The Work Bench

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The work bench is the principal tool of the cabinet maker and where he spends the majority of his time. This is the second work bench I have designed and built. Mark 2 has some (I hope) innovative ideas that I would like to share with anybody who is interested in building their own bench. It is built from workshop off-cuts, the only bought items are the vices. The top is 4" thick iroko, the legs are iroko and oak, the slatted frame work is ash.

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bench legs This image shows how the legs are bolted onto the rails. You can just see the metal bar in the rail. This has a threaded hole in it. The bolt locates in the bar and pulls the rail tightly up to the leg. This gives me the option of dismantling the bench if I need to. The legs are oak and the bottom stabilising piece is iroko.
I decided to have bench dogs that I could set to whatever height I needed depending on the thickness of the work piece. This image shows all the bench dogs in the down position. underside of bench
bench dog A close up (underneath the top) view of a bench dog sitting flush with the bench top. The slot enables me to set the dog to any height, the wing nut holds it in position.
Here the bench dog is in the fully up position. bench dog
bench dog The bench dog in the fully up position on the top of the bench.
This is called an "end vice". I have added one to both ends of the bench. I have never been happy with any of the end vices I have used so spent some inventing these. The general principal is that the work is supported by the bench top when it is cramped up. end vice
end vice I have various sizes off inserts which slot in to the end vice depending on the thickness of work piece, I mark the height on the insert. This insert protrudes 10mm.
The end vice in action. Clamped up is the side of a walnut jewellery box.
end vice handle I turned the bars for the end vices on my metal working vice for accuracy. The smaller pieces were turned on my Myford woodworking lathe. Made from off-cuts of purpleheart.
This is the classic quick release record wood working vice. Originally bought for the mark 1 bench. record woodworking vice
record woodworking vice I have added rebates to the edges of the vice cheeks. I can slot auxillary boards onto the cheeks if needed. Here are boards with carpet glued on them to protect the work piece.
Whereas with most wood working benches the top is one solid mass of wood, I decided that for my type of work I only needed to have the front part of the top as solid. Any pounding work such as chopping out dovetails is done at the front of the bench. The back is made up of a number of mdf panels which I can remove when required. I never use a bench top as an accurate flat surface, I always use a cast machine bed. bench top
support shelf This is an adjustable support shelf which fits in holes in the front legs of the bench.
The support shelf in action. support shelf in action
wide stock vice I made this vice to hold wider stock. There is a metal block "let in" to the front of the top. There are a number of threaded holes in the block so that I can vary the width between vice screws to suit the work piece.
A wider board sitting on the support shelf and being held securely in the vice.
close up of support shelf The support shelf is bolted through the front legs.
I have carved my name, the year it was made and my logo on the bottom rail. carving on the bottom rail
Boxes for sale up to £250
Boxes for sale £250 to £550
Boxes for sale £550 to £1000
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Personal boxes
Workshop news
The work bench
Jewellery trays
To make a box (1)
To make a box (2)
To make a box (3)

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