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My first real bench, finished!

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Andy RV

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Originally I was planning on making a new base for my current bench, a piece of kitchen worktop with a QR vice fitted on one end, I started work on the bench, buying a 16' length of 8x2 and laminating it into 4x4, this allowed me to make the 2 leg sections:


x2

Drawboarded and m&t.

At this point the thought came into my head that I might aswell just make a complete bench! So 4 8'x6''x3'' for the top were delivered and 2 8'x6''x1 1/2'' to connect the leg constructions together.

Base assembly requiring the wedge mortices cutting.


All hardware was from axminster, the wagon vice uses a simple vice screw that pushes and pulls a bubinga block along 2 slots that were made before gluing the top up, the breadboard is drawbored on but there was still a bit of flex so I used a coach screw either side of the wagon vice screw to stiffen things up. The wedges, vice jaw and end cap are made from sapele.
The dogs and pup copies were made a work, and the holdfasts are from Richard T and work fantastically!







I would of loved to of made it out of a nice hardwood, but for about £200 including hardware and materials it should be a good bench for the money.

Thanks!
 

Dodge

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Nice bench that - Good Job

What the first project your planning to make on it??
 

Chems

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Great job looks very sturdy, and for £200 its a bit of a bargain!
 

marcros

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Brilliant.
do you have any further details on the wagon vice?
 

Andy RV

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Thanks for the comments! First project is a pig shaped chopping board for the girlfriend! Haha, first real project will be a tool chest/ cabinet, I need to finish the table saw restoration first though.

The wagon vice is made using the york front vice screw from axminster, the nut is housed within the end cap, the block runs in a slot on each side and has a 3/4" hole bored through it for a dog, the face of the block and slot are lined with thick leather letting you clamp vertically between the block and bench top, you're limited to about 7"x2" within this space.
It's not as good as the bench crafted wagon vice, the screw extendeds outside the bench and its probably not as strong, but it should serve me well.
 

Lowlife

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That is nice, I've just been pricing timber to build myself one next year, my top will be Ash which is not too expensive from SL Hardwoods, if my maths is correct it only adds around £100 over the cost of decent clear pine.

I'm thinking of a wagon vice too, and a twin screw front vice, probably using the York components as you have.
 

marcros

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I am thinking about a leg vice for the face vice, but am in 2 minds for the tail vice. Part of me likes the wagon vice, the other parts wonders about a record quick release. To be honest, I am not sure that I need an end vice, but it is probably far easier to build it into the design, rather than retro-fit (certainly if I go for the wagon vice).
 

adidat

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thats a really good bench will last a long time. i like the look of the leg sections. and the wide tennons should eliminate racking.

adidat
 

Andy RV

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I've not had chance to use it in anger yet but there's no signs of racking, placing some scales under one end shows 60kg so it must be close to 120kg total, I plan on adding some boards across the leg strechers to store planks ect.

The wagon vice was simple to make, I wouldn't want to tackle a traditional tail vice yet, cutting the guide slots and recess before gluing up the top is a must.
 

marcros

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Wagon vice might be a non starter then- my bench top is a firedoor so is in effect already glued up. Record QR it may well be then.
 

Evergreen

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Andy

That's an impressive looking bench. How did you fix the top to the legs, please?
 

Andy RV

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You could probably still get away with a wagon vice using a fire door since it won't be that thick, you could possibily get in with the router using an arbour and horizonal slot cutters as sold by wealden, other than that a router plane with a fence?

I attached the top from below using 3 coach screws in each leg section, I bored the holes in the leg top rail a few mm oversize so that should allow for a bit of movement.
 

Benchwayze

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Andy,

Your first real bench and your last, by the look of it.
Not exactly a 'Roubo', but still a Proper Job.
Well done indeed.

John :D
 

Steve Maskery

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That looks excellent. When I next get a workshop I intend to make something similar. I have an end vice on my present bench, but a wagon vice takes up less room, and I think a mass of softwood like yours is just as good as a hardwood. I also think the huge array of dogholes is very useful.
Can I make a suggestion? It's the smallest of criticisms, but anyone coming along afterwards may find it useful.
Pegged drawn and bored tenons are an excellent construction technique, but it would be even better if they were located a bit closer to the shoulder. That large distance can shrink back and reduce the effectiveness of the pull.
But very, very good.
S
 

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