Friday, August 26, 2011

Bench Sketch

I believe I have the dimensions sorted out for my new workbench. Thanks to Chris Schwarz' two workbench books and the dimensions he provides for his Roubo, working out the measurements was much easier than starting from scratch.

I've decided on poplar for the base of the bench. The top will be cherry. I realize that poplar might not hold up as well as the cherry, but if I need to tighten the through tenon and dovetail in the top over time, that's okay. Poplar is readily available in 16/4 and is priced to please.

This is going to be my main bench and my travel bench which means that on rare occasions it will need to be broken down.

Rather than make something lightweight for travel, I decided to make the main one more portable.  The top will be made up of two 12/4 slabs that are not glued together. Because of this, I added two short stretchers beneath the top--one at both ends.  The four short stretchers will be mortise and tenoned and glued into the legs. 

I'm not a fan of metal fasteners, so the long stretchers will be connected to the legs with wedged through tenons.

I figure I'll be able to remove the two top pieces and remove the long stretchers, but leave the two end assemblies in tact. I *think* I'll be able to carry them.

The front vise will be a leg vise, and I think I've settled on a shop made wagon vise for the end.

The overall dimensions are 19.75" deep x 58" long x 33.75" tall. 

Those may seem like weird dimensions for someone who's only 5' 5", but they are very similar to the cheapie bench I've been using for almost two decades, so I've become accustomed to them.  All my jigs and two shop stools work with this size, and I've never found that I needed a longer or shorter bench. I don't plan on building large pieces, but if I do, I can slide my cheapie bench up end-for-end with the new one.

I plan to add a sliding deadman and put a shallow, removable tool box between the bottom stretchers.

Now it's time to go lumber shopping again. We're off to Groffs Lumber tomorrow and hope that Hurricane Irene doesn't rain on my workbench parade.