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Thread: Attaching an end board on a workbench

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Attaching an end board on a workbench

    Sorry if this question was answered before but a couple hours of searched yielded no answer for me.

    I am finally working on finishing my bench the top of which consists of 16 hard maple boards already glued together. The original stock was 8/4 that I cut and jointed/planed to 16 pieces that each are 1 3/4 by 2 3/4 giving me a top that is 28 inches wide and 2 3/4 inches thick.

    I will be putting the Veritas twin screw vise on the right side end and need to attach another hard maple board to be the fixed jaw. Since the 16 boards have the grain oriented vertically I don't know how much or if I need to account for expansion and contraction on the end. So my question is what is the best way to attach a horizontal end board to the end of my bench top. If it matters, the end board, which will be the fixed vise jaw, will be 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick and 7 inches in height (width) and the full 28 inches long.

  2. #2
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    Many are built using a dovetail joint on the outside laminations. The inside is of the laminations are rabbeted top and bottom with the groove in the fixed jaw being able to slide over the dovetail on one side. The lamination on the other side of the bench is glued in place after the jaw is set in place. Alternately both outside laminations can be glued in place with the fixed jaw in place.

    You might also find some information on Derek Cohen's site:

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools/index.html

    He has a bench build thread near the bottom of the page.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    You won't have much issues with movement. This is one reason why laminated tops are used.

    I would simply lag bolt the inner fixed vice face to the edge.

    I would also put a 1" deep X 2 3/4" wide rabbet on the vice face.

  4. #4
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    I would use breadboard ends, with or without the dovetail on the ends for looks.

  5. #5
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    I agree with russell.

  6. #6
    You might have better luck if you use the word "end caps" in your search.
    Might be worth looking at the construction of Carters workbench on youtube for some inspiration.
    Best of luck with your workbench John.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    If a giant dovetail is not in the cards you can use a dado for alignment and screws to hold it in place. To accommodate expansion there are two good approaches that come to mind.

    1. Oversized holes in the chop are not going to work well. If you leave them loose the chop will wobble and if you snug them up they will not slide. Use long screws, maybe 6" long, and in the bench top drill the holes oversize for 2" to 3" to allow the screws to flex. Don't use lag screws because they will not flex and because they are only made with cheap metal. The heads can snap off then removal is difficult.

    2. Use bolts into those round nuts (forgot what they are called) drilled in from the bottom, and again with the oversized holes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I agree with russell.
    There won't be enough movement in a laminated top to worry about. Little to no movement in the width of a board (if fully acclimated of course)

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Why not follow the Veritas instructions for bolting it to the workbench?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    Why not follow the Veritas instructions for bolting it to the workbench?
    Agreed. Worst case scenario use the barrel bolts that they have available for this.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  11. #11
    Join Date
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    IMAG0084.JPG
    Before my vise was installed on this end. Corners have two 3" screws through the half-lap sides and into the end cap.
    IMAG0078.JPG
    view from the side of the corner...strip of 1x is for the floor of the tool well..

    IMAG0079.JPG
    You can always plug the holes when done....maybe in a contrasting colour?
    corner.jpg
    End vise that I am using now...2" thick jaws are white oak...

  12. #12
    I have an edge grain ash bench with a breadboard. I lag bolted it through oversized holes in the cap. It has remained pretty much flush in all dimensions with the rest of the bench.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    If a giant dovetail is not in the cards you can use a dado for alignment and screws to hold it in place. To accommodate expansion there are two good approaches that come to mind.

    1. Oversized holes in the chop are not going to work well. If you leave them loose the chop will wobble and if you snug them up they will not slide. Use long screws, maybe 6" long, and in the bench top drill the holes oversize for 2" to 3" to allow the screws to flex. Don't use lag screws because they will not flex and because they are only made with cheap metal. The heads can snap off then removal is difficult.

    2. Use bolts into those round nuts (forgot what they are called) drilled in from the bottom, and again with the oversized holes.
    I agree but Home Depot carries a German made "Lag", brand name "Spax", that I have used for years in the place of standard cheap metal lag bolts and screws with never a problem. In fact I used them to hold a waggon vise end cap on a Roubo bench I built years ago and there has been no problem with them. I also use them to hold the wood screw nut to the vise backer on the current Moravian builds also with zero problems. I would never use a standard lag screw but Spax lag screws work.

    ken

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    59
    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    ... Spax lag screws work.ken
    I can second that - Spax makes good stuff.

    Patrick

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