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Thread: Spit Top Saw Bench

  1. #1

    Spit Top Saw Bench

    Hello All,
    I have often thought that a low, solid bench would be very useful in the shop, so I looked at a lot of images and came up with a design I liked. The original plan was to attach the tops to the legs with box joints, but since I have wanted to learn how to hand cut dovetails, I decided that now was the time.


    Learning in 5/4 hard maple was not the most logical decision since it is so unforgiving, but I practiced 7 or 8 joints in 3/4 poplar until I started feeling comfortable. I tried several techniques, and ended up cutting the tails first on the tablesaw and finishing with a chisel. The pins were cut in the traditional way with a hand saw. My first attempts were with my Japanese saw, but I wasnít getting the results I liked and I ordered Rob Cosmanís dovetail saw. What a difference! Easy to start, cuts quickly, easier for me to keep a straight cut. The joints arenít perfect, but Iím on my way.


    I finished with my new favorite finish, Osmo Polyx. Itís easy to apply once you learn to go lightly, feels great to the touch, and doesnít yellow maple like many finishes.


    I know that many of you might think it a waste of time to put so much effort into a piece of shop furniture, but I view every project i build as a learning opportunity and I learned a lot on this build. Thanks for looking!
    Tim
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Andrews View Post
    I know that many of you might think it a waste of time to put so much effort into a piece of shop furniture, but I view every project i build as a learning opportunity and I learned a lot on this build..
    Nice job. I think the bench looks great! Nothing wrong with having nice shop furniture - you should look at Derek Cohen's website - even fixtures he builds are pretty.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    Great job, Tim. I made a similar design some years ago and itís a great addition to the shop. I did end up modifying it some to accommodate clamping. I widened the center opening and put a few dog holes down each side.

  4. #4
    Thanks guys. Phil, how do you use the dog holes since there is not a vice to snug up the piece? As planing stops?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
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    Sorry, Tim, should have been more clear. I have a couple of these from LV that I use with the dog holes. Primarily when ripping narrower stock when a standard clamp doesn’t have the throat depth from the outside edge of the saw bench.

    1B83AACC-674C-434B-8035-CFCCFE824D75.jpg
    Last edited by Phil Mueller; 06-13-2021 at 10:41 PM.

  6. #6
    Got it, thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sunny California
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    515
    Great looking work Tim!
    A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
    Ayn Rand

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
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    1,175
    I agree that’s a great looking bench. And why not have nice fixtures in the most important room in the house
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    The Sunny Southeast
    Posts
    614
    Thatís a lovely saw bench. Nice looking shop fixtures are something I really appreciate

    Ron

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
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    2,189
    Very nice! Have you had occasion to use it? Does it have its first scar yet? Some of my most cherished shop fixtures are those that I really went overboard on and now feature plenty of witness marks.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  11. #11
    Thanks Rob. So far I have only used it for seating a few times, so no dings. I knew when I built it that seating would be one if its functions, because I often seem to need to sit at that height. I'm sure I'll be using it for sawing and drilling soon.

    I've heard of guys making beautiful workbenches with hand cut joints, and they kristen the bench by giving it a good whack with a hammer. I could never do that!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    2,189
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Andrews View Post
    Thanks Rob. So far I have only used it for seating a few times, so no dings. I knew when I built it that seating would be one if its functions, because I often seem to need to sit at that height. I'm sure I'll be using it for sawing and drilling soon.

    I've heard of guys making beautiful workbenches with hand cut joints, and they kristen the bench by giving it a good whack with a hammer. I could never do that!
    Hah! Years ago I built a deck and we had friends over for the inaugural cookout. Right off the mark my buddy opens a beer and pours it all over the new deck. He says “it’s gonna happen sooner or later. We might as well call it a christening”.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

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