British Joiners Bench

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Oh fer cryin' out loud!!!  If you don't put that video back up I'm never watching another of yours again.   A tool is no more dangerous than the hands of the person using it.  You clearly demonstrat

I vote this the best WTO forum journal thus far.  Videos, B&W got it all!  Except a router.  Get a router dude.

The idiot who posted something about that being dangerous needs to stay in bed.  Bad things can happen to you if you get out of bed in the morning.

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Thanks all, those very kind words are appreciated. Eric, just to make you feel better you might notice in video 2 the lights are on in the machine shop. That's because it was raining so hard I could not shoot a vid (metal roof makes it rather noisy!) and I needed to cut the boards to length. Which I did on one of these  :D.


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Hi James, it's a Samsung Galaxy S3 smart phone. If I had to improve quality of filming my first stop would be lighting and sound, the phone shoots in HD so it's not too bad really. Do you use your I phone? Yours seem very sharp too. 

I do use an iphone.The smart phones these days have very good HD cameras. I added a cheap shop light with 100 watt daylight CFL and am thinking about adding one more light once I get around to making more videos. Right now I am busy trying to finish up a couple projects. I think I am also going to get one of these GorillaPod's to mount the iphone on for more stability.

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It is done.............I need to sleep............Had to finish and dressing up to follow..................... made it to zombie mode...think we've all been there. :)   Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

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Ok It's done  B)




This is the second free time woodworking project completed this year, the first being the Tool Chest. It will be good to to make something other than shop furniture for a while. The next project is James 10 x 10 and then a while fettling the tools I have. Who knows after that but some furniture is on the cards. Any way, back to the bench.




Now the vice, I like it, should you build one? Dunno, not sure many would like it, it is in my view inferior to a quick release Record type vice and inferior in most respects to a leg vice. That said I don't give a monkeys, it looks good on this bench and is adequate for what I want. I was stuck for a while in so far as how to decorate the edges rather than just leaving them clumpy. Enter the moulding plane, previous owner G.S.H




This subtle lambs tongue moulding was just right. A profile used by a joiner when making sashes and owned by my Great Grandfather.




This is a little hard to see but at the front of the plane there are some pencil lines radiating out from the sole. I had largely ignored them but as soon as I used the plane I looked down and the lines we perfectly placed to help sight a correctly applied moulding. Thanks for the help G.S.H






One thing for sure is that moulding planes are easily a rabbit hole I could get lost in. Larry Williams DVD on these planes although sadly it looks to be dropped from Lie-Nielsen's site.



For the vice handle I used a reject stair spindle and knocked it down to size with my jack plane and eased the edges further with a smoothing plane. To prevent it slipping through I used some large cupboard knobs that actually complimented the vice quite nicely.




So I grabbed a couple of leftover bits of wood and had a quick play around with a few tasks. The bench stop offers another benefit I had not anticipated which is an anchor point for morticing work. With the stock in this position over the apron all the energy goes straight into morticing with no bounce or movement wasting energy.




The bench stop is quite a good size at 2.5" x 2.5" and offers a really great solid planing stop and it works well when combined with Richard Maguire's Holdfast and batten Method.




The good thing about this bench is full support on board edges. I know I will have to come up with workarounds for the clamping to the top but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.




Thanks to anyone who chipped in with a comment and I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have.


Just one last photo, this Dude is G.S.H, note the shiny saw plate, legend  :).



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Sweet bench, Graham!  Good on ya for staying true to yourself, doing something different, and not hopping on the Roubo wagon.  Is there a particular reason you didn't work a tail vise into the design?  Love me some tail vise. :)

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My first though was this bench does everything a bench with a leg and tail vise does only it's far simpler.

And way less expensive!


I'm a noob but.... why would I need a tail vise for this bench?  

Isn't that what the bench stop is for?


I love the simplicity.  

This could be a noob's first bench until he realizes he'll never need to upgrade it.


I'm a power tool guy, but I don't see the difference that makes.  

I might of found the bench I'm going to build.




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Thanks sjeff70. I think the tail vice is a very appropriate way to secure stock and I can't confirm just now if what I have here will do the job as well. My gut says it will be just fine, wagon and tail vices are not common in the narrative of British style workbenches (that I know of) and we were able to knock up half reasonable stuff.


Your right on cost too, it's a very cheap build. The vice is a tricky one, the one here is OK and it looks nice on the bench. A leg vice would cost about the same to build as I would only use a £15.00 vice screw anyway and a leg vice would be lest prone to rack.


To make it even easier to build you can lap joint the leg frames together and not bother with the mortice and tenons. Also having the apron flush is perhaps not completely essential for 99.9% of tasks. Not making them flush would also save time.

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Terrific looking bench, Graham! And thanks for the all the write ups. I’ve had a great time following along.


One thing for sure is that moulding planes are easily a rabbit hole I could get lost in. Larry Williams DVD on these planes although sadly it looks to be dropped from Lie-Nielsen's site.



Lie-Nielsen still lists Larry Williams’ DVD:


You could also order directly from Larry and Don:

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