Truly Portable Moravian Workbench #1: Designing the Bench

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Blog entry by wcunning posted 10-01-2019 07:38 PM 571 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Truly Portable Moravian Workbench series Part 2: Wood Selection for the Bench »

I have one Moravian bench in my basement, but it’s a bit too massive to move on any sort of regular basis, even in pieces. I’m now working on a couple of smaller ones, intended to be much more portable for doing some woodoworking in the summers outside, in the backyard. In thinking about this, I decided I didn’t really relish carrying an 80 lbs top slab + 25 lbs cast iron vise outside by hand, so I was originally planning to use a cheap HF furniture cart to wheel it outside. Then, I had a moment of clarity—the right way to do this is to mount wheels to the right hand leg assembly and use the legs themselves as a cart.

The basic structure is the following:

1) The legs have the same angles cut on the top, so they can mate up square simply by turning the left legs upside down on top of the right legs. I can add a clip to the top brace on each leg assembly to lock them together. With wheels mounted down low, I can simply tip the whole assembly back to wheel it around.

2) Piled in front of this leg assembly, I can put the bench top slab, next to the leg stretchers. This will sort of lock in between the “legs” themselves, up against the braces between the front and back legs.

3) Piled in front of the slab and stretchers will be the tool tray, which can wrap around the bench vise hanging below the bench top.

Finally, this whole flat pack should be reasonably easy to strap together in a single unit. I’m still working through designs in my head for mounting permanent straps that can hang below the bench when it’s fully assembled and be pulled up and buckled in place when it’s time to put it away.

Still ruminating on all of it, but I think there’s some real potential in this direction, particularly for the space constrained woodworker who needs to fold the bench up to put the car away after finishing up for the day…


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