Shaker Workbench


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Whoa, whoa, wait a minute!  I said it's your bench and you should build whatever makes you happy, but you do NOT have permission to do that.  There's a line, Mel...don't cross it.  I'll put in a request that you be banned from the forum. :D

 

Don't ban me just yet...

 

You're right about one thing, I am hung up on tradition. For better or worse, that's who I am. I don't want to get into a debate about materials again, but I don't use ply for anything I build. This is my struggle with following the BC plans (which are really the Brese plans) in the first place. Yes, they make some very fine things. They used ply to get around the wood movement issues, and I don't have an issue with that. Heck, even Marc (who builds lots of things out of ply) said that he would never use ply for a bench. I believe he said it just didn't sit well with him. And my gut (which is quite substantial) is telling me I'd regret building mine out of ply. My logical side is telling me to do it, because it's easier, cheaper and much quicker of a build.

 

I am not sure what's gonna happen. Right now, I am leaning towards the idea of making it with maple and flame maple. Although I do like the idea of a painted bench. I will either follow what Jameel and Ron Brese did and use ply, or go the maple route and use all hardwood. Or perhaps I'll use ply for the inside for the cabinets innards, and use maple on the outside.

 

I plan on buying my materials for the base/cabinet next weekend. I don't know which way I'll go. 

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Well, regardless of whether this bench is made out of ply, walnut, padauk, maple, ebony or gingerbread, I wanna see the damn progress build on this thing! 

You guys must pay a lot of shipping charges sending that no 7 back and forth to each other.

I do agree with Tony. I am that much of a monster that I would edge glue EWP or similar and treat it like ply and forget any movement issues.   Mel, I'm so looking forward to this build. If I could

...even Marc (who builds lots of things out of ply) said that he would never use ply for a bench. I believe he said it just didn't sit well with him.

 

I think you're taking it out of context.  If you asked him, if he was building the Shaker bench instead of the split-top, if he would be using ply for the cabinets...I'd bet my LN#7 he'd say yes.  If he ever got on the forum anymore he could tell us.  This is only a test...

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Friends have been sending me quotes on craftsmanship.  One was," A man who works with his hands is a laborer.  A man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman.  A man who works with his hands, his brain, and his heart is an artist".  I say, let the artist flow, and don't call it a "Shaker' bench anymore. 

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Hey Mel

 I look forward to the building of this bench your about to undertake .  The Shaker bench is on my list , I'm in need of a better bench .  About the "gut thing" go with it . If your anything like me once I get something deep down and don't follow my gut  I usually regret it for not listening to that little voice that said " I told you not to do it like that " .  Go with it !

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Well, regardless of whether this bench is made out of ply, walnut, padauk, maple, ebony or gingerbread, I wanna see the damn progress build on this thing! 
  I have the BC vices so far. That's progress ;)   In all seriousness, I plan on buying stuff this week/weekend and starting on it very shortly after. I am in the middle of writing a heck of a paper for my business class. That's another story all together... I'll have a break after class on monday to get this thing started.   Tom, I agree with most of that quote. It's a good one!   Jerry, Thanks for the push. I may paint it, If I do I'll use ply. I'll know after monday. 
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Mel- with all love and respect, If i had the time to make this bench that you have taken to think about which wood to use, it would be built already.

The bench is a tool.

My bench is a well warn 2" particle board door screwed to a metal welding table. It hasn't prevented me from making a living, or sleeping at night. :/

Why don't you build the bench First and make the cabinets after the main bench is built? That way, you can chew on the cabinet ideas while you build the part you're confirmed on.

You will feel great when you get into the groove of making your new bench.

Go for it!

Happy building!

Sent from my thumbs

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For people who are taller, they prefer a higher bench top. This method could be very useful in the shaker design, where you could set the top higher, and build the cabinets set to the standard height for a 34" bench. This would give you some clearance for holdfasts along the bench top. Mel, how tall are you? :)

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Mel- with all love and respect, If i had the time to make this bench that you have taken to think about which wood to use, it would be built already.

 

I've built a couple benches quickly, and I've hated them. 

 

Truth is, I think about my real bench when I should be doing other things. Like writing papers... or at work... 

 

The other point of building the cabinets later may be moot. In the BC design, the cabinet is the base. In the Hancock (and most other Shaker designs) there is a definite frame, to which the cabinet is added to. When it's nekkid, it kind of looks like every other bench without a cabinet.

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I've built a couple benches quickly, and I've hated them.

Truth is, I think about my real bench when I should be doing other things. Like writing papers... or at work...

The other point of building the cabinets later may be moot. In the BC design, the cabinet is the base. In the Hancock (and most other Shaker designs) there is a definite frame, to which the cabinet is added to. When it's nekkid, it kind of looks like every other bench without a cabinet.

I would never encourage someone to rush a project. I'm just encouraging you to get started!

There must be some work you can do before deciding upon the cabinet material. My point is, once you get going you'll figure it out.

Sent from my thumbs

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That first one looks like something Santa's elves work on.  The second one is the shiz...too bad it's painted.  And why does the shoulder vise protrude like that?  What does he do when he needs to joint a 20 foot board? :D

 

I think I'll paint mine. Just for you :) 

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You guys must pay a lot of shipping charges sending that no 7 back and forth to each other.

I haven't lost yet :) But I have a good feeling I'll have another #7 by the end of the week! As soon as Marc chimes in on the topic as raised by Eric earlier. :)

I already have the low angle version, now I'll have the standard version as well ;)

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Hey Mel, I don't know you other than your personality on the forum, but I will say this much: Use the wood.

If it was me, I would use the plywood, but then again, I am more comfortable using plywood as I have worked with it more extensively than solid wood! There is a place for plywood, after all, if you have worked with veneer, then in a way you have worked with plywood too! This just might not be the right time for you to delve into ply and that is probably what is holding you back. You know the original plan calls for ply, but you would rather use wood. Then go for it, use some #2 maple edge glued or biscuit joined and just accommodate its seasonal movement. Save the paint for that bird house ;-)

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