Mine’s Bigger

I had a modicum of free time last week, so I took the opportunity to laminate the main benchtop of my new clamp-on workbench.  At 48 inches long, the workbench is essentially the same length as the dining table to which it will clamp.

For a size comparison, that's my current clamp-on workbench in the bottom of the frame.

For a size comparison, that’s my current 31″ clamp-on workbench in the bottom of the frame.

In many ways, this new workbench is the spiritual successor to the planing slab that I unsuccessfully made out of home center douglas fir last year, although not nearly as long or heavy.  I’m hoping that with the inset vise (rather than a proper wagon vise), I’ll have about 44 inches between the dogs.  Compare this to 24 1/4 inches on the Milkman’s Workbench pictured above.

In addition to being much longer, the main benchtop is significantly deeper.  My Milkman’s Workbench has a main benchtop of 6 1/2 inches, and an overall depth of 9 3/8 inches including the face vise.  Compare the new workbench, which will have a main benchtop of 8 13/16 inches deep (I lost just 3/16 inches of nominal depth to jointing).  Add to that about 1 1/2 inches of inner front vise chop and another 5 1/2 inches of fully-extended front vise outer chop and I will be able to support almost 16 inches of work over the length of the front vise.  I plan to make a peg-held support for the right side of the bench so I have full support over the full 48 inches.


Grainy work dungeon photo!

All of this is now dependent on how well I hang the front vise.  I plan to cut dadoes in the underside of the main bench to accept the screws.  Then it’s just a question of drilling holes perfectly straight through the outer chop (without a drill press) and figuring out how to seat the collets into the inner chop perfectly in line with the outer chop holes.

Simple, right?



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