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Thread: New Moravian Bench build

  1. #1
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    New Moravian Bench build

    Went by the Woodstore on the way home from work. They had some nice 12/4 Poplar sticks in the stacks. I picked up two for legs and long stretchers plus one 8/4 hunk for the short stretchers. I'm getting too old to handle 12/4 wood even if it is Poplar. A photo of breaking the 12/4 down into something I can wrestle into the shop.

    benchBreakingDownTimber.jpg


    The new bench will be portable with a 380mmX1800mm slab. The slab will be laminated Beech, I figure about 15 BF @ $6 USD/BF, with waste the slab should be about $100 USD. The Poplar for the base was $275 USD and a Lake Erie 2X vise screw kit is $330 USD, $250 USD if I go for the standard screw. Add it all up and material to build is ~$700 USD. BTW, there ain't no money in building benches, it is a work of love or compulsion I'm not sure which.

    ken

  2. #2
    Good to see you feeding the dragon, Ken! Who/what's this one for?

    Will enjoy watching.

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Charles View Post
    Good to see you feeding the dragon, Ken! Who/what's this one for?

    Will enjoy watching.

    Best,
    Chris
    Christ,

    Not a clue. Once finished I will figure out what to do with it. Some of the options are to replace one of older builds, sell it or give it to someone, stack it in a corner with one of the other benches, or save the screw and turn it into firewood,

    ken

  4. #4
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    There are four legs and two long stretchers in that pile. After ripping them from the 12/4 slabs I'd had enough heavy lifting for the day. Tomorrow, while it is still cool, I'll cut everything to rough length and true with the machines. Once everything is true the heavy lifting for the base is done. The marking out will go pretty fast because I've done it enough times I expect little head scratching and I hope few mistakes.

    fourLegsTwoLongStretchers.jpg

    One of the nice things about this Will Myers designed Moravian bench is he stayed true to the original. When I built the first one I didn't appreciate how perfect each joint was for its intended use. There are three different type joints in each base unit, each of the joints is the simplest and easiest to make and yet do the needed job. Only after building a couple more did the light bulb turn on and I realized just how smart the design was.

    ken

  5. #5
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    If you have a good imagination and squint a bit you can almost see a Moravian Bench base.

    benchBaseMilled.jpg

    With the milling scut work finished the rest of the base is pretty easy with little wrestling of heavy timber. Six joints plus four for the long stretchers and chopping four mortises for the keys. This bench is a sheet of cake to built.

    The next heavy work is the slab, and that is to be decided as I look for wood. I can always fall back on laminating the slab out of 8/4 Beech if I can't find a 12/4 whatever that is wide enough.


    Mark out of the base units is next. That may wait until tonight or tomorrow morning, the shop is getting a little hot to work in. The desert is a wonderful place to live but afternoons are best spent in the pool and/or napping.


    ken

  6. #6
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    Finished mine today. It was a little work. Some touch up to do.
    Jim
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    Finished mine today. It was a little work. Some touch up to do.
    Jim
    James,

    It's a beast, Roubo eat your heart out .

    Beautiful bench and there ain't no way, no how that sucker will move on you.

    Congrats,

    ken

  8. #8
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    With all of the Moravian stuff being talked about I decided to spoof everyone a bit. The bench I pictured is only about a foot long. It's a proof of concept for me. I want to build one with a leg vise and wanted to work it out. Pictured is the hard maple in the shop ready to get started on the real thing.. A little levity never hurts, or does it?
    Jim
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  9. #9
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    The fun part of the build starts with marking out the base unit legs. While I've done this a few times it is always a good idea to go back and review the process. I'm making a couple of changes this time, while I've marked the legs and stretchers with chiseled Roman numerals before I've always marked on the non-show side and usually just one side. This time I'm chiseling the numbers on both edge and face sides of each leg and stretcher. When glue up time comes there should be no question where the faces are and what tenon fits which mortise.


    benchMarkingOut.jpg


    Depending on glue used and temperature, bench glue up can get a little frantic when working alone. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way and it is a workbench dontcha know.


    The basic reference lines are marked, now it is just extending the marks around the legs and marking out the actual joints. The lower stretcher and the long stretcher joints are marked on the edge face and the middle mortise and top bridle joints are marked on the reference face. Easy to get confused when you are old and confused most of time anyway.


    I was late getting to the shop this morning (honeydos) and it is already too hot to do much more. I have a late shift tomorrow so maybe tonight or early AM tomorrow I can finish marking the legs and start chopping mortises Sunday.


    ken

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    With all of the Moravian stuff being talked about I decided to spoof everyone a bit. The bench I pictured is only about a foot long. It's a proof of concept for me. I want to build one with a leg vise and wanted to work it out. Pictured is the hard maple in the shop ready to get started on the real thing.. A little levity never hurts, or does it?
    Jim
    Jim,

    Fooled me. All I can say is if built it would be a beast.

    ken

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Jim,

    Fooled me. All I can say is if built it would be a beast.

    ken
    It will most likely be heavier in the base. I'm working out a tail vise for it. It is not intended to be portable easily. The construction part is fairly easy. They remind me very much of a saw horse. Trying to detail particulars that it is not meant to have creates the issues. Fun working it out though.
    Jim

  12. #12
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    Joinery work has started, kinda. Because the mortise is angled it is easier to mark out the mortise using the angled tenon. The last of the base mark out is the long stretcher mortise. Once I have a long stretcher tenon cut I can finish the base mark out.

    Small brain fart on the mark out, I had the middle stretcher marked too close to the upper stretcher. Not a biggie, the bottom mark should have been the top mark, squiggle a pencil across the top mark and mark a new bottom. If that is the biggest problem during the build I'll be in good shape.

    benchLongStretcherTenon.jpg


    The tenon shoulder is angled 15 degrees which of course means all the base cuts will be angled 15 degrees. You really need a good bevel gauge with a reliable lock for this build.


    Shop is getting hot, time to walk away and make a Costco run followed by a afternoon nap. After the nap it's monkey suit and a dark box for most of the night, at least the box is cool.

    ken

  13. #13
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    Funny the difference a uniform makes. If we walked on board and saw you in shorts and a T-shirt, it would very surely makes us nervous. Safe travels.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    Funny the difference a uniform makes. If we walked on board and saw you in shorts and a T-shirt, it would very surely makes us nervous. Safe travels.
    Thanks Phil,

    The uniform does help, most of the time to be confused with the guy that hails the taxi or handles baggage ;-). There is a great video on that aspect, if I can find it I'll PM a link.

    ken

  15. #15
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    Ha. Love to see it. I do hope those extracurricular activities come with a good tip!
    Anyway, sorry for the diversion. Back to the bench build....

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