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Wonderwino 03-05-2012 10:02 PM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
Spectacular finish, Derek! What are you going to do with the old bench now? :popcorn:

bigfoot 03-05-2012 10:20 PM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
Derek it looks great!

derekcohen 03-05-2012 11:31 PM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth

Originally Posted by Wonderwino (Post 78925)
Spectacular finish, Derek! What are you going to do with the old bench now? :popcorn:

Anyone who wants it can have it ... as long as it is collected - no shipping! :D

Regards from Perth


neilc 03-06-2012 02:49 AM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth

That is one beautiful bench. Nice 'save' with the reversed dog hole strip! The true testament of a craftsman is someone who can gracefully recover and you never know they took a detour!

Thanks for sharing the in-process pics.


Okami 03-06-2012 03:59 AM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
Fantastic Derek! And done in record time too:thumbsup2:
Some of these bench builds have been going on for eternity:D
As was mentioned, a very good come-back from the dogstrip error, that's good craftsmanship.
So.. What's the first project to grace the new bench?

derekcohen 03-06-2012 04:12 AM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
Hi Okami


The bench is not quite done. a few things to do. Plus I have an idea for a tool tray that is different (keep you in suspense!). I have a dovetail saw to review (Glen-Drake) and am also evaluating a set of pre-production handlemaker rasps for Liogier. I got sucked into a plane-building competition on SMC. That is going to test me to the limit as I plan on building a full-on wooden plough plane with bridle adjustment (just won a set of 8 vintage tapered blades on Ebay). Then I can get back to furniture. You asked! :eek:

Regards from Perth


derekcohen 03-12-2012 03:53 PM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
I was hoping to have finished it all the past weekend, but did not get much workshop time. Too many social events. In all I had about 2 hours, and in that I made the dogs. Now the bench is a working bench.

I will complete the shelf and a few odds-and-ends after this coming weekend, which is the annual Perth LN Hand Tool Event. Chris Vesper is staying over and we are both presenters all weekend.

The old bench has gone to a new home. I offered it to the first person to cart it away. Hopefully it will give them good service for a few more years.

I did take photos of the dog-making procedure and will post them, if anyone is interested.

Here is a picture of the bench with the Jarrah pieces used for the dogs. It may interest some to note the 2 degree angle (facing the tail vise) ..

Here is one of the dogs (they are all identical), with a head dimension of 1" x 1 1/2" x 5" long. They are faced in suede leather.

The dogs all recess flush with the bench top when not in use ..

I really like the ability to raise them to a height that is needed ...

The leg vise runs very smoothly. I am waiting on pieces of suede leather for the inner faces as these are a bit slippery and work pieces can be moved. I tested the grip with a temporary leather insert, and this made a significant difference. Anyone with comments here is very welcome. ..

The bench in its new home ..

Regards from Perth


Poto 03-12-2012 04:42 PM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
That's one seriously elegant bench, Derek. I love the dogs, too - the fact that they can be placed flush with the benchtop, or raised to any height. Very versatile.

I'll look forward to seeing the wonderful things you make on it.

derekcohen 03-26-2012 05:11 PM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
I declare this bench finished.

This bench is done. Time to move on.

I am very happy with the way it has turned out. Somewhat relieved and always a little amazed when things work out. Here are the finishing touches, plus a road test to illustrate the work holding areas.

When we left off last the bench had reached this stage ...

I returned to the fray on the weekend. The first task was to build the shelf. This is made of 5/8" thick (after levelling) Jarrah. I glued the panel up last week. Its weight adds another 10 kg (22 lbs) to the total, bringing the final weight of the bench to 192 kg or 422 lbs.

I was planing the panel with The Dreadnought (36" Jarrah jointer). The quickest way to flatten I know ...

... using one bench dog and a makeshift stop, when I decided I was going about this in the wrong order. Get the round dog holes done! So I sharpened up a 3/4" Jennings bit and brought out the 12" MF brace ...

I do like this brace. It has the simplicity of a Spofford, but with bling :)

Soon I had lined up a series of holes opposite the square dogs, each 1" in from the far side of the bench ...

I have chosen to use the brass Veritas dogs. A slight modification is the addition of suede leather on the flat face.

These are long enough to pass through the bench top.

The purpose here is to plane across the bench ...

The bench is now 12" from the far wall. This allows the use of a jointer or jack plane without danger of hitting the wall. It was not possible to work this way when the old bench was attached to the wall.

The new shelf ..

It will hold tools such as a shooting board, Moxon vise, and bench hooks.

Alongside the last two square dogs I added two rows of round dog holes. These are coplanar, enabling a short or long bench stop to span the bench. I have yet to make a couple of stops that will be clamped in the leg vise. The following one was co-opted into use in the short term ...

The leg vise was given a layer of 2mm thick suede leather on each side. This makes a huge difference to the work holding power of the leg vise. It will now clamp pieces securely with little force.

One other point about the leg vise - add the supporting wheels to the glide, as designed by Jameel Abraham, and this will create a smooth running screw, even the wooden one on this bench. I can spin the handle, and the chop will slide in-or-out freely.

My old bench was 34" high. For my height of 5"10" the "pinky test" of Chris Schwarz would point to a bench height of 30" as ideal for planing. My concern, however, was that there are a number of tasks that need to be done at a bench, not just planing. Would the bench be high enough for marking and other detail work? In the end I decided to compromise on a height of 32".

Marking with a gauge is comfortable ...

The Moxon dovetail vise is positioned against a dog, and clamped down by two holdfasts at the rear (which may assitionally be used in any of the round dog holes)..

Marking dovetails is also fine, but sawing is less comfortable at this height than before. The saw has to angle upward and I can feel my wrist having to cock more than I like ..

Cross-cutting (the tails) is another comfortable position ..

A bench hook clamped into the leg vise allows chopping to take place over a leg ...

It has never been this easy to hold work to plane a rebate along an edge ...

I scratched my head for a while how to hold the short ends. Then I remembered I had a tail vise! Easy peasy ..

Finally, the sliding deadman, along with the new Veritas surface clamp, made it easy to hold the completed box for planing ..

So what was the first project being built on the new bench? It will become a tool tray, one that will attach to the wall instead of the bench. I want to leave the edges of the bench free for clamps, if needed. To the tool tray I will add a section to hold a few chisels and backsaws that are in current use. That is for a later date.

The completed bench ...

Thanks to all for your suggestions and advise along the way.

Regards from Perth


JimKirkpatrick 03-26-2012 08:24 PM

Re: Building a Bench in Perth
Derek, Your bench is gorgeous and you sure know to make purdy dovetails! Bow DownBow DownBow Down. I LOVE the box.
PS, Is that a Superchute 2.0 I spy beneath your bench?

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