How do I make my life easier?

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Iroko loco!
18 Nov 2012
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In me workshop
Vice would be still in the way for me,
i.e full access to taking shavings (never crossgrain though) as far into the bench as needed,
meaning my hip would bash into the retracted vice.

My bad, I shoulda thought about it before giving a really simple example.
I clamp stuff to my bench all the time, and often the clamps need a deep reach to do what I want,
i.e working profiles on the end of a beam, vice in centre wouldn't do that either.
Not going to clutter Beartricks thread with pictures of all the times I've needed clamps for the job.

I just can't see any reason to want an apron whatsoever, unless one wants a potting bench or has much reason for one.
Pondering a bit more about the bench, it seems a lot more trouble than its worth for me, which sounds the opposite case for your work.
The whole thing doesn't strike me as something which would be appreciated compared to something else, apart from minimal materials used, which say for pine/softwoods isn't a big deal anyway.

I see it as more of a site bench than cabinetry.
To me mainly planing timbers on the bench is an absolute fundimental, and a proper flat surface is a seriously underrated tool which is used by very very few.
Evident by anyone who's seen it all, (I'm no slouch when on the couch)
and most folk that don't agree with this, seem to do a lot of fighting and cutting thin air with their planes, either that or attempting to pull the wool over newcomers eyes.



Established Member
4 Oct 2020
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I rate the trad British bench as best for most purposes and very easy to make. It doesn't get a mention in many of the fashionable woodwork books but it used to be the norm almost everywhere.
You only need to plane the top beam flat and the narrow back apron level with the beam. The rest of it takes care of itself - no precision required if just reasonably accurate

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I caught my men's shed chaps filling the tool well on a classic bench as they said tools were falling into it and it wasn't flat for assembly...I think they have been watching mft videos on YouTube! Next they will want a Domino 700! 🤣🤣🤣

Adam W.

Established Member
18 Apr 2021
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London, Jutland.
Maybe I need to rethink this again then. The short length of the bench was mainly due to space restrictions.

My Moravian bench in London is 5'x 2' and I don't have any issues using it. The reason they are so short is because they are meant to be transported around from site to site on a cart.

If you've only got limited space and already have materials to hand, just knock the bench up with what you've got. If you find you need it longer after using it for a while, just make a new top for it when you've got the materials.

I'm a firm believer in using the materials I already have and just getting on with it