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2 workbench polls in 1 : including veritas .vs. hovarter

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Forum topic by metolius posted 09-18-2020 12:30 AM 808 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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metolius

245 posts in 1616 days


09-18-2020 12:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am in process of building a bench based on Bob Lang’s 21st Cent workbench. I see it as a Holtzapffel with knockdown joinery, split top, and rails that act like a static deadman.

Bob Lang published his bench with 12 inch slabs on front/back with a veritas twin-screw vise.

Chris Schwarz wrote a PW entry discussing benches at Kelly Mehler’s school of woodworking, which included a bench left over from an earlier class taught by Lang, building the bench.

There are a couple of key things different about the build at Kelly Mehler’s.
  • A Hovarter vise was used instead of a Veritas Twin-Screw.
  • The top’s front slab is wider than the back slab.

When I stumbled on this, I had already been considering Veritas.vs.Hovarter. Hovarter is different, its hard to imagine what its like to use or maintain. I have 8/4 Hickory set aside for the vise chops.

I am hoping that someone with Hovarter experience has feedback.

A benefit of having 2×12inch slabs is that they can be removed and sent through a lunch-box planer if needed in the future. Having more solid workspace in the front may be more practical. Maybe its more likely I will make a new top or maybe a new bench if the condition gets that bad.

But, still I am uncertain. With the components I have, I could do front:back widths as 12:12 or 15:9. The distance between the slabs is 6.5 inches.

12:12

15:9

Opinions ? Pick your pill.
  1. Veritas .vs. Hovarter
  2. 12:12 .vs. 15:9

-- derek / oregon


6 replies so far

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SMP

2678 posts in 791 days


#1 posted 09-18-2020 12:54 AM

I guess the first question is what will you be using it for? Hand tool woodworking? Hybrid? Mostly power tools?

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metolius

245 posts in 1616 days


#2 posted 09-18-2020 01:16 AM



I guess the first question is what will you be using it for? Hand tool woodworking? Hybrid? Mostly power tools?

This bench will be for Hand tool work. Likely boxes, smaller sized cabinets, tables, benches.

Power tools will be used in other spaces.

-- derek / oregon

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SMP

2678 posts in 791 days


#3 posted 09-18-2020 05:42 AM

This bench will be for Hand tool work. Likely boxes, smaller sized cabinets, tables, benches.

Power tools will be used in other spaces.

- metolius

Heres my take on it. As for 12 and 12 or 15 and 9 don’t worry about the planer as you can hand plane it flat, since you mentioned hand tools. However, i would then say it depends on if its free floating where you can work on either side? I did a lot of research before building mine and somebody I forget who said they only used about the first 8 inches of their bench. I also find this tru as in reality most boards I work with are 2-4” wide, sometimes 6” and very seldom wider. As I made a plank top traditional english bench, i made the planks 8”, used the front plank the full 8”, then cut off 3/4” off the other 2 to allow for a 1 1/2” removable section that can act as a stop or tool holder or split to allow for clamping. As my bench is against the wall I like the 8” plank, then the gap, as its much easier to clamp to, if it was 12 or 15” then it would be more reaching over awkwardly to clamp. So I would say if yours will be in the middle of the shop, and you can work from both sides, make it 15:9 and you may find you prefer the 9” side to work from.

For vise I would personally get the Veritas twin screw.

My bench looking sown from front:

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MPython

310 posts in 698 days


#4 posted 09-18-2020 07:24 PM

I have no experience with the Hovarter vise, but I have been thinking about changing out my Veritas twin screw end vise and replacing it with a Hovarter. I’ve had the Veritas on my bench for 11 years and I have been reasonably satisfied with it. My only complaint about it is that it is difficult to keep in parallel adjustment. It relies on a set screw to keep the hub secured to the threaded shaft. No matter how hard I crank down on the set screws the hub slips and throws the vise jaws out of parallel. This has become an increasing problem as the vise ages. I’ve tried drilling a small dimple in the shaft to index the set screw without success. If someone has a remedy for this issue, I’d appreciate your sharing it with me. It’s a very annoying problem.

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AndyJ1s

465 posts in 641 days


#5 posted 09-18-2020 07:45 PM

For a bench not on a wall, I would want it symmetrical front-back (including vises on opposite corners), so it can be worked from either side the same.

I might want the two halves offset lengthwise, to provide a narrow tail on both ends. This would also provide two inside corners on the bench, for supporting some operations/workpieces better.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

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metolius

245 posts in 1616 days


#6 posted 09-18-2020 08:29 PM

Without available wall space, its life will be in open space for more than a few seasons.

Offset lengths with dueling vises !

With opposing vises, my kids could occupy the opposite end. At the their school shop, they have large square benches that are shared with four old Wilton vises, one on each corner. I suppose its not that different.

( is the asylum getting drafty? )

-- derek / oregon

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