Wood movement question


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Dan beat me to it.

 

Speaking of things that get in the way, the other thing that my leg vise set up is good for is that I don’t have to reach over the shoulder vise to saw dovetails.

It's not a problem:

 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=frank+klausz+dovetail&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=E526913E88DD0441668DE526913E88DD0441668D

 

Also notice how the whole drawer is held in the tail vise...

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I don't see why you'd need to worry about movement across the width of the bench with solid panels as long as everything is a solid panel.  Maybe you have some frames or drawer slides where there woul

I've worked on a few softwood-topped workbenches and it can be sort of liberating.  Just nail whatever stops you need, where you need them, when you need them, into the top.  I also worked in a millwo

Yes.

Also notice how the whole drawer is held in the tail vise...

we aren't talking about a 5 or 6 inch wide drawer,we are talking about a two foot wide chest of drawers or blanket chest that's dovetailed together using half blinds. please go find a video where Frank does something like that using just a shoulder vice......

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we aren't talking about a 5 or 6 inch wide drawer,we are talking about a two foot wide chest of drawers or blanket chest that's dovetailed together using half blinds. please go find a video where Frank does something like that using just a shoulder vice......

I wasn't referring to the use of the shoulder vise in this instance, but the use of the tail vise to hold the entire drawer as in the video clip.  I wouldn't doubt Klausz would ever holding an entire drawer, of any size, in his shoulder vise.  He might choose to but I can't imagine why with the services of a tail vise available only a few feet away.  That said, the option exists since neither vise has a screw to obstruct the holding of any workpiece or subcomponent.

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What if you are dovetailing a large piece? Say, much wider than the clamping surface of the shoulder vise? Would you employ the use of a deadman with some sort of clamp to keep the piece solid?

Yes, you make a freestanding bench slave to hold the other end.  Here's a particularly nice one:

 

http://www.workbenchdesign.net/images/bench/wbslave1640.jpg

 

If you're holding a bloody long piece you'd be better served with a freestanding slave rather than a sliding deadman that can only go the length of the bench, unless you build a true Shaker bench the shortest of which found in a museum is a little longer than 8 feet.  I think they coalesce around an average of 12 feet.  I believe the one in the Landis book is 16 ft. long.

 

Obviously, the slave can be put where you need it, as far away as you need it, in the neighbor's yard if need be.

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I wasn't referring to the use of the shoulder vise in this instance, but the use of the tail vise to hold the entire drawer as in the video clip.  I  doubt Klausz would ever hold an entire drawer, of any size, in his shoulder vise.  He might choose to but I can't imagine why with the services of a tail vise available only a few feet away.  That said, the option exists since neither vise has a guide screw to obstruct the holding of any workpiece or subcomponent.  A situation could arise where one drawer is being held in the tail vise and another in the shoulder vise.  All depends on how you want to work. 

 

http://www.workbenches.se/en/

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This is particularly insightful as a conversation to follow if you do not know an aweful lot about national furniture and different periods of history also. The Norse benches are favored historically by cultures who are not known for huge casework. Consider how long your longest board is or your widest for that matter in the functional furniture of the culture. Ultimately this discussion is a lot like any other. You have to evaluate the likelihood and commonality of running into huge boards in your project flow. And remember that benches are like your mate. She may be beautiful to you, but I prefer mine.

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With a leg vise and a dead man you can edge plane really long boards, that can't be done with a shoulder vice alone.

Just clamp a holding fixture in the tail vise. Back in my days doing finish carpentry I used to plane the edges of 8' stock with no problem.

 

tail-vise.jpg

 

Excuse the mess, I work on that bench six days a week. The tail vise is so versatile I do most of my work with it. One thing that many, including most commercial bench makers, don't understand is that differential spacing of dog holes in the vise vs. in the bench top works much like a quick release vise. Just use different dogs for different lengths of stock. It works on the same principle as a vernier scale. I don't have to turn the vise handle more than six turns to change stock and hold any size up to 7'.

 

The one valid criticism of "Scandinavian" style benches is that the tail vise sags over time because of the cantilever. It's an easy fix to just move the legs back under the vise and eliminate the cantilever as I did on the second bench I made.

 

old-bench.jpg

 

In years of teaching at various schools I've worked on a lot of different benches. I always felt horribly handicapped when I didn't have a good tail vise to work on. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out work-arounds when working on benches not equipped with good tail vises or when things like double screw vises were used on the tail or shoulder.

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Just clamp a holding fixture in the tail vise. Back in my days doing finish carpentry I used to plane the edges of 8' stock with no problem.

 

tail-vise.jpg

 

Excuse the mess, I work on that bench six days a week. The tail vise is so versatile I do most of my work with it. One thing that many, including most commercial bench makers, don't understand is that differential spacing of dog holes in the vise vs. in the bench top works much like a quick release vise. Just use different dogs for different lengths of stock. It works on the same principle as a vernier scale. I don't have to turn the vise handle more than six turns to change stock and hold any size up to 7'.

 

The one valid criticism of "Scandinavian" style benches is that the tail vise sags over time because of the cantilever. It's an easy fix to just move the legs back under the vise and eliminate the cantilever as I did on the second bench I made.

 

old-bench.jpg

 

In years of teaching at various schools I've worked on a lot of different benches. I always felt horribly handicapped when I didn't have a good tail vise to work on. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out work-arounds when working on benches not equipped with good tail vises or when things like double screw vises were used on the tail or shoulder.

 

Thanks for the views of a bench 'at work' Larry.  I'm beginning to think it's a lot easier to pick the right bench when you see that way instead of the pristine 'sales ad' pictures.

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What's great about this thread is the ammount of quality advice, what bad about it is the that very thing. Everyone has mentioned the great points of their chosen design, simple fact is they all work really well, the most important thing is to make one, even if its ply and 2 x 4 and use it for woodworking.

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This is particularly insightful as a conversation to follow if you do not know an aweful lot about national furniture and different periods of history also. The Norse benches are favored historically by cultures who are not known for huge casework. Consider how long your longest board is or your widest for that matter in the functional furniture of the culture. Ultimately this discussion is a lot like any other. You have to evaluate the likelihood and commonality of running into huge boards in your project flow. And remember that benches are like your mate. She may be beautiful to you, but I prefer mine.

Huh?

 

Swedish Gustavian furniture was not small.  Nor was this earlier piece:  http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/storage-case-pieces/corner-cupboards/huge-18th-century-swedish-rococo-corner-cupboard/id-f_839691/

 

German furniture from the relevant periods was enormousness personified. They built and are known for huge casepieces.  Gigantic.  Do a search on "shrank." 

 

The bench is for working on furniture subcomponents and small subassemblies.  If one wants to combine workbench and assembly table all in one then a Scandinavian/Frid/Klausz bench probably isn't the right style to build.  An abbreviated Shaker bench may not serve either. Assembly tables are quite a bit lower than a workbench.

 

http://www.finewoodworking.com/woodworking-plans/article/a-classic-bench.aspx

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I'm quite sure people don't believe the benches are meant to be used from rough board to final assembly. Even Klausz has an assembly table behind his workbench. C Becksvoort has a few as well.

I believe you are standing firm on the topic and as a result telling everyone that doesn't have a Klausz style bench is wrong.

Certainly this can't be true. Many people make darn fine furniture on other styles of benches. The question you are answering is, "is it better for you".

There are many reasons one chooses a particular style of bench over another. I chose the Shaker style. Many others chose a Roubo and other people have the Klausz and I believe only one guy has a Nichelson.

In the end, woodworkers are the best at taking an easy topic and complicating it. I'd talk about sharpening but I'm getting tired of hearing how wrong you think I am.

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I'm quite sure people don't believe the benches are meant to be used from rough board to final assembly. Even Klausz has an assembly table behind his workbench. C Becksvoort has a few as well.

I believe you are standing firm on the topic and as a result telling everyone that doesn't have a Klausz style bench is wrong.

Certainly this can't be true. Many people make darn fine furniture on other styles of benches. The question you are answering is, "is it better for you".

There are many reasons one chooses a particular style of bench over another. I chose the Shaker style. Many others chose a Roubo and other people have the Klausz and I believe only one guy has a Nichelson.

In the end, woodworkers are the best at taking an easy topic and complicating it. I'd talk about sharpening but I'm getting tired of hearing how wrong you think I am.

I wish you the best with your build.  It might be a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor.  If you've revisited an issue or two because of this thread then that's a good thing.

 

Historically, people built certain kinds of benches because they had never seen any other kind.  They lived entire lives never venturing more than twenty or thirty miles from the village where they were born and raised.  We don't have that impediment now.  You've made an informed decision. 

 

Have fun.

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There is a disconnect in your post. You mention it and then source pictures of contrary furniture. The benches featured in this discussion were not in any era used in the construction of massive pieces until this modern century. Even now timber sized projects are not worked on benches that they dwarf. You have to make a distinction between castle sized timbers that were plainly site built and the furniture that filled the homes of the rest of the culture. I can go to museum in any culture and find outliers but to the midden heap go the most. German homes are not known for huge casework. German castles and pubs are. Norse homes are not known for huge casework. I stand by my assessment. Ceiling height in homes is determined by historical norms. Built ins required only a sawyers bench. The crown and apron a stop and holdfast. I am not arguing your theory about use of a shoulder vise. It may be wonderful and I will not try to take that away from you. I do not care. Literally. With my family history I have not invested in a bench yet but I carry with me a dozen ways German craftsman specifically secure boards when away from the benches that are at the heart of the discussion. Benches known by all the old timers as component benches. Component furniture is not timber furniture. Again I want to convey a deep respect for you and your craftsmanship and am only conveying a sincerely deep interest in norms vs outliers.

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It seems to my quite uninformed opinion that these benches grew out of a tradition of not only types of furniture (which surely evolved) but of methods of work.  When you see Klaus talk about his craft he mentions his grandfather and the greater tradition of Hungarian woodworking.  I assume this is the same wherever a strong guild/apprentice system is in place - Japan also comes to mind.

 

So a question that may merit a separate thread but arises out of the discussions in this thread...

 

Does choosing a style of bench also meaning somewhat picking a tradition of woodworking?

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Does choosing a style of bench also meaning somewhat picking a tradition of woodworking?

 

To be honest, I don't know. :)

 

I chose the Shaker style of bench because I love the style of furniture they made. I am also find myself drawn to their way of approaching woodworking. and way of life to a certain degree. As for the size I am making my bench at, it is simply a result of my limited space, and fits my current needs. The BC plans are brilliant. They are so nicely done, that I do not feel the need to deviate very much.

 

I will also be making an assembly table in the same style.

 

My only regret with this bench is not starting it sooner.

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Don't want to give you any more excuses not to start the bench Mel ;)  Oh, and does your wife know about your affinity for the Shaker way of life?!?

 

Just a random thought I had.

 

 

LOL!!! :)

 

That is the one thing I can't understand about their way of life. Just doesn't make sense to me from a human nature point of view. I can't talk about religion on here, or I would have more to say about the topic. Ok, I've said enough. I'll go for now ;)

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Does choosing a style of bench also meaning somewhat picking a tradition of woodworking?

 

Well, I built a Roubo (French) bench for myself. I use Japanese hand tools. And I made this, which is a decidedly American piece. 

 

9619480358_627dc64aec_c.jpg

 

So I would guess the answer is no.

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