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Truly Portable Moravian Workbench #2: Wood Selection for the Bench

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Blog entry by wcunning posted 10-06-2019 09:35 PM 248 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Designing the Bench Part 2 of Truly Portable Moravian Workbench series no next part

This bench is intended to use up a bunch of leftover lumber from my first thought of making a moravian bench. Originally I just wanted a semi-portable hand tool bench, and that morphed over time as my basement shop turned more machine shop and less and less wood shop. Eventually I built the giant moravian bench that’s up in my projects. That one was sized to fit my pair of Kennedy 520 machinist boxes underneath on the shelf. Unfortunately that basically required all new lumber, rather than what I had originally purchased.

Therefore, this bench is made up of a 4×10 cut down to 5ft and a bit, with a few 2×4’s glued up to make a 3.25” x 12.75” slab, pictured here with my scrub plane.

The legs and frame are made up of pallet 2×4s. My brother has a bit of a collection from working at a data center that got a number of industrial air conditioners replaced and being allowed to take the giant, beefy pallets home after that work was done. These were identified clearly as heat treated only and grabbed before they spent too much time in the weather, so there’s a lot of pretty good lumber in there.

We spent a day with his table saw and compound mitre saw cutting the pieces so that it was basically a glue up for me for 90% of the joinery. For example, see how the legs are assembled:

This makes for a hell-for-stout bench when finished. I haven’t decided on how the tool tray will be designed/assembled yet. I need to contemplate that for a bit. It will likely involved a plywood bottom and some kind of joinery for the sides, but I’m not entirely sure yet.

That’s it for this update. Next time: why I don’t like cutting the angled mortises, but the lessons I learned along the way….



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