Thursday, June 06, 2019

New Moravian Bench

Went by the Woodstore on the way home from work. They had some nice 12/4 Poplar sticks in the stacks. I picked up two for legs and long stretchers plus one 8/4 hunk for the short stretchers.

I'm getting too old to handle 12/4 wood even if it is Poplar. A photo of breaking the 12/4 down into something I can wrestle into the shop.

The new bench will be portable with a 380mmX1800mm slab. The slab will be laminated Beech, I figure about 15 BF @ $6 USD/BF, with waste the slab should be about $100 USD. The Poplar for the base was $275 USD and a Lake Erie 2X vise screw kit is $330 USD, $250 USD if I go for the standard screw. Add it all up and material to build is ~$700 USD. BTW, there ain't no money in building benches, it is a work of love or compulsion I'm not sure which.


  1. I'll say both work of compulsion AND love :-)
    Been wondering how I could fit a 6 ft bench into my small shop. If/when I do, ill probably be a Moravian, you got me sold

    Bob, butt scratching looking at his shop footprint

    1. Bob,

      These little 5' benches I build give plenty of room to work. The big 7'er is better but not enough to crowd the shop.


  2. Steve D6:32 AM

    Shouldn't your wood pricing be in Euro/cubic meter to be fully metricated?

    Is the poplar that much cheaper than beech? I'm old school so board feet will be more comprehensible to me.

    On laminated bench tops some designs concentrate material in the front of the bench where the pounding and planing occurs. The middle and rear of the top can be less thick since it isn't doing much unless there are holdfasts. Nicholson is an extreme example of this but Scandinavian benches use this as well. Japanese planing benches are the most extreme where the back of the bench has zero thickness - it's all beam.

    1. Steve,

      Busted....Of course the Woodstore would not have a clue what I was talking about. I have to say when I go wood shopping I have to work back and forth to be sure I'm buying the correct amount.

      12/4 Poplar is just under $4 USD a BF here. 8/4 Beech is going for almost $6 USD/BF. Poplar makes a good base wood for these benches. I've used DF, Beech and Poplar. Poplar is a good compromise between weight, strength, and workability with cost a factor as well. It's not as cheap as DF but is easier to work and comes in 12/4, a big time and labor saver.

      Because the bench is meant to be portable I put constraints on weight and size. Slab weight needs to be under 50lb. and no wider than 380mm/15". That means a kinda thin slab as well., 50mm thick works fine, I've tried using a split slab to make up the needed size but soon found the best answer is just a light tool tray.