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Thread: The Moravian Bench Really Is Finished

  1. #1
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    The Moravian Bench Really Is Finished

    This time I mean it, the bench is finished, in place and ready to work. The small Moravian has been broken down and loaded in the truck so I can take it to Houston for our Winter Solstice celebration with the kids and have it available to repair the damage to the shipped changing table.
    I'm not sure if the new bench will stay in the secondary bench position or if it will swap positions with the French/English bench.
    I added ledgers to the long stretchers yesterday in case I decide on installing a lower shelf. I expect I will and it was easy to install the ledgers while the bench was apart for cleaning up the build marks.


    Anyway here are some photos:

    benchFinishedD.jpg


    benchFinishedE.jpg

    benchFinishedF.jpg

    benchFinishedG.jpg


    I don't know who is happier about it being finished MsBubba or me.


    ken

  2. #2
    Ken, she's a beauty. Those bottom stretchers look massive. Does Will's version have cheeks on the stretchers too? And how did u decide on the placement of your dog holes?

    Eric

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rathhaus View Post
    Ken, she's a beauty. Those bottom stretchers look massive. Does Will's version have cheeks on the stretchers too? And how did u decide on the placement of your dog holes?

    Eric
    Eric,

    Thanks. The stretchers are fairly large I had planned on using 12/4 Ash but when the woodstore finked out on the Ash I went with gluing up 8/4 Beech giving a 16/4 stretcher.

    I can't remember seeing one but he has built a bunch of 'em.

    More or less because I know what has worked on other benches. "That looks about right".

    ken

  4. #4
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    The background bench has a tail vise, the foreground bench does not. If you have no tail vise why do you have all those dog holes? Are you adding a tail vise?
    It seems the front vise dictates the position of the stretchers. Taller not deeper stretchers would seem the way to go.
    You get to sit or stand and tuck your feet or knees under the bench which is very good!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  5. #5
    I like the bench a great deal.
    I also spy a good looking bench brush. Care to share any info on that fella?

  6. #6
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    That’s a great looking bench!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    The background bench has a tail vise, the foreground bench does not. If you have no tail vise why do you have all those dog holes? Are you adding a tail vise?
    It seems the front vise dictates the position of the stretchers. Taller not deeper stretchers would seem the way to go.
    You get to sit or stand and tuck your feet or knees under the bench which is very good!
    William,

    I very seldom use the "tail vise" as a tail vise so no, I'm not adding a tail vise. In fact the only reason that vise is in the tail position on the French/English bench is I had it and it is better to store it on the bench than on a shelf. I do use it occasionally but more as an extra face vise or for cross cutting wood that is large enough to need a vise to hold it. The dog holes are for holdfasts, dogs, and battens. There are better ways to hold wood flat on the bench than pinching it between a dog and a vise.

    To some degree the parallel guide does dictate the position of the stretcher but not really. The bench is a close copy of a portable Moravian bench and if you study the bench you quickly discover a lot of knowledge and thought went into its design. Best I can tell each joint was the quickest to make and at the same time not compromise strength and by design the bench offers incredible stability at a very low weight.

    "Taller not deeper stretchers would seem the way to go." Why? What is your reasoning?

    ken

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Johnson View Post
    I like the bench a great deal.
    I also spy a good looking bench brush. Care to share any info on that fella?
    Nathan,

    I had to find the photo to figure out which brush you were asking about. About all I know is it has been with me for a long time. Long enough I don't remember where it came from, but yes it is a great bench brush.

    ken

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Zucker View Post
    That’s a great looking bench!
    Thanks Todd,

    ken

  10. #10
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    Ken I buy into the great ‘stability for the weight’ design of the Moravian. As for holding wood you want to plane you have two choices 1) Use a stop to push up against. 2) Hold the wood between two dogs, one dog being in a vise of some sort.
    For small work pieces the pinching method works far better.

    The careful design of the Moravian relates to the legs and front vice, not the top. The taller a stretcher the more leverage and thus more stability. The ideal placement of the stretcher is half way between the surface being worked and the floor.
    This puts it in the middle: I think your front vise design could accommodate such placement. The full thickness of the stretcher can be used as the tenon if the legs allow, this gives you stronger tusks. It also gives you the most for your wood.

    I have seen some with an angled vise to match the leg and gain better vertical clearance.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  11. #11
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    Ken, if for whatever reason should you decide to replace this bench for a bigger/better build, I have just the spot for that piece.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Jobe View Post
    Ken, if for whatever reason should you decide to replace this bench for a bigger/better build, I have just the spot for that piece.
    Bill,

    LOL.Thanks.

    This may be my last big bench build. Time passes us all by and wrestling the big timbers kicked my tail this time. I may build a few more small/portable benches just because I enjoy the process or help someone build a big one but I've also likened building benches to being kinda like childbirth, after six months or so you forget the pain and remember the joy.

    ken

  13. #13
    Another great bench Ken. Wow! Just wow!
    If you weren't so tired of it, building benches could be a retirement income .

    Can't wait to see what you build with it!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #14
    Great Bench!

    I also liked the shave horse, is that your design?

  15. #15
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    Ken,

    It absolutely looks great. I'm sure you will be extremely pleased using it. Great Job!

    Stew

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