Bench. Small is beautiful

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Jacob

New Luddism. Awake and resist!
Joined
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Got rid of my enormous double bench

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Very pleased with small replacement:

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What I've realised somewhat late in the day is that I never needed such a whopper, but it seemed a good idea at the time nearly 40 years ago
What I really needed was a small bench and a table for the rammel. They are both small enough to move about if necessary and the table can be folded and put away. Suddenly got much more space!
Oh well, better late than never!
The chap who took the big one away has crammed it into a small garage. I might have to drop him a hint that he doesn't need it - keep the vice use bench for firewood - or he may take 40 years to work it out for himself.

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I've always had a fondness for that standard pattern of workbench. It's actually very similar to mine which is an Ulmia bench with just the one wide surface, a tool well and rear upstand, which I suspect may be slightly longer than yours, and maybe narrower. I think possibly being longer may be because mine has a tail vise which I've always found useful along with it's row of dog holes, plus dogs. Many moons ago I added three holes in the top into which I put the metal collars for a couple of Record(?) holdfasts, another feature I like. In truth, if I really had to I could live without both the dogs and dog holes and the holdfast provision, but those additions are very handy.

I'm guessing your new bench is one you knocked together yourself over a couple of days allowing for such things as basic machining, gluing up the laminated top, and so on. Looks sturdy, practical and without unnecessary bells and whistles. Slainte.
 
I've always had a fondness for that standard pattern of workbench. It's actually very similar to mine which is an Ulmia bench with just the one wide surface, a tool well and rear upstand, which I suspect may be slightly longer than yours, and maybe narrower. I think possibly being longer may be because mine has a tail vise which I've always found useful along with it's row of dog holes, plus dogs. Many moons ago I added three holes in the top into which I put the metal collars for a couple of Record(?) holdfasts, another feature I like. In truth, if I really had to I could live without both the dogs and dog holes and the holdfast provision, but those additions are very handy.

I'm guessing your new bench is one you knocked together yourself over a couple of days allowing for such things as basic machining, gluing up the laminated top, and so on. Looks sturdy, practical and without unnecessary bells and whistles. Slainte.
er - actually more like a couple of weeks!
It's a version of the text book standard as found in
https://tooltique.co.uk/shop/rare-s...rpentry-and-joinery-books-richard-greenhalgh/which I've been plugging for years as the best bench design.
Not dissimilar from Paul Sellers offering, or Robert Wearings, great minds think alike!


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I'm aware you're a fan of that style of bench, and I'm pretty sure I've seen the scanned image from Greenhalgh's book of the bench in earlier posts of yours. I've never seen the book you referenced though, not that I think that matters. Your version, I see, varies from the drawing in that your wide apron runs up to the top of the bench surface, whereas the illustration shows the apron running up only to the underside of the top. Personally I'd use the latter arrangement if I was making this type of bench, but I don't think there's much in it either way.

I don't know much about what Paul Sellers says, does or promotes nowadays although I'm aware of him, obviously: I just don't bother looking. Bob Wearing is a different matter as he was one of my tutors and I remember him providing drawings for some of his devices, including one for a workbench very similar to the one you've built. Slainte.
 
I'm aware you're a fan of that style of bench, and I'm pretty sure I've seen the scanned image from Greenhalgh's book of the bench in earlier posts of yours. I've never seen the book you referenced though, not that I think that matters.
It's a brilliant little set of 6 vols. My favourite. I didn't pay £90 though! Probably a tenner or so. Bench and other basics in vol1 written by Corkhill. Could think of it as the "Corkhill" bench
Your version, I see, varies from the drawing in that your wide apron runs up to the top of the bench surface, whereas the illustration shows the apron running up only to the underside of the top. Personally I'd use the latter arrangement if I was making this type of bench, but I don't think there's much in it either way.
I clapped it on instead of putting it underneath in the usual way because it's easier to join - much better stuck firmly on, and makes the narrow top just a bit wider. Also tidier as both aprons line up same width and I'm going to put a board at each end to hold bits n bobs.
It's all glue and screw, except for the eight M&Ts for the frames
I don't know much about what Paul Sellers says, does or promotes nowadays although I'm aware of him, obviously: I just don't bother looking.
He's OK but spreads himself a bit widely! He doesn't promote anything in the way of gadgets and makers, except himself and his own products - a router plane kit and his own books/videos. Bench here.
Bob Wearing is a different matter as he was one of my tutors and I remember him providing drawings for some of his devices, including one for a workbench very similar to the one you've built. Slainte.
PS one big omission from many designs of bench is the single large planing stop as per the Corkhill bench (and mine). This is phenomenally useful and nearly all planing is done against it with no further holding, just sitting loose on the bench. Maybe why I've never felt the need for an end vice.
I'just flipped through some images of benches and it seems only the old ones have the end stop. I see it as as essential as the vice itself.
 
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Wondering about the planing stop (as seen on the "Corkhill" and other old bench designs) and its mysterious omission from so many modern benches - had quick look in Nicholson.
Well it's there and also carefully described. See item marked "a" in the drawing.
https://workingbyhand.wordpress.com/2022/08/07/the-nicholson-bench-1812/It is referred to as the "bench hook" and looks to be about 3" square.
Mine's only 1 1/2" square! Too small? :unsure:
One thing is certain is that it is absolutely essential and I use mine for about 90% of planing. It is as essential as the vice itself.
If it wasn't there I'd nail or clamp on a scrap of ply or something, to make planing possible.
It seems to have been simply "forgotten" and modern benches seem to make up for it with elaborate end-vices and dogs all over the place. But you don't need to clamp most things for planing, you just need a stop, ideally one which knocks down out of the way when not in use.
Next bench, if there is one, I'll make it bigger.
 
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Very nice Jacob :)
What is the material of that top yellow layer in the well? I see that you have it in both old and new workbench, so it must have some special purpose for you.
 
Very nice Jacob :)
What is the material of that top yellow layer in the well? I see that you have it in both old and new workbench, so it must have some special purpose for you.
Just a left over bit of formica from a kitchen job. It may not be tough enough in the long term but it's handy for cleaning off glue, paint etc.
All sorts of patterns available including flowery ones!
 
Wondering about the planing stop (as seen on the "Corkhill" and other old bench designs) and its mysterious omission from so many modern benches - had quick look in Nicholson.
Well it's there and also carefully described. See item marked "a" in the drawing.
I've always known those as bench stops, and I've found them quite handy from time to time. My bench doesn't have a wooden one like yours so I just use one of the bench dogs from the row of dogs as a stop if I need that sort of facility. I suspect you consider a bench stop a more essential piece of kit than I do, but all the same I don't like benches that don't have a stop of some sort. There are just some tasks where a bench stop can't be bettered for holding a piece of wood in place for a particular procedure. Slainte.
 
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I've always known those as bench stops, and I've found them quite handy from time to time. My bench doesn't have a wooden one like yours so I just use one of the bench dogs from the row of dogs as a stop if I need that sort of facility. I suspect you consider a bench stop a more essential piece of kit than I do, but all the same I don't like benches that don't a stop of some sort. There are just some tasks where a bench stop can't be bettered for holding a piece of wood in place for a particular procedure. Slainte.
I use a screwed in piece of 2x1....

I'll get my coat!
 
mine is about 5 foot long, it's good enough for me, I made it that size because nothing else would fit, but it turns out I like it and probably wouldn't want an 8 foot long one even if I had the space for it.
 
...... I suspect you consider a bench stop a more essential piece of kit than I do, but all the same I don't like benches that don't have a stop of some sort. There are just some tasks where a bench stop can't be bettered for holding a piece of wood in place for a particular procedure. ......
Some tasks? Most tasks in fact.
That's what I realised when I saw benches without them. Nearly all planing ops are against the stop, which takes seconds to knock up into place, - no other holding required - drop the workpiece loose on the bench and you are off!
 
Some tasks? Most tasks in fact.
That's what I realised when I saw benches without them. Nearly all planing ops are against the stop, which takes seconds to knock up into place, - no other holding required - drop the workpiece loose on the bench and you are off!
It's the same with a dog. Knock it up, or push it down, and use. Bench stops, or a dog in isolation are fine for planing bits of wood of small width and thickness, but in isolation their pretty useless for working on wide panels. That's when you need to screw or nail another piece of wood somewhere appropriate on the other side of the bench in line with the wooden bench stop to do any planing. Alternatively, fix down a piece spanning the width of the bench and ignore the bench stop to do the same job. With dogs you can trap a wide panel between two dogs, one at each end with the tail vise adjusted to hold the panel.

It all works one way or another. Slainte.
 
I only use wooden bench stops/dogs. Usefull if planing something thin and you accidentally plane the stop its not a problem, Do that with a metal dog or planing stop and you start a whole new grinding/sharpening chapter
 
It's the same with a dog. Knock it up, or push it down, and use. Bench stops, or a dog in isolation are fine for planing bits of wood of small width and thickness, but in isolation their pretty useless for working on wide panels. That's when you need to screw or nail another piece of wood somewhere appropriate on the other side of the bench in line with the wooden bench stop to do any planing. Alternatively, fix down a piece spanning the width of the bench and ignore the bench stop to do the same job. With dogs you can trap a wide panel between two dogs, one at each end with the tail vise adjusted to hold the panel.

It all works one way or another. Slainte.
I'd never thought of of before but a square stop is much useful than a round dog.
Reason is simple - the round dog is effectively in contact at only one point on the workpiece. A 1 /1'2" square stop has a straight edge and is effectively in contact at two points 1 1/2" apart, making the workpiece much more stable.
3" square stop even better!
Thing is - it works in practice and I use the single stop a great deal of the time, even for panels. May have to move it slightly to match the plane stroke but it's sitting loose anyway, not clamped. Also means I can turn it end to end etc without having to loosen and retighten an end vice.
But if doing a lot of wider stuff I'd clamp a piece of ply on the end of the bench - wide enough to have the clamps well back from the reach of the plane.
 
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