Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stop Me Before I Build a New Bench

As I posted a few posts ago, I rearranged the shop which opened it up slightly. While looking at the shop yesterday I realized if I moved the lathe into the tool room (there is room for it, kinda) there would be room for my bench along the wall and I could build a new bench. I like that idea, I could use a second bench and it would allow me to make some minor changes to what would be my primary bench.

When I built this bench I debated installing an end vise, what kind, and if one was needed. A wagon vise answered most of my objections to end vises and I decided it was easier to install one during the build than to come back and do a retrofit if I decided one was needed, so I installed a end vise. I would guess over the last couple of years I've used it maybe a half dozen times and even for those times it was used because it was there not because it was needed. Eliminating the end vise and the associated dogs would be the only functional change I would make. I expect I would also do away with the split top, that's another feature that looks good in theory but isn't used much and wouldn't be missed.

I guess the bottom line is: Pretty much the same bench but even simpler. I would go back to the leg vise with a crisscross instead of the guide, 3/4" dog holes away from the front edge placed for holdfasts and stops, the same size bench.....approximately 2300mmX610mmX865mm and some where around 180 to 200 kilo. The only other change might be the wood. While SYP makes a great bench, it isn't very pretty and this time I might go for pretty as well as functional.

This is the current bench, it would be really nice to have two of 'em.

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