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View Full Version : My Take on the Bench on Bench



glenn bradley
04-04-2015, 6:28 PM
I swore a couple of G&G pieces ago that I would not do another set of G&G finger joints without something like this. This is one of those things that I kept putting off so I could make it "just right". The result of that is the years go by and I'm still hunching over my standard height bench for some of these detail oriented processes.

310706

My version is BB ply and maple with a torsion-box-like design to keep the weight down. Tips the scales at just under 20lbs for easy-on, easy-off. When clamped to the main bench it is rock solid. In this next shot it is not quite complete but, it shows the Lee Valley inset vise well.

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My use of it will be for certain jigs, detail or delicate hand planing and pounding out those Greene and Greene square holes for ebony pegs.

310708 . 310707

Kent A Bathurst
04-04-2015, 6:43 PM
Clever. Very clever,indeed............

Bruce Page
04-04-2015, 6:48 PM
That's really nice Glenn, I can see where having a tall bench would be great for detail chiseling work.
What is that next to the dead blow?

glenn bradley
04-04-2015, 7:00 PM
That's really nice Glenn, I can see where having a tall bench would be great for detail chiseling work.
What is that next to the dead blow?

I use mortiser chisels to cut the square holes for my G&G stuff. I drill a hole in a scrap of padauk and smoothed it a bit. The chisel being used slips into it. It gives me a comfy grip and a larger bearing surface for the hammer.

Kent A Bathurst
04-05-2015, 7:17 PM
I use mortiser chisels to cut the square holes for my G&G stuff. I drill a hole in a scrap of padauk and smoothed it a bit. The chisel being used slips into it. It gives me a comfy grip and a larger bearing surface for the hammer.

A-HA!!!

We have a winner.

Likely just cost LV an order on their purpose-made hammer-tolerant square chisels.

Thanks, Glenn

Frederick Skelly
04-05-2015, 10:12 PM
That's a heck of a good idea Glenn. Also like your idea on the square moriser chisels.

glenn bradley
04-06-2015, 10:23 AM
Thanks guys. Here's how I store it when not in use:

310810 . 310809

310812 . 310811

Prashun Patel
04-06-2015, 10:58 AM
Glen-
I've been thinking about a bench-on-bench. Thanks for the pics and ideas. How do you find planing at that height?

glenn bradley
04-06-2015, 11:30 AM
Glen-
I've been thinking about a bench-on-bench. Thanks for the pics and ideas. How do you find planing at that height?

My main bench is about 36" high. I am not that tall but, have long legs so my waist (and therefor pivot point) is higher than "average". The BonB is another 11-3/4" in height and for small things like table legs and other detail planing (anything where it helps to get your face right down to it) I could have made it an inch or so lower; 10" might have been better.

For chisel and saw work it seems just right. I was pleasantly surprised at how stable it is for planing. I made the legs in such a way as to be able to saw up to an inch off if I deem this necessary after some use ;-)

Prashun Patel
04-06-2015, 11:48 AM
It is interesting you say this. I have been conditioned to believe a planing bench must be low. I totally understand why this is appropriate for rough work, where I need leverage and want to bear down. However, I have found that for detailed and finer smoothing work, my motion is more lateral than vertical - especially for scraping and especially, especially when using a cabinet scraper. So, a high bench would work for me here.

However, the biggest back breaker for me on a low bench is paring dovetails. Your BOB does not feature a front vise for that kind of work. Any plans/thoughts about this?

glenn bradley
04-06-2015, 1:21 PM
However, the biggest back breaker for me on a low bench is paring dovetails. Your BOB does not feature a front vise for that kind of work. Any plans/thoughts about this?

For folks who do a lot of dovetailing a bench like Jeff Miller's (http://www.finewoodworking.com/workshop/article/a-benchtop-bench.aspx)would be more appropriate. Mine will be used more like Steve Latta's version (http://www.finewoodworking.com/woodworking-plans/article/mini-workbench-works-wonders.aspx). It was just this struggle of "Which one? Which way?" that kept this just a "gonna do" project for a few years.

I finally realized that I was doing project after project without the benefit of the elevation and that if I didn't like version 1, I would just make a version 2. I am trying to apply this philosophy more and more to my shop tune-up stuff. My mantra is "this isn't the last (insert name of item here) that you'll ever make" and just go for it :).

Prashun Patel
04-06-2015, 2:15 PM
I hear you, Glen. It's just like when we moved into our new house. We couldn't decide on perfect drapes for the living room, so we put off furnishing that room. 13 years later, that room has yet to be furnished.

Bill Adamsen
05-04-2015, 8:41 PM
Very clever Glenn ... also like the square punch (chisel). Heard you describe it previously but the picture really drove it home.

David Ragan
05-05-2015, 3:25 PM
[QUOTE=Bill Adamsen;2413434]Very clever Glenn ... also like the square punch (chisel). Heard you describe it previously but the picture really drove it home.[/QUOTE

Great play on words, Bill!

I built the Jeff Miller version. I love it, but it is a bit heavy.