely better. I bought mine used, and for what it cost, I'm satisfied with it. If you're located somewhere with a local Makerspace, you might see if they have something like this around for you to try.
 
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