Thursday, June 20, 2019

Back To The Bench

The top stretchers are finished and fitted.  Next are the middle stretchers.

The middle stretcher uses a single shoulder, flush to the face M/T joint. Once you understand what you are trying to do the markout is easy but can cause confusion if you do not pay attention to the marking, sawing and chopping.

The mortise gauge is set so the far pin rides on the back edge of the stretcher so it makes a single mark on the stretcher. The waste is the face side leaving a tenon on the back side of the stretcher. Marking the mortise is just normal mortise marking using the face edge to reference the fence.

Will Myers threw me a curve yesterday. He posted about a new Bench Crafted Crisscross that works with a standard portable Moravian bench. For his installation he used a BC metal screw, not necessarily a deal killer but I like the Lake Erie wood screws. Will and I have had a little back and forth about using a wood screw with the crisscross (room issues) but as I haven't ordered the vise screw yet I've decisions to make. I expect I'll wait on Will to checkout the room issue before ordering a vise screw. One of the reasons for building this bench was to try the new 2X Lake Erie screw but I want to try the BC crisscross as well.

Two possible answers; build another bench, one using the BC crisscross and one the Lake Erie 2X or just make two vises with vise backers for this bench and then A&B 'em to see which I like best.

Not a bad problem to have,



  1. Do you not worry about stripping threads too easily on a wooden screw?

  2. Mark,

    Short answer, no. Slightly longer, the Lake Erie Tool Works screw is made of Hard Maple and while I think it might be possible to damage I'm not strong enough to do it. The Lake Erie screws are beautifully made and work very quickly and smoothly. That said, I'm leaning towards using the Bench Crafted Classic metal screw with its crisscross on this build.


  3. Easy Peasy decision Airman. Built two benches, try both, problem solved!

    You're welcome :-)
    Bob, with Rudy on his lap

    1. Bob,

      And MsBubba would kill me. She is already giving me the skankeye over this build :-). As I'm building this bench on spec I'm leaning towards using the BC screw and crisscross for a couple of reasons. The BC screw is cheaper than the Lake Erie 2X and most folks are more comfortable with a metal screw and like the crisscross vs. parallel guide and pin.

      The second bench is a strong possibility if I can figure out a way to hide it:-). BTW, looking at your last post you need a Moravian bench for all your yard projects.