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Thread: Anarchist workbench?

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    If I didnít have a tail vise, where would I clamp my pencil sharpener.
    Under a holdfast of course....

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    If I didn’t have a tail vise, where would I clamp my pencil sharpener.
    You mean you don't just chuck a pencil up in your cordless drill and hold the sharpener in your hand?

    jtk

    -please don't try this at home.

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

  3. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    You mean you don't just chuck a pencil up in your cordless drill and hold the sharpener in your hand?

    jtk

    -please don't try this at home.

    jtk
    Well, I will now.

  4. #109
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    I had no idea there are such strong feelings about workbenches. My feelings are you build to what you primarily do. Iíve seen all of the things about building a bench then building another joinery bench, then a planning beam, than a bench on bench, than a carving bench so on and so forth. Itís like the Ford and Chevy thing with many more brands involved. Great fun though.
    Jim

  5. #110
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    I had no idea there are such strong feelings about workbenches.
    Like someone said, this is likely as much of a Pain in the Backside for moderators as a sharpening thread or a dovetail saw thread.

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

  6. #111
    Woodturning is the only other hobby I've ever been involved in where I've found so much of the "if you don't do it my way you're doing it wrong" attitude.

  7. #112
    Get instrument makers talking about glue It descends into "I'm right anyone who disagrees is wrong and is an uneducated hack" in about 10 minutes.

  8. #113
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    On SMC...it usually is another sharpening thread....
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  9. #114
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    I built my temporary workbench out of a sheet of 3/4 ply, some 2x4s and an old craftsman wood vice I got in a yard sale for $5. I decided I’d use that temp bench until it didn’t support my needs. That was 40 years and a house full of furniture ago. About time to call it my permanent bench I suppose.

  10. #115
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    Everybody loves the Shakers it seems, and Shaker style. There may be an exception or two, but it seems like every extant Shaker workbench in a Shaker museum has a tail vise, which they apparently found helpful even given the stripped down style they produced -- no carving, no veneer, no moldings or only very abbreviated ones (relatively speaking). Work holding is work holding. You have to have it and it is either integral to the bench or has to be accomplished in other ways.

  11. #116
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    It seems to me that there are only two arguments here. Weight and to have or have not a tail vise. Iíve seen a lot of workbenches here called Roubo or Roubo inspired that have about as much similarity as a canoe to a hydroplane. Your bench is inspired by you. I have been inspired by all of the ideas I see here. Some I have used some I donít like. Nothing wrong with a 500# behemoth with a tail vise a shoulder vise and a one of those do everything vises on the back or just a slab of oak on saw horses. Build for you not us. You will be much happier than constantly being distressed by that shoulder vise you never use.
    Jim

  12. #117
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    There may be an exception or two, but it seems like every extant Shaker workbench in a Shaker museum has a tail vise,
    Charles, the discussion of tail vises sounds like a subject for a thread in itself.

    Currently my tail vise is used more than my face vise. (though it is unpleasant to have either my tail or my face in a vise. )

    At one time a wagon vise seemed like a great idea. Then after realizing it wouldn't be able to do many of the things my current tail vise is capable of doing the idea of incorporating into my bench design was abandoned.

    Next would be the Scandinavian style tail vise. That may be great for holding some work, but still didn't offer all the abilities of my simple tail vise.

    One that does seem to be able to do all the same work would be a double screw design.

    Other than holding something in the vise to be sawn there are many ways to hold work without a tail vise. Even the holding of stock for sawing can be done with clamps or saw benches.

    A strategic layout of dog holes is great for planing flat stock. For holding something on edge there are multiple methods of securing it on the bench for mortising or planing.

    One of my favorites for planing is "The Claw:"

    In To the Claw.jpg

    This was seen on an episode of The Woodright's Shop.

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

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    Some truths in no particular order:


    1. People pick and choose the Roubo plates that fit their philosophy and worldview, and attempt to rationalize away the other plates that don't; rather than focus on the so-called "German" bench (harder to build) the focus was on the joinery benches which Schwarz saw could fairly easily be made from glued up pine. Substitute 2x6s for 2x4s and you pretty much can't help but come up with a "Roubo." And the original article by Bob Tarule in Fine Woodworking was frankly better, thought it didn't really offer a strategy using construction pine. It was essentially a close reproduction, except perhaps for length. Most people aren't building 14' tall palace doors for the King of France. Some people have managed to ban German and Scandinavian woodworking from the Western canon. Kind of stupid to me. That said, Frid and Klausz covered Scandinavian style benches about as well as they could be covered, leaving Schwarz little room for the schtick and spin he tends to put on things.
    2. Schwarz knows that people have a fixation on shop furniture and fixtures. They're a damn sight easier to make than a reproduction Georgian fully veneered barred glass door secretary, or something out of a Chippendale, Sheraton, or Hepplewhite design book; there's always a 'better' bench, toolchest, shooting board, etc. waiting to be made. Rinse and repeat. That'll be $34.99 thank-you-very-much. This all must be really amusing to the people at Taunton Press, who produced better books and articles on workbenchs and tool chests years and years ago. Perhaps imitation is in fact the sincerest form of flattery.
    3. After realizing the truth behind #2, the rest is easy: just publish books and articles about old designs, from old books, and build a little story and narrative around them. The only thing (possibly) original is the little story. The rest could be had with a $100 investment in old books from Amazon, most of which have copyrights that expired long ago.
    4. If you could transport yourself back in time, and walk out into the French countryside and cut down an old oak [or whatever], and take the center slab out of it for a workbench top then why the heck wouldn't you? Can't do the forestry work yourself? Just order it from your supplier. Cost of doing business, and after all it was big business.
    Charles, as always, uncommon wisdom.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    I currently have a Scandinavian style bench with a face vise. I made it about 15 years ago. I'll be making a new one this next year. It'll be a whole lot simpler, and longer. I've found that the vise racks, and is a pain, I don't use the end vise, I made it a couple feet too short, I don't like storage in the base (easy enough to get rid of though), and the legs would be a lot better off being coplanar with the edge. I also found that I end up using holdfasts and stops more than anything else. So, I'll have a flat top with lots of round holes for holdfasts, a planing stop, and one leg vise. Why? Because I have found that this is what I tend to actually use anyway. It also means I won't bother with making square dog holes again, so that simplifies making the top a lot.

    The style, whether Roubo, Moravaian, Shaker, or English really doesn't matter too much to me. Although, since I won't move the thing again, so having a break-down bench really isn't interesting for me. Since I am a mostly 'beer powered' woodworker, and so I dimension most of my stock and mortise by hand, I need the top to be solid and stay there. Since I tend to clamp things to the bench, I doubt I'd go with the English (I wasn't a fan of the big apron on the last one I used) and since I don't like storage in the bench, no Shaker for me either. It's not my first bench. It won't be my last bench, that I'm sure of. At least, I hope I continue building things long enough to become annoyed with working on the next bench.

    The existing bench will continue to live on, and serve, in my shop.. as an auxiliary bench. Something wonderful about de-emphasizing my power tools has been opening up floor space for more useful working surfaces. Maybe in a year or two I'll just be left with a planar, mini-lathe and a bandsaw, which sounds about right to me. Some of this reminds me of wheel sizes in mountain biking
    Interesting! I have used a (granted, somewhat crude, but totally functional) Roubo bench in the past.

    This time around, I made a more Scandinavian (but without the fancy vises... See, Sloyd benches or turn of the century cabinet maker's benches, which are both just scandinavian/continental European benches with simple vises) style workbench. And while I've only just began using it (time will tell if my preferences change, I guess), I love it for exactly all of the reasons you don't! I needed something light weight and moveable, able to be knocked down, and I am already enjoying having an end vise which allows me to, given the bench's lightweight and small size, position my work in either vise to get the added stability of the length of the bench rather than the narrower width. The dog system is also really nice for holding small pieces. Moreover, for much the same reasons, the leg assembly is constructed such that I can just place a foot on it in order to use my body weight to make the bench extra secure, if I am putting considerable lateral force on the bench which might cause it to move.

    I also wanted storage underneath it and mounted to it, because I don't have space for a proper tool cabinet.

    Of course, I love the Roubo and Moravian benches as well, but for my particular needs and the kind of work that I do, and workspace that I have, this little Scandinavian-ish sloyd style bench is, so far, proving to be ideal.

  15. #120
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    The first wood workbench I made.....was done following Norm Abram's build....yeah, THAT long ago.....found I liked working off the top of my large (Craftsman 113ish) tablesaw instead....so, I gave "Norm's Bench" to my brother....that he has against the back wall of his garage...with a peg board on that wall to hold his tools....

    Have also used a 2x 10 pine plank, with Visegrips Finger clamps (think welder's clamps) to clamp the plank to a 6' Werner Stepladder....used that to build both a saw bench, and my current bench.

    First day on a new job site: Build a set of steps with a small landing for the Jobsite Office Trailer....then go and build a pair of sawhorses to use for the duration of that job....when the Tool Trailer arrived, IF it was just a semi style....we had to also build a set of stairs for the back end...the width of the trailer, without any step up into the trailer itself (tripping hazard).....Not too bad for the Concrete Foundation Crew?

    One has to adapt to what is on hand, what one has to work with, and what one has to work on. And, as long as it isn't pouring down rain...in any weather, year round. Work, or ya don't get paid, simple as that.

    There IS a B&D Work-a-Mate in my shed....for when I am working around outside the house....even has a new, treated pine top, with a thicker set of jaws for work holding....( burned the old top, as it was just a bunch of loose layers...) It is a Type 2 version...a bit more solid than the ones currently out. When I was building the new front porch deck...and needed a place to saw the lumber on...it did quite well, I also brought out of the shop the Stanley No. 2246 Mitre Box and saw....stair step railing and spindles,,,

    Being doing this sort of stuff since Junior High School...I'm 68 at the moment...

    I can remember back to Scott Phillips' FIRST season.....where his bench was against the shop wall, with plenty of windows for light..LONG before KREG found him...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

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