I’ve never been unhappy with my old workbench. It’s dependable. Small enough to be able to work on all sides, which makes it perfect for chair making. Solid and heavy duty. It’s great so why build a new workbench?
The main reason is that the new shop really felt like it needed another bench on the south wall. Plus, once I start running chair making courses the extra bench will be a necessity. It was more than that. The extra space will be awesome to have especially when I have more than one project on the go at a time. What I really wanted though was to have an end vise and a bigger front vise. Now I have it!
The base is all mortice and wedged tenons. Very solid. I used some Douglas fir that I milled last summer. It wasn’t quite as knot free as I would have liked, but I’m not worried about lack of strength and the knots give it a bit more character. The top is just over 6′ long and almost 3′ wide by 3 1/2″ thick. It’s very heavy! In fact I almost couldn’t flip it over when I was installing the vises.
The apron is 2 1/2″ thick by 9 1/2″ wide. I really like how the dovetails came together on the corner. At some point in the future I will add dog holes in the apron I just didn’t have the heart to drill holes in it this soon after finishing it. They will probably wait until I’m jointing a long board that needs a little extra support.
The front vise has 16″ jaws and an opening of 13″. The front jaw has dog holes which match the dog holes in the bench top. This means I can use it like an end vise as well.The end vise is the full width of the bench top.
I went with round dog holes because I’m a huge fan of hold fasts and they need round holes to work. Also I can turn an endless supply of wooden dogs (customizable to whatever height I need) on the lathe.
Now, what am I going to make first!