Workbenches


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I'm intimate with the difference the "t" makes.  I've spent the better part of 50 years explaining the difference to people.

 

Looks like you're making pretty good use of that corner.  Keep fighting the good fight.  I've done my share of apartment woodworking ... with the downstairs neighbor banging her ceiling with a broom handle.

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All of these benches are "alright" compared to my $150 harbor freight bench!!

I love this thread. I also really like my Roubo. I've already done a thread on it. But here's a couple of pictures for you all.        

Thanks!   It is..  Just wish I'd of made better wood and vise selections.   It will always be in my shop as it was my first build.  Was also my first attempt at MT joinery as well.

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Finally decided to weigh in on this topic. My "bench" is a slab of construction 2 x 4s laminated together. They were leftovers from another project, and are only 4 feet long. I drilled some dog holes down one side, and screwed the slab to the lower support arms of a weightlifting squat rack in my garage. The whole thing isn't very massive, or very stable. I have to clamp a board to the bench and brace it against a wall stud whenever I hand-plane anything. Poor as it is, it is VASTLY more useful than the plywood & sawhorses I was using before!

 

Maybe someone will want to copy my 'side vice' design ...

 

med_gallery_14065_819_120717.jpg

 

Sorry about the lighting. My garage is a bit dim, and I was using some spot lighting to help me see the work as I eased the end of that table leg.

Anyway, the 'vice' is just a couple of bar clamps jammed into dog holes from underneath, with a loose board to server as the 'chop'. I watched too many MacGuyver episodes as a teenager ....

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Some pics from a couple years ago when it was newly completed...much dirtier and more banged up now.  I have a new one in the works right now (by in the works I mean in sketchup).  This is a good bench but its only about 5 1/2 feet long. I just bought my first house and now will have more space (and won't be moving again any time soon) so I'm planning am 8-10 footer, which, as much as I like the english style, will be of a different design.

 

 

IMG_0240.JPG

 

IMG_0249.JPG

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I ordered the first book. It should be here today. I have looked through it, but all the talk about it on here makes me want to own it.

 

I also ordered the DVD with Chris Schwarz making the Roubo. It's only 35 minutes or so, so I really don't espect much, but I'll take all the help I can get! :)

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I ordered the first book. It should be here today. I have looked through it, but all the talk about it on here makes me want to own it.

 

I also ordered the DVD with Chris Schwarz making the Roubo. It's only 35 minutes or so, so I really don't espect much, but I'll take all the help I can get! :)

 

There's this guy named Marc Spagnuolo who did a video series on building a Roubo.

Don't know if you've heard of him, but it's a pretty helpful series.

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There's this guy named Marc Spagnuolo who did a video series on building a Roubo.

Don't know if you've heard of him, but it's a pretty helpful series.

 

I am thinking about it! $100 seems a little steep. I am sure it's worth it :)

 

We'll see how far the DVD I have coming in gets me. If I have major issues the $100 will be a steal, but I have a strong feeling I'll be ok with a set of basic plans.

 

I wish I was a guild member when that came out! I am planning on signing up soon, I'm just waiting for the right project :)

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The guild's videos are well worth it if you are going Benchcrafted...  The utility drops-off if you go Veritas or a pattern vice, et al...  But, it's still good for the introductory info on milling big sticks, if you've never done that before...

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I have some other bench-building DVD's. This is likely the cause of my apprehension. Not because they are bad, but because they are so good!

 

The Benchcrafted stuff looks impressive, but I'm not sure I can justify the expense right now.

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Hey Mel,

 

Glad to hear you ordered the first book.  

I will be doing the same thing, and I have the same feelings regarding the guild.

 

The Benchcrafted stuff is very expensive.  

I'd rather see him target the average woodworker rather than those with a lot of money.

It seems like he'd sell a lot more too.  Although I'm happy to see his products made in the USA.  

 

 

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Got the first Schwarz workbench book yesterday, and it's great! I really like the planing accessory near the end of the book, I'll be building that! I think its called a planing board. My memory isn't working this morning!

 

I'll give the book a through read-through and see all about it once these pesky papers are finished for my class.

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Don't think I have trotted this thing out in a while so why not?  This is my Roubo with a German flair in the form of a sliding leg vise.  I love it and it has never let me down.  It is massive which is the number 1 advantage.  It is built from Ash.  The wagon vise is great to have but honestly I think it gets overrated (not the maker, just the principle) as most of the time I'm just working against a stop without needing to pinch the work with a vise.  The leg vise is the best thing I ever did for my work.  The slider doesn't get used much in tandem with the stationary leg vise but when the need arises it is the BEST solution I know of.  Usually the slider lives on the other side of the bench and functions like a second leg vise which is great for setting up "stations" on your bench top.  eg: miter box or shooting board holder or mortise block while sawing tenons on the front leg vise.

IMG_0492-e1379604730579.jpg

 

It is set at typical joiners bench height so the drawback is very low for dovetailing and carving work.  So I built my Joinery bench to handle that.  All built from Douglas Fir and the chop is Sapele.  I love it and though truly a luxury to have both, it will save your back on a blanket chest or chest of drawers and if you do any carving it is worth its weight in gold.

 

JoineryBench.jpg

 

As usual, both builds are pretty well covered on my blog if you want more details.  Or ask questions here.  I love me some workbench talk!

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Shannon, it's funny I was just watching the wagon vise install before coming over here and finding your post. My bench is in 'back of my mind planning' phase because I'm moving soon.

It looks daunting -- especially for a person without a single power tool. How would you do it differently now?

(Hopefully not too much of a high jack)

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An interesting note on height that two benches are useful. I initially went for 38" which is 4" higher than our regular workshop benches. With the top now attached to my bench my 38" height instantly feels crazy high for me (6ft tall). Part of that is I guess I am very used to a 34" high bench the other part is that at such a high level of 38" only the first 9" of bench width feels comfortable to use. I cut of 1 1/2" from the height and it feels initially a nice balance of non back breaking but low enough to reach across in comfort.

Tony, Wilbur Pan is Re Posting his Roubo build http://giantcypress.net/post/61579252872/building-a-roubo-workbench-rerun-24 and it is a very good series.

 

Sweet benches Shannon.

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Graham,

I agree it is an interesting note on the height of the bench. I experimented with different heights before finally settling on building my Roubo at 37-1/2" high. I'm just a shade over 6'1" tall and for me 37-1/2" high seemed to work out perfectly. Most of what I see out there seems to be 35" and I find that a little low for my tastes.

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The blue book is a must read! It doesn't matter if you think you have the perfect bench or not! :)

It's just filled with insightful stuff, that makes you think! :) lol

Also, the Schwarz DVD on making the Roubo is the best $25 I've spent in a long time. Short and sweet! Perfect for me. I believe the intended audience is someone like me... Pretty handy and knowledgable with a firm understanding of woodworking principles.

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For those that enjoy reading about bench builds, I have documented all on my website. Just scroll down ...

 

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools/index.html

 

TooltrayWithaDifference_html_m5de0b7e3.j

 

This has a Jarrah base, 3 1/2' thick European Oak top, a wooden screw leg vise (with chain driven parallel guide), and a Benchcrafted end vise.

 

There are a few novel features, such as tool trays attached to the wall rather than the bench ...

 

TooltrayWithaDifference_html_m74f6cf70.j

 

.. and houndstooth dovetailed end cap ...

 

BuidingaBench4_html_m6fac05e5.jpg

 

Plus a review here of the AYS chain adjuster ...

 

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/AYSLegViseChainAdjuster.html

 

AYSLegViseChainAdjuster_html_5654bec3.jp

 

Hope this helps someone.

 

Regards from Perth

 

Derek

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