It’s That Time, Again

I’m taking another crack at a Stent Panel-style workbench.  In truth, I am basically copying one of the Shaker workbenches from the Pleasant Hill village in Kentucky.  Well, sort of.  I’m skipping the skewed vise-leg and the integrated tail vise.  But it will be stretcher-less, 36″ high, a shade over 7 feet long, and between 20 and 22″ deep.  The front legs will be flush to the benchtop and the back legs kick out at a 13° angle. It’ll have a tripod bench slave to match.

The foundation of the workbench is a 125″ long, 13″ wide piece of 16/4 ash.  From that, I was able to make four legs (approximately 3″ x 4″) and a slab top that is about 88″ long, 12.75″ wide and 3.75″ thick.  I will extend the benchtop by mortising a few supports into the back edge and adding an 8/4 ash shelf.  This will give me solid wood only where I need it and theoretically allow me to switch in a tool well if I ever go to the dark side.

IMG_20180721_155137.jpg

I left a bit of roughness on the underside to preserve as much thickness as possible.

There will be a proper leg vise (the chop for which is salvaged from another project).  I broke out the wood threader and made a couple of 1.5″ hard maple screws.  I have yet to decide whether to use a proper pin board parallel guide or whether to use some sort of dowel/wedge combination.  I like the idea of the wedge, but I’d rather it not be loose on the floor.  I wonder if a relatively-interference-fit guide rod and one of those plastic shim sets would eliminate the need for a wedge or pin board.

IMG_20180728_114522.jpg

When setup takes precision, always make a spare.

I also need to shape a hub and figure out a garter situation.  It’s tough without a lathe, but I can probably hand carve something.  Although not strictly necessary (because of my Crucible Tools holdfast and collection of does’ feet), I plan to add my Veritas inset vise to this workbench.  I really like this piece of hardware and think it needs to make a comeback in my life.

IMG_20180721_155330.jpg

I am skipping the Roubo sliding dovetail joint as well.

By now, you’re probably asking: what is wrong with your current workbench, James?  Nothing, really.  But I’ve never really been happy with it.  The shelf attracts clutter and I foolishly never incorporated a sliding deadman.  It’s also too low for my tastes.  34″ is great for hand planing thick stock, but literally any other operation is torture on my back.  I’m not as young as I used to be, after all.

And it will make me happy. And that’s the point, isn’t it?

In a couple of weeks, my old workbench will go up for sale.  Including the vise, I’ll probably sell it for $900.  I just want to make back the cost of the materials (including the vise).  I’ll even throw in the screw-driven crochet.

JPG

3 comments

  1. Nice job! Can’t wait to see that workbench. Love following you! I was wondering, which kind or brand of wood threader do you use? And are are you using a dowel or rough stock that you shaped for the screw?
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s