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Haunched tenons on Workbench

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Phil Pascoe

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It's not a silly question at all - if the the only thing preventing racking is tenons through the top why have a frame? Just legs will be adequate.
 

Adam W.

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It has legs with stretchers at the bottom. The stretchers are dry fit tenoned into the legs.

A bench top with legs makes a frame, so yes it's a silly question..
 

tibi

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From most of your replies, I have found out that my tenons are too short. I made them as long as I was allowed so that I could saw out 4 tenons before lamination from the middle board of the leg. Sawing out 4 tenons out of 16 in total is not much of a help, so I can move the legs closer to each other and make the tenons longer (as the boards are already sawn to approximate length).

My original tenons did have only 1 top shoulder and no shoulders on their sides. Do tenons always need to have shoulders on their sides or they can also be as wide as a thickness of a board?
How far from the front of the leg should the mortice be so that I do not break the edge when prying?

Thank you.
 

Tezza1

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The tenons into the bench top look a little short to me. I would make them 100mm others will have a better idea.

Cheers James
Hi James

Impressed with your choice of material. The final look should be very impressive. My own hand made workbench was hand made using wedged through haunched mortice and tennons for the upper rails (front to back) the lower ones were through mortice and tennons again wedged. The lower joints constructed at different heights so as not to impact each other. I am a little unsure as to your reasoning in using stub tennons to locate the top as this would restrict expansion in the worktop. Surely better to allow the top to " move". Hope you enjoy your project.
 

Jacob

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Time to launch my bench picture again for the 100th time! This is an example of the standard British bench as used by the trade, school, colleges everywhere, in the old days when woodwork was a major industry. For some reason it has gone right out of fashion and doesn't even feature in the various modern books on the subject.
But it is a simple design, resolves all the "bench" problems, easy and cheap to build, practical.
Because its been expunged from the record everybody building a bench nowadays thinks they've got to design their own, and they get ever more ingenious, over-built and complicated. Some designs involve two or three times as much material as needed and will be incredibly heavy, for no obvious purpose.
Back to basics - especially for first benches, which if you get right will probably see you out, you wont need another one!

bench1.jpg
 
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Adam W.

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From most of your replies, I have found out that my tenons are too short. I made them as long as I was allowed so that I could saw out 4 tenons before lamination from the middle board of the leg. Sawing out 4 tenons out of 16 in total is not much of a help, so I can move the legs closer to each other and make the tenons longer (as the boards are already sawn to approximate length).

My original tenons did have only 1 top shoulder and no shoulders on their sides. Do tenons always need to have shoulders on their sides or they can also be as wide as a thickness of a board?
How far from the front of the leg should the mortice be so that I do not break the edge when prying?

Thank you.
Here's mine.

4" thick top from 2" stock. Legs laminated to form full width tenon which goes straight through the top 2" from the edge. No glue, no pegs. The big tenon is visible middle left.

No issues with anything after a long time using it. I can lift off the top with a hoist if I want to dismantle the bench for any reason.

IMG_0279.JPG
 

Ttrees

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Each to their own regarding bench design.
We all have our own reasons, might try and make a posh version of Jacob's tin of lead beans someday.
I'm sure someone like CS is on it already though, likely titled "The Bachelors bench"
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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My bench has a 1” high x 3” long tenon (base is Jarrah) into a 3 1/2” thick European Oak top. Although the tenons are pegged, the top is heavy and unlikely to move.



The tenons for the stretchers are draw-bored. The mortice is 3” deep and the tenon is 4” wide with (legs are 5” wide and 3” deep). No haunches here.



The bench is bloody heavy and has not moved a mm since I built it 9 years ago ..



Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Jacob

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Each to their own regarding bench design.
Only if you've thoroughly investigated the traditional offerings first. The first and foremost rule of good design is to copy.
We all have our own reasons, might try and make a posh version of Jacob's tin of lead beans someday.
I'm sure someone like CS is on it already though, likely titled "The Bachelors bench"
It's two bean cans with melted lead, quite posh enough as they are! About 3 kg each I seem to recall. Also have a nice posh trad 5kg cast iron weight and a 6kg piece of railway line. I call them my "gravity clamps" and use them a lot, sometimes with my beam clamp gizmo.
 
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Cabinetman

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From most of your replies, I have found out that my tenons are too short. I made them as long as I was allowed so that I could saw out 4 tenons before lamination from the middle board of the leg. Sawing out 4 tenons out of 16 in total is not much of a help, so I can move the legs closer to each other and make the tenons longer (as the boards are already sawn to approximate length).

My original tenons did have only 1 top shoulder and no shoulders on their sides. Do tenons always need to have shoulders on their sides or they can also be as wide as a thickness of a board?
How far from the front of the leg should the mortice be so that I do not break the edge when prying?

Thank you.
On your drawing your rails are made up of two pieces of wood glued together, the shorter outer one forms the shoulder on that side and with the massiveness of the whole structure I think you can safely not have a shoulder on the other side- sure it won’t distort!
As you have a piece of 1”? Wood on the front, the mortise will be set back at least that amount so I don’t think you need have any worries about splitting the leg.
Not sure about your question re not having shoulders at all, without shoulders the wood/rail will be the same section as the m/hole and the only thing setting the length of the rail will be the depth of that hole. Hope this helps. Ian
 

GregW

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Tension rises 😂 I start ******** bricks 🧱 in a minute, instead gave 5 min relax break 🤣🤣🤣

Comment says:
“First workers after lockdown distance learning courses”

9FAD5933-26A7-441B-A979-03338C920693.jpeg
 

thetyreman

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Time to launch my bench picture again for the 100th time! This is an example of the standard British bench as used by the trade, school, colleges everywhere, in the old days when woodwork was a major industry. For some reason it has gone right out of fashion and doesn't even feature in the various modern books on the subject.
But it is a simple design, resolves all the "bench" problems, easy and cheap to build, practical.
Because its been expunged from the record everybody building a bench nowadays thinks they've got to design their own, and they get ever more ingenious, over-built and complicated. Some designs involve two or three times as much material as needed and will be incredibly heavy, for no obvious purpose.
Back to basics - especially for first benches, which if you get right will probably see you out, you wont need another one!

View attachment 118195
very similar to the one I made, what book is that from jacob?
 

Jacob

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very similar to the one I made, what book is that from jacob?
"Joinery & Carpentry " ed. Richard Greenhalgh, New Era Publications. Excellent 6 volume set - one of the best old woodwork text books you can get, from before the age of gadgets, jigs, digital devices and other nonsense!
 
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