Wow, thanks for all the help guys (Mauricio, joewilliams, ScottyB) And thanks for the compliment Chris, the top took quit awhile for me to mill all of the boards and glue them up in small sections growing to larger sections. A lot of TB III was used in the making. If anyone was wondering I forgot to mention that the top is Ash with Purpleheart accents. The base will be all ash with a little purple flare as well. I can't wait to get a day or two off to really tackle this thing and finish it!
I wish I would've found this forum earlier. I think that I will go with the stub tenons (i.e., 1" dowels) and therefore that will slightly change my base build. The deadman hints and tips are great everyone. Thanks again everyone. If I run across anymore problems I can assure you that I'll come here first.
Thanks Scott, I was asking mainly because I would have thought that a split top would aid in keeping the top flat if you allowed for movement. There are few thing I am anal about, having a flat top is one of them since I use it as a reference a lot.
The problem I see with a lot of benches here is that they have a static attachment to the legs, do not allow for movement and you have to flatten the bench every so often (I made this mistake with my bench too). In my case about twice a year since I use pine for my benches.
Mos that bench is going to be sweet man, nice to see it coming together.
Grant, what kind of vise are you using? Stub tenons and the little bullet dowels are not the same thing, just to be clear. If you are going with a leg vise the dowels may not be enough. If your using a face vise then they should be fine.
Mos, a wagon vise could work for you if you really wanted one. You could use one of those veneer press screws, it only has to travel 3 or 4 inches which would be about the distance between dog holes. It just wouldn't be as versatile as a face vise since you would be able clamp much vertically in the hole.
Mauricio good point. I guess I considered them to do the same thing but they are different. I'd sleep better if I went with the stub tenons instead of the dowels. I am having a homemade sort of twin screw vise on the front face from two lee valley tail vise screws like this one.
I am doing a non traditional placement of a cabinet makers vise on the right end end towards the back. The placement will actually look just like this picture. Most benches have similar vises up to the front face of the bench but I want mine on the back. I am right handed so I like to cut on the right side of the bench (if that makes any sense) I guess I like to have my left hand resting on the actually work piece locked down in a vise.
I will be able to walk 360 around my bench so vises getting in my way aren't a concern as I will always have 2 vise free sides. The vise setup is similar to that of Robert Lang's 21st Century workbench here. I like the large vise on the front. I could just ramble forever on my workbench ideas but I have a few free hours this morning, the bench is calling me….and I also need a haircut.
I think I mentioned it somewhere before, but I have no idea where, but I was thinking about using a shoulder screw instead of a wagon/tail vise screw. Just because it would be shorter. I'd also looked at the veneer press screws too. By design so far, it's around 9" from the end to where the outside of the leg starts on the right side, but that's still able to change, since I haven't made the mortices in the benchtop, or the horizontal stretcher.
Wow it's hard to keep up with all this.
Welcome Grant. Please don't just post when you have a question, post as you go along and often you will get ideas from others that help you end up with a better bench.
I just wanted to mention that it is not hard to shorten a screw on your own. In an article that Frank Klaus did on his bench he shortened a screw and releaving the end to fit the end pad with a bench grinder.
I like the shorter screw idea of the shoulder vise Chris but then your handle is always at the same spot, it won't move in, only your face will get closer to the bench and you'll always have the handle 7" out or whatever. Unless of course you are going to do a true shoulder vise.
Unless you can take that very end piece off and then somehow attach a the face right behind the handle..
Good point Jim, I will continue to follow this and keep updating with some pictures. I need to run to the sawmill about 30 miles away either tomorrow or Tuesday and pick up some more ash.
With using the shoulder vise screw, the nut would be mounted in my end cap, and the handle would move in and out with the dog block. That's the part that I don't like about using the shoulder vise screw.
I'm sure I could shorten a different screw, but I would only really gain about an inch, and I'd also be paying a lot more for the screw, just to chop it down… If I put the screw under the bench, and had the dog block run parallel, but offset (as with many implementations) then I could make it clear the leg. But then I'd again be at the point of having a 20" vise screw that I can only use 7" of…
I suppose I could also drill a hole in my end cap, and then mortise an area for the nut to recess, but then instead of screwing the nut into the end cap, I could screw the end bearing plate into the bench, and then have the block fit over/around the screw, and have the nut travel back and forth, but I don't see that working very well..
hoping for some progress on my bench this weekend, and then hopefully a new blog entry to go along with it.
Taking the glued and planed legs to a friends place to cut them with his miter saw, as mine only does 2×4's. Thought about cutting them by hand, but I want to make them as close to perfect as I can, and I'm just not quite there yet with hand saws, I don't think. At least when there's this much at stake lol.
I had some thoughts on my tool well, though. I was thinking about either using T&G boards running with grain perpendicular to the bench top, or finding/making a single board that ran the whole way (the grain would run parallel with the top that way, I think).
But the other idea I had (and reason for posting) was to make it so I could remove it and have a ledge around the top inside of the well, that I could then set the well bottom boards in, to make it flush with the rest of the bench.
Hi Mos, your comment about the ledge around the tool well is something to concider. I have a shallow tool well and thought about putting some cleats on the underside of a board that I could drop in if I needed more flat expanse of work top. I like the ledge idea though.
I had thought about that too, Mauricio. The issue I have with that is, knowing myself, I would end up having that second board in place, getting everything on the bench that I needed the space for, only to find that something I need is still in the tool well, because I was too lazy to take everything out before I covered it lol.
Also, the removable bottom would also serve as a way to clean dust/chips/shavings as well.
I got my benchtop sanded down with a 48" sander today at a local sawmill ($1/min). Totally worth the $20, it's dead flat, just an amazing machine. I also picked up some more wood today that I had shorted myself. I'm up to about 95 BF. I started working on the base a little today but progress is moving slower than expected. The mortising takes a decent amount of time. I've finished 4 of the 12 mortises (one side). Hopefully I can get an early start tomorrow and maybe finish all of them up before work at 1 tomorrow.
Top after sanding (ended at 2.151" thick)
Top already in use on "temporary" legs
Left side dry fit test (pretty good)
The two bigger 7/4 boards on the floor are the crossbeams for the front and back. You can see on the front one there is a bit of a live edge left on it (he only charged me according to the narrowest part of the board). I'm undecided on whether or not to feature it as part of the design or try and hide it on the back. If I feature it the live edge will be facing forward with the live edge on the bottom (I need to have the ^ on the top of the board for the sliding deadman so the live edge has to be on the bottom). Any thoughts on this, to feature or hide?
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