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Parameters for a small joinery bench.

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Andy Kev.

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A while ago I made a Moxon vice and while I think it's functionally absolutely brilliant I've never taken to clamping it on my normal workbench. So I've decided that I would like it to be the main feature of its own small bench dedicated to joinery and one or two other things. For instance it will have a bottom shelf where I intend to keep my Proxon benchtop pillar drill and some other bits and pieces.

Due to the size of the Moxon the bench will be 32" wide and I reckon about 18" from back to front. I currently reckon that the bench top should be at about elbow height (while standing) but would be glad to hear confirmation of whether this is a sensible height or not.

My main question concerns how massive the legs and top should be. I initially thought 3" x 3" legs but then thought that this might be a bit over the top for a bench on which nothing vigorous like planing should take place. Similarly I thought that the top behind the Moxon should be about 3" thick. What do you think of these two measurements. Would 2" x 2" be too unstable or should I split the difference and go for 2 1/2"?

Thanks in advance.
 

MikeG.

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By wide, you mean long.............or, actually, short. :lol: :lol: A bench only 800 long is a curious thing. I can't imagine what activities one could manage on something that small, but anything vigorous would simply topple it. As you patently won't be doing anything vigorous on it, it doesn't need substantial legs and 2x2s would be plenty.

I'm really struggling with this whole idea. Why do you need a socking great vice on a tiny, tiny bench?
 

Andy Kev.

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MikeG.":smbj337s said:
By wide, you mean long.............or, actually, short. :lol: :lol: A bench only 800 long is a curious thing. I can't imagine what activities one could manage on something that small, but anything vigorous would simply topple it. As you patently won't be doing anything vigorous on it, it doesn't need substantial legs and 2x2s would be plenty.

I'm really struggling with this whole idea. Why do you need a socking great vice on a tiny, tiny bench?
Yes I do mean long. :)

The idea is that the Moxon only ever gets used for joinery e.g. cutting dovetails and my normal bench is for everything else and had I not already made the Moxon ages ago, I think I would indeed have been looking at a 4 1/2 to 5 foot joinery bench. I can't really do that with the Moxon as the back of it is 32" long: things would start to get a bit complicated if I were to try to build that into the front of a longer bench.

It's actually a bit of self-indulgence with a practical aim. The idea came to me because as I said in the OP, I don't like clamping the Moxon to the top of my normal bench. I can't explain exactly why that is but I think I'd rather that the Moxon was permanently set up and ready and waiting.
 

rafezetter

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Late to the party but here's my moxon mini bench, sits stop my main bench for the rare occasion its needed.

Moxon vice bench (4).jpg


I need to remake the end vice so it's as wide as the bench, as they were made seperately at different times.
 

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Benchwayze

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That's a nice mini bench Rafe. I was wondering about something similar, when I was planning my new 'Roubo' style bench. That was just before my wife fell ill, almost eight years ago now, and very little woodwork has been done in that time.

I still have my old bench, of course; 6 feet long with a tool-well at the back, and a working surface 18" wide in front of the well. It has been a good bench, but the tail end is close to the underside of the house stairs, and that makes the tail-end virtually inaccessible.

I bought all the material for a new bench, but I got as far as turning it into 5x 2s, for the top and then had to stop. So maybe it's a bit late now. I can manage with what I have; and that's why I recently sold an unused Benchcrafted set for a Moxon.

I'll move the bench to a better location, and continue to use that. I might finish the top and replace onto the existing bench, but doubt I shall be making any wide dovetails now; so my Paramo quick-release will do me.

I noticed the 'Renaissance Woodworker' on the 'Tube' uses a 'Joinery Bench' and he seemed to be happy with it. I think he used a built in Moxon vice. So I think for anyone who makes small pieces, such as Krenovian mini-cabinets, and Japanese altar chests, would manage fine! You could even fit a Moxon with a longer 'planing board', for dimensioning. if like me, you are strapped for space.
So I need to get used to working 'into the shop', rather than my preferred working 'out' towards the open door. :shock:

Mentioning the Roubo bench reminded me. In 1962, when I got married, we lived in a two room flat in a huge Edwardian house. I was given use of the garage, and the workbench, which was a variant of the Roubo. All of the leg joints, which were tenoned through the top, were loose. Heavens knows how old the bench was, but I fixed the joints and made do. I often wonder if a lot of the older Roubos went the same way over time, and that's why we moved on to benches with an under-frame. Maybe... :?:

Andy>>>

If you are wanting a 'Moxon' bench, I would go for 4 x 4 legs. You could always make it a bit longer, and merely make the front edge one continuous vice. You might get away with planing on it then.

HTH

Cheers.

John (hammer)
 

Andy Kev.

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John,

you're about a week too late. :D The legs are 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" and I've already got the first mortices in them.

I've now settled on the total length of the top being 4 ft. I think that having the Moxon already built gave me a bit of tunnel vision as I was fixated on its length. I can think of no reason why it can't be mounted left on a 4 ft bench.

Andy.
 

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