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Thread: Researching a New Bench

  1. #1
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    Researching a New Bench

    I am beginning to research benches and I really like the roubo bench and benchcrafted hardware. However I ran across this bench design recently and really like all the clamping options with it. I've read some post on here that seemed to kind of knock this design due to no upper stretchers between legs. If one were to add those would this be a good design?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDVc7FbPMgI
    Last edited by Zachary Caldwell; 02-16-2020 at 1:17 PM.
    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!"

  2. #2
    Zachary,

    No link or photo of the bench with all the clamping options that I could see.

    I'm a broken record on first bench builds, pick a standard bench, make it simple, quickly and cheaply. Then go to work. do not expect it to be the perfect bench, it may take several builds to get to that level.

    ken

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    Thanks fixed it!
    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!"

  4. #4
    Zachary,

    That bench is exactly what makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It makes a great youtube video and wow, there sure are a lot of ways to hold work, almost none of which is needed and most will have you barking at the moon in short order.

    A simple face vise with stops, battens, and holdfasts will do 95% of your work holding without getting in the way. The other 5% can be handled by a Vertas Wonder Dog and very occasionally a long clamp. Please don't take this wrong but that bench screams "that guy is either selling something", mostly sizzle and little steak, or he doesn't have a clue what he is doing.

    ken

  5. #5
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    Not that thing again! It came up in a previous thread and I SHARED MY THOUGHTS on it there. (tl,dr: "Schizophrenic".)

    I think you're much better going with a simple traditional design. I'd suggest Nicholson as the simplest and a good starting point. (See Mike Siemsen's "Naked Woodworker", (naked as unequipped, not unclothed,) video for details.) But Ken's evangelism has gotten me intrigued with the Monrovian bench.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachary Caldwell View Post
    I am beginning to research benches and I really like the roubo bench and benchcrafted hardware. However I ran across this bench design recently and really like all the clamping options with it. I've read some post on here that seemed to kind of knock this design due to no upper stretchers between legs. If one were to add those would this be a good design?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDVc7FbPMgI
    Zachary, What do you intend to build on your bench?

    Make the bench to suite your needs and preferences.

    The large apron on the bench in your link can take the place of a stretcher with a little modification.

    For my preferences, the apron on the bench is too wide. Some like the Roubo for not having an apron. For me being able to have some storage under the bench is also a plus. A large apron negates this ability some.

    There are many ways to hold work. A few are shown in these posts:

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?223428

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?272588

    One can do a multitude of holding schemes with just about any bench:

    Wedge Holding.jpg

    As long as one has imagination and a few scraps of wood the clamping or holding options are unlimited.

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

  7. #7
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    Hate to be that guy, but no.

  8. #8
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    Just build a Nicholson. That thing is basically a Nicholson on a metal frame with a bunch of unnecessary vises and accessories hung on it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bassett View Post
    Not that thing again! It came up in a previous thread and I SHARED MY THOUGHTS on it there. (tl,dr: "Schizophrenic".)

    I think you're much better going with a simple traditional design. I'd suggest Nicholson as the simplest and a good starting point. (See Mike Siemsen's "Naked Woodworker", (naked as unequipped, not unclothed,) video for details.) But Ken's evangelism has gotten me intrigued with the Monrovian bench.
    David,

    As I'm sure you know almost any design will work, the Moravian just hits my sweat spot of ease, cost, and stability. Kinda a Goldilocks bench.

    ken

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    David,

    As I'm sure you know almost any design will work, the Moravian just hits my sweat spot of ease, cost, and stability. Kinda a Goldilocks bench.

    ken
    I'm coming around.

  11. #11
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    I want the bench to serve as a multi use tool. Like a lot of people I am limited on space, which is why right now I have taken everything off the wall and am reorganizing my garage to fit more in less space. However, over the last few months I have had this strong curiosity about hand tools and using them to build more stuff. Mostly what I do is hack my way through building items for our house such as furniture and cabinets and builtins. So one day I may use it to build a cabinet for a closet, the next try and build some sort of furniture piece. I just know that I am getting very tired of not having some sort of stable bench with some dog holes and a vise. Sorry this post was long.
    Zach
    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!"

  12. #12
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    I have available to me two 96x30x1.75 maple butcher blocks that are very flat. My thoughts were to sandwich these together to get over 3" thick top. Then just mortise in some legs underneath, drill some dogholes, and maybe add on the benchcrafted leg vise and/or add maybe the veritas vise at the end. Thoughts?
    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!"

  13. #13
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    Zachary donít get hung up on one bench video, especially that one. Yes you can hold stuff many ways, lots of those are very cumbersome and slow. It is almost a Veritas ad.
    What you donít see are all the short comings. Build a simple bench to start, find out what you like. Then use that bench to build something else.
    As for your stretcher question, yes they are a good idea and they need to be the right size and in the right place. Face glueing two end grain butcher blocks together is problematic as is periodic flattening of the top.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  14. #14
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    I have available to me two 96x30x1.75 maple butcher blocks that are very flat.
    If they are traditional butcher block the surface is end grain. That will be a problem gluing and also will be easy to split when using a holdfast.

    If the surface is face grain, it may work well.

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

  15. #15
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    I think it's a beautifully executed, overly complex design. It's likely built to fill the camera frame for the maker's videos.

    Practically speaking, I rarely use boards longer than 40" or wider than 10".

    If working with sheet goods (plywood) it's off to the garage to break things down to manageable size.

    *****

    Where will your bench be set?

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