Great Grandfather's Workbench Restoration

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tibi

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Hello,

Finally, I have something to post on this section of the forums as well:) This is my first woodworking project of a larger size. I have learned a lot from this project (e.g. when you break off a dovetail pin,you can put there a fake one - in walnut for better contrast)

I have inherited my great-grandfather's workbench that was given to me by my father. My great-grandfather was a woodworker by profession and head of a woodworking manufactory. He built this workbench himself. He passed away in the early 80s. I cannot tell you the exact age of the workbench, but my father remembers seeing it in the 60s, so it must be older than my father.

I have made new legs from beech (except the tusk tenon stretchers, which I retained the original in oak). I have also made new tail vice from scratch, a new well, and some other minor boards were replaced as well. Everything was done by hand, except I used a thickness planer for one face and one edge of the board. I have used cork for the vice lining. But it crumbles, so I think I will replace it soon with something better looking and more durable.

I post some before and after pictures.

T01.jpg

T02.jpg

T03.jpg

T04.jpg

T05.jpg

T06.jpg

T07.jpg
 

Argus

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Very nicely done..... and I do like that neat Dutchman.

It's gratifying to see a venerable old bench back in use again. It will be good for another 80 years.
 

Ttrees

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I'm assuming your very pleased having it both looking great and for your
family history.
Looks like it will be still standing for at least another hundred years.
Best of luck with it.

Just incase you wern't aware as I was, not to use the other side of the tail vice,
and it's only there for alignment.
 

tibi

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I'm assuming your very pleased having it both looking great and for your
family history.
Looks like it will be still standing for at least another hundred years.
Best of luck with it.

Just incase you wern't aware as I was, not to use the other side of the tail vice,
and it's only there for alignment.

Thanks,

I had an idea to use the center part between the screw and the alignment batten as a Moxon vice, but I think that the screw part would pull more and it would rack. And on my bench, there is a little space between the screw and the alignment batten, so it would make no advantage over the shoulder vice.
 

tibi

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Out of interest how did you get the oil stain out??
The bench was cupped up, so I planed most of the stain away and then sanded (coke or baking soda did not help). The bench is still not perfectly flat as there are some horizontal nails near the tail vice that could not be removed and they are just below the top level so I could not plane any further. Part of the stain was in the well and part on the tail vice and both boards got replaced, so the only stain left was on the main board so the area was not so big.
 
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--Tom--

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Your cork looks too thick, a thinner slice wouldn't crumble as easily
I would use some leather as the jaw faces. I have on mine.

Alex.
I’d agree, normally I’ve seen 2mm nitrile bonded cork used - or Crubber as benchcrafted call it

Nice looking bench!
 

OCtoolguy

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Hello,

Finally, I have something to post on this section of the forums as well:) This is my first woodworking project of a larger size. I have learned a lot from this project (e.g. when you break off a dovetail pin,you can put there a fake one - in walnut for better contrast)

I have inherited my great-grandfather's workbench that was given to me by my father. My great-grandfather was a woodworker by profession and head of a woodworking manufactory. He built this workbench himself. He passed away in the early 80s. I cannot tell you the exact age of the workbench, but my father remembers seeing it in the 60s, so it must be older than my father.

I have made new legs from beech (except the tusk tenon stretchers, which I retained the original in oak). I have also made new tail vice from scratch, a new well, and some other minor boards were replaced as well. Everything was done by hand, except I used a thickness planer for one face and one edge of the board. I have used cork for the vice lining. But it crumbles, so I think I will replace it soon with something better looking and more durable.

I post some before and after pictures.

View attachment 134253
View attachment 134254
View attachment 134255
View attachment 134256
View attachment 134257
View attachment 134258
View attachment 134259
Can you possibly point out what pieces were retained besides the iron parts? It appears that you built a new bench.
A job very nicely done.
 

tibi

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Your cork looks too thick, a thinner slice wouldn't crumble as easily
I would use some leather as the jaw faces. I have on mine.

Alex.
Thanks, this is the only cork I have found in home depot kind of store, so that is why I used it. Once it destroys itself, I would replace it with some leather ( I would like to start leatherworking next winter, as it is too cold in my workshop for woodworking) so I might have some suitable pieces available.
 

tibi

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I’d agree, normally I’ve seen 2mm nitrile bonded cork used - or Crubber as benchcrafted call it

Nice looking bench!
I have already ordered a much thinner (might be 2 mm) cork with a self sticking tape on the other side. Hope it will look neater than this thick cork pot stand, that I have used here. I will replace it, because this cork is the ugliest thing on the whole bench.
 

tibi

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Some lessons learned after the first use of the workbench:

1. Have removed the thick cork. It looked ugly and it has reduced my capacity for the shoulder vice a lot (the picture is from the tail vice). I will add 2mm cork, as some of you have suggested.
IMG_1096.JPG


2. I wanted to make some quick bench dogs. I have seen people use ball catch for straight dowels to add friction, but I do not know how reliable they are. I have read some complaints about them. So instead I have drilled a pilot hole 1cm below the notch and added a simple screw with half-rounded head and countersunk it. Now I can control with a turn of a screwdriver how much friction I want for each particular hole. Later I want to make a dedicated bench dog for each hole, as it is so simple.
IMG_1097.JPG


3. The wedges from the tusk tenons ejected themselves after brief planing and the workbench rocked and wobbled.
As I live in my own house and I do not plan to move away from here, I have decided to drawbore the wedges with unglued dowels. Dowels can be easily punched out and in the worst case I can make new wedges with new offset holes. This has removed any wobbling or rocking. I have offset the hole in the wedge up and to the right (in this picture), so it brought the wedge down and to the left (on the other side it was up and to the left).
IMG_1098.JPG


4. The bench is very light so during any moderate to heavy planning, sawing, and shooting on the board it traveled along. I have made a U shape enclosure that I have screwed to the wooden floor. It can now be easily pulled out and cleaned under. It now stays solid on the floor.
IMG_1101.JPG
 

Inspector

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I'm sure your grandfather would be happy knowing it is in use once more.

I really liked the way he sculpted the tail vice and think that classic detail should be put back as that side wasn't meant to be used anyway.

A tool box with drawers made to fit and fastened between the legs, sitting on the rails, would stiffen the bench and the weight would add stability.

Pete
 

tibi

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I'm sure your grandfather would be happy knowing it is in use once more.

I really liked the way he sculpted the tail vice and think that classic detail should be put back as that side wasn't meant to be used anyway.

A tool box with drawers made to fit and fastened between the legs, sitting on the rails, would stiffen the bench and the weight would add stability.

Pete
Maybe I will sculpt some figure there in the future in my spare time, but now I just wanted to make it functional first so that I have a solid bench to work on other pieces.
 

thetyreman

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nice bench, I wish I had an heirloom piece like this from my grandparents, I'm sure he'd be proud, good to see it being used again.
 

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