New Workbench - Done

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Very nice bench! I could do with a nice compact one like that.

Well done.
Superb looking bench, must make one for myself one of these days.

Could you explain the bench top in more detail, you mentioned iroko laminated top.
devonwoody":rhsux0ci said:
Superb looking bench, must make one for myself one of these days.

Could you explain the bench top in more detail, you mentioned iroko laminated top.

Right, laminated iroko top...

I used those benches from Corby for this. First I ripped off the rounded and undercut edges, about 3/4" from each side, then using a dressmakers pencil (chalk) I marked out where the joints between the boards and the screw holes. Then making the assumption I wanted the top as thick as possible I worked out that about 2 5/8" width plus saw width was the optimum between missing the joints and screw holes and getting the most whole number of strips from each top, I then set the fence and riped the boards into about 25 strips. These went through the thicknesser to remove the varnish and general crud from both sides and brought the total thickness of each part to about 1 1/4". About 22 strips were the best quality so I took these and laminated them together in three lots so each block could be put through the thicknesser in turn, then the three blocks were glue up to make the full width top. Flattened with a plane and then the ends were cut with two large breab-board ends. Simple really

Aidan - very good looking bench, glad you found the iroko useful...should make an excellent bench surface. I assume that the length of the bench was dictated by the iroko boards available? I think I would have made the bench longer if I could have got away with it, but it also depends on the space available for it to fit into...good stuff tho'. A Phillycabinet will be an interesting project as well...hope you've got some Phillyplanes to go in it :lol: - Rob
Thanks for sharing your approach to working with the iroko bench tops. I like the idea of building the top in three-sections so you could accurately thickness the top more easily. I know that iroko can be nasty to work with at the best of times, but how did it affect your planer's knives with all the extra varnish and crud on top as well? :?
Yep, it's not a huge bench, roughly 4x2. Though I have a huge garage at the moment I may not wherever I live next so it's designed to be suitable for the little jobs I like to make, I have a large assembly area already, it's called the floor.

I filled 9 bin bags with woodshaving making the bench, mostly from the beech which was bought plain sawn. The planer is brand new but I think I do need to re-hone the blades after all that, what are those Axminster hones like that you can use with the blades in-situ?
I've no experience of those Axminster hones but I recently sent my blades off to Dragon Saws for sharpening and was very impressed with the service. They were done the day they were received and through my letter box the very next morning! I payed a very good price for this service too. :wink:

I guess the first question should be exactly how bad are your blades? If they only need a quick touch-up and are in good knick otherwise, the hones may serve you well. If the knives are chipped and damaged and look in need of a proper grinding, then that would probably be the better option.

Ian John informed me that all three blades would be ground at the same time to remove and equal amount of material and keep the cutter block balanced properly.