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After a comment on my bench about a bench off, I thought its a great idea. There all the threads about planes, braces, powertools of your dreams, etc. How about it on benches.
Pic of your bench or one you are going to buy or build and Why its best. The topic should provide some info for the woodworking getting ready to build or buy as well as give us a place to gloat.
Plus even though I'm not building another bench, I still love looking at others.

UPDATE
I haven't been on in a while but I just seen a pm when i got on today. It appears the tag "smackdown" is being added to the benches shown here, so you can click here and see em all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Wood- SYP construction 2X10 Its heavy, cheap, hard enough to stand up well, softer than the woods I use, except poplar. Face vise chop and sliding dead man are hard maple. That and 1 gal glue was and I was off. Top is 4" thick and legs are just shy 4.5" thick. All mortise and tenons are pegged with white oak dowels. Shelf is ¾" thick and holds my bench appliances. Its heavy, real heavy.
Table Wood Floor Flooring Tool


Vises- Veritas quick release face and tail vise.
Face vise is nice, beats a leg vise in my book any day. I know, it racks. So what, make a simple wedge or card spacer, when it's an issue (honestly, with this vice, it rarely is). Beats bending over to change the pin in a leg vise.
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Tail vise is the bees knees. That long chop mean very little unsupported area like with other types of tail vises. Also means I don't need holes every 3" in a row. Plus it moves the dog holes right up front, which is great for fenced planes.
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Here is mine (dream workbench, that is). It will be delivered this Sunday, after 24 weeks of waiting:

Wood Rectangle Interior design Flooring Wood stain


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Wood Hardwood Tints and shades Flooring Wood stain


I took these pictures from a blog written by Christopher Schwarz introducing the "new improved" workbench by Lie-Nielsen. You can read about it here:

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/chris-schwarz-blog/workbenches/new-workbench-from-lie-nielsen-toolworks?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+woodworkingmagazine+(Woodworking+Magazine)

I had ordered the original European workbench back in May 2011, and then in late July early August I heard about the "new improved" version. After reading about it and calling back to the Lie-Nielsen workbench department, I decided that it was more of what I was looking for, so I changed my order.

I went to a Lie-Neilsen hand tool event in October 2011 and got to see the new bench in person. I definitely made the right decision, for me.

Steven
 

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Okay - Here's my bench. The carcass is a cabinet we used to have in my wife's flower shop. On the back side are several very handy drawers and storage spaces.

I put down 2 sheets of MDF on top and then topped them with bamboo flooring. I ran 8/4 oak around the perimeter and installed a quick release vice on one end.

The bamboo is very rugged and it has held up well.

IMO, you can never have too much storage space and often the space under the workbench is under utilized.

The carcass was almost too heavy for two men to carry, but two of us got it in place. Then I put on the MDF, bamboo and oak. It has not been moved since all that was added and I pity the people who may have to move it some day (long after I am gone).

If you look close you will see 2 Kreg clamp hold down plates. You will also see the clamps at the end of the table. Those things are very handy. I use them a lot.

Since the carcass used to be in my wife's flower shop, I may have the only workbench in the country with a built in ribbon dispenser.

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Great forum topic and very timely since I've been thinking of making a proper bench. I hope this thread flourishes. These are some beautiful benches!
 

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You just wanted to show off your nice bench didn't you?.... :)

No, but really thats one of the nicest SYP made workbench that I have seen. Looks like you have another nice looking SYP saw bench tucked back there also?

I have built 4 work benches now and I will probably build more in the future. Here is my main bench that I made about a year ago… Its a split top design made from red oak, maple, silver maple, cherry, and basswood. Basswood was only used for bottom storage planks. The most interesting feature of my bench is probably my shop made sliding tail vise. Rather then buying a tail vise I made my own using an very large and heavy antique bar clamp. The clamp is attached to a sliding section on the top of the bench as shown in the photos. I went with square dogs so I could make my own out of wood. The makeshift tail vise actually works pretty well and I am happy with it. For the front vise I used an antique Wilton vise that I restored/repainted.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Steven
That thing looks like a beast, is that a tail or some sort of wagon vise, it hard for me to tell in the pic.

Rich
That tkreg hold down idea is pretty jazzy. what kind of depth can you get out of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dan
That tail vise is a great idea, my last bench had something sorta similar with a pipeclamp, but mine was designed nearly as well and I didn't really dig it. How deep is that bench, looks nice a deep which is great. I think the no wider than 24" rule is great for some, but taken as gospel because of who said it. I think 24" to 30" is the sweet spot for me
 

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Here is my bench, click on the link for a couple extra shots. The top is an old lab bench my grandfather used when he was in med school. Later when they were remodeling the building he took it home where it sat in his garage for 40 years waiting for a grandson to come along. It's solid maple, 96×30x2", and probably weighs in the 300-400lb range (150lb for the bench top alone). The frame is construction lumber, drawers are plywood and everything has a coat of tung oil on it. Not pretty, but very functional and it has some sentimental value as well. Next step is to add some wheels that can be raised or lowered so I can move it around when necessary.

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I hope this thread explodes. I love nothing better than looking at workbenches. There are some incredibly fine ones here. Can't wait!
 

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The Newage Neanderthal: It's a tail vise. The older version looked like an upper case "L", this one looks like a lower case "l". On the old version, the short part of the upper case "L" was known to break off from excess clamping pressure (I don't think it was intended to be used for face clamping anyway), so this is one of the "new improved" items.

Steven
 

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Thanks Neanderthal :) I did debate taking off more material to get rid of the burn marks and gouges, but there goes the character. My grandfather laughed when he saw the marks, made a comment about how it was probably him that burned it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
David
I would say that would be the worst thing to do, a workbench should show real wear from use. Makes it looks so much better, not some fake distressed crap, but real long term wear.

Don
Just like with David, the wear makes it much greater. I am looking forward to the use my bench will show one day.
 

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Neanderthal, I don't know exactly how deep my bench is… If I count the open space of the split top I think I am right around 30in total.

The shop made tail vise I rigged up is not as versatile as your traditional tail vise but the only time I ever really use it is when I am planing wider glued up panels or planing wood across the grain. I do almost all of my hand planing with just a bench stop or dog.
 

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While I have always admired the traditional woodworking benches, I have never had the reason to build one. I'm just a powertool and nail gun kind of guy. Twenty-seven years ago I purchased this good 36×72" top with lousy steel legs, and have used it ever since. I loved having all the power tools plugged in and ready to go in a second.

Now retired and not building so many cabinets and telescopes, it was time to rebuild the old beast. I have always loved drawers and had no love for benches that have just dust-collecting empty space under them. I still like all my tools at my fingertips! So just last month the old bench finally got a makeover. It is taking some getting used to, but I think the change will be for the better.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tom,
If I was a power tool guy that is exactly the way I'd go. Power hooked up to the bench, lots of cabs underneath, and probably shorter and wider. I also prob would have went with a sheet good top. But alas, the only power I use now is for my lights, so I went somewhat traditionally.
 
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