Classic Inspired Workbench

The initial post for this build is at this link:

So below is a sketch of the build plan I came up with, At 28" X 78" it is a large bench with lots of work holding options. It is all built from SPF lumber, selecting pine and fir and avoiding the spruce when purchasing the wood. Good quality hardwood would have been better, but for me would have required a expensive trip south for a load of even more expensive hardwood. I am getting up in age and I very much dought I will ever wear this bench out.

I brought the wood into the shop to acclimatize.

After a week in the shop with the humidity kept below 50% , the wood was at 14% MC. It had been 17% in the storage shed. Decided to wait another week and try to get to 11-12% MC.

In the picture below is all the hardware I will be using. 2 quick adjust 7" woodworking vises and 3 screws, 2 for the Moxon and 1 for the leg vise.These were picked up on sale over a period of years for this purpose.

While I was waiting for my wood to dry I decided to prepare the remaining hardware I would require. Starting with a hold-fast for the bench top, I took an old, good quality steel pry bar and modified it to serve as a hold-fast. One whack on top with a mallet locks it and one whack on the back side releases it.

The hold-fast and salvaged bolts with over sized heads to act as bench dogs.

For the leg vise parallel  support I decided to go with an old idea I first saw in the shop notes of an old Popular Mechanics magazine. I believe commercial versions are now available but this may have been the original source of this idea.

My scissor set-up is a little different in that I am using lighter materials and I included bearings on the bottom sliding section of the scissor arms for smoother operation. The arms are made from broken quick clamp bars. The bearings ride in the light steel channel in the middle of the picture.

Assembled and in  the closed position.

In the open position.

So with my wood between 11 and 12% MC, I started with the glue up. I first did all of the base members, legs and stretchers. All mating surfaces were first run through the jointer.

When the base parts were all done I started with the top. The top was made in 2 halves so I can do the finishing on my 15" planer. As with the base members all mating surfaces are jointed and in this case planed.

The first half all clamped up, the lone piece at the bottom of the photo will be added after the leg mortises are cut out.

The first half complete and planed, The second half glued up and clamped.

After the second half was complete they were carefully joined. The joint was then cleaned up with a belt sander and the flatness of the top checked. Found a little curve on one end. Started with a belt sander where the curve started and worked towards the end. Flattened out nicely.

So I decided two use double tenon and mortise joints on the bottom stretchers and single tenon and mortise on the rest of the joinery. Heres a picture of the first one cut.

Checking the fit, nice and snug. 

All the joints cut for the bottom stretchers.

Did a dry assembly to check the fits.

Here's a close up of the corner assembly.

When I shortened the bench by 6" in my original sketch I shortened the vise end overhang by 2", however I neglected to check the closed vise clearance to the base cross member. It was off by 1 1/2", the solution was to cut a couple of clearance arches in the cross member as seen in the pics. below.

Here's a dry assembly of the end frame.

Next I cut the tenons and did the glue-up for the clamp rack.

At this time I was ready to do a dry lay-up of the complete base assembly to check the fits.

And here is how the clamp rack will work. The bottom stretchers will support a 1/2" plywood bottom. Fully loaded it can store close to 200 lbs of 4 to 10" clamps and large, up to 56" bar clamps on the bottom shelf.

Next I drilled the bench top for the bench dogs. I marked out two rows centered on the 2 end vises and on 6" centers for spacing, starting 8" from the end vises. Each hole was first started with a forstner bit to reduce chipping and finished with a 3/4" silver and demming bit. The 2 X 4's clamped to the underside are to reduce chipping on the underside.

Next I prepared the leg vise and moxon vise for installation.

The routed dado and metal bearing track installed.

And here is the moxon, very heavy duty, all doubled and glue laminated 2 X 6 and 2 X 8's. This vise is great for working the ends of boards and panels. The wide screw spacing allows work up to 20" wide to be clamped across its full width.

At this point I am ready for the final assembly and glue-up. I did the glue up in three steps, first the end frames were glued and clamped. I was originally going to use the draw in pegging technique, but decided that I might end up splitting the softwood I was using,so I decided to drill under size and peg each joint while the clamps were still on instead, in the hope it will keep things tight. Next I assembled the base by adding the long stretchers, the plywood bottom and the clamp rack. It was all glued, clamped up and pegged. The last step was to check the base for squareness and drop the top in place. It was a tight fit but a 6 lb. helper made for a snug fit. To finish things up the leg vise and moxon vise assemblies were installed. The quick adjust end vises and the deadman support were installed. 

The deadman rides a 90* V bottom support.

And slots into a 1/2" X 1 1/4" dado at the top. It slides easy and can be easily removed.

The finished assembly pictures.

And with all the vises wide open to show capacities.

The finished bench, ready to apply a durable finish.

So thats it a very large, very heavy workbench which will hold up for a very long time. Using kiln dried SPF lumber and waiting for sale prices for all my hardware, my total cost was a little over $300.00C. Very cheap for a workbench of this size and capabilities. 

For the finished pictures go to this link:

And to see the clamp rack all loaded up, go to this link:

Hope someone got something from this build.