22

Bench dogs allow you to clamp a long workpiece that wouldn't normally fit in the jaws of the bench vise. There's a set of dogs that attach to the vise, and a set that attach on the table, essentially making one really big vise. One application would be holding down a board for hand planing. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia) They're usually in the form of ...


16

In addition to bench dogs (explained well by Doresoom above), there are other devices that use the same holes. A holdfast uses the thickness of the bench to hold down a piece of wood with no additional clamps. You can also get a product called Wonder Dogs that let you apply pressure at odd angles. These combine with your bench to allow clamping work ...


12

One of the problems with putting wheels on a work bench, is it often isn't stable enough for some of the stuff we do on the bench (hand planing for instance). Rockler has a set of workbench casters that lock down to allow the bench to roll, but then can be popped up to put the bench back on its own legs for stability.


11

is there a general recommended distance between dog holes in both directions? Common sense says that the holes should be spaced from the vice in increments that are less than or equal to the maximum opening of the vice, so that you can clamp any sized object without needing shims. In the crosswise direction, consider how large an object would need to be ...


11

What should I apply to seal the edges from leaking and seal the top from absorbing? Indoor use, subject to humidity. Technically you don't have to do anything to it, many people have MDF benchtops with no finish on them. The moisture in the air is basically a non-issue for MDF, it's only liquid water that you need to be concerned with. On a separate ...


11

and would like to know the key design considerations and recommended jointing options for such a project Unfortunately there isn't any easy answer to this. As with many woodworkers when I was designing my own workbench I immersed myself in the topic and spent months collecting images, step-by-step build articles, reading and analysing (over-analysing) ...


11

I'd add four simple blocks of wood to the underside of your work surface. I made this out of 2x4x6" long scrap. Drill hole in center with fostner bit, then use jig saw to cut access groove. With deep groove, this one isn't going anywhere. You simply drop the worksurface onto the bars. Obviously this picture is upside down. You should use some flush ...


9

So a good question for here would be are softwoods suitable or practicable for use as bench tops? Yes. Obviously softwoods are generally fairly soft and a bench made from softwood is going to be more prone to denting than one made of e.g. hard maple (a very popular choice in the US) but this could actually be considered a desirable trait rather than a ...


9

The holes in a workbench skirt are usually used for pegs. They're used to prop one end of a long board up while the other end is clamped in a vise or held to the face of the bench with a clamp or holdfast. For the Nicholson-style workbench pictured above, usually one would jam the end of a board (oriented vertically) into the crow's mouth on the left and ...


8

Tusk tenons, as you mentioned, would be good for disassembly, allowing you to make a larger workbench that can be easily moved in parts. Probably the biggest single piece would be the work surface itself. Together with this, I would suggest using ballast - make a small workbench (that can be disassembled or not, depending on how portable you need it to be), ...


8

Conceptually similar to zipzit's answer, another thing you can do is just mount some 1x2 strips or whatever to the underside of your surface, hugging the bars (you may want to mount one, then place it on the bar and hold the other one in place for a tight fit), e.g. (not to any sort of scale): You may even be able to get away without the inner set, or ...


8

If you read the woodworking forums there are two classic books on the subject of workbench design in English and I think both compare features and usefulness a you're hoping. The first is by Scott Landis, The Workbench Book, the second by Christopher Schwarz, Workbenches: From Design And Theory To Construction And Use. People seem divided on which of these ...


7

Can I treat this like regular wood and just sand it back down before applying another coat of the water-based polyurethane Yes. The finish swelled the wood fibres in the particleboard/chipboard. So although it's not raising the grain as in the case of solid wood (or the surface of plywood) it is the same thing effectively. Don't sand too heavily. Just as ...


7

My bench top is made of 2 half inch pieces of MDF that I laminated together with wood glue and screws. I drilled about 8 holes for my brass bench dogs. I have used those bench dogs for over a year now, when using my hand planes and router, etc. I have never noticed any kind of deformation or loosening of the hold due to the qualities of the MDF. Also, MDF ...


7

I have several suggestions for gluing this type of slab. The glue does not spread itself. Always distribute it evenly before making contact between pieces. You can do this using a brush or a roller. I keep a rubber ink roller to distribute glue in large areas and then simply rinse it to clean off the glue for its next use. Glue on both contact faces will ...


7

Why do people position the saw in the middle why not at one end with a small overlap on the short side? Part of the reason people put the saw in the middle is so that they can cut miters from both sides of the blade. If you have a piece of molding, it's very hard and inaccurate to cut both miters from the same side, since that requires flipping the piece ...


6

It functions as a plane stop, for planing cross grain with hand planes. If you don't plan on using hand planes extensively, it isn't necessary. If you do decide to use hand planes, you can get the same effect from bench dogs, or even just clamping a board to the bench. My preference is still more toward a Roubo style bench. It is more versatile and ...


6

What are the functional differences between a leg and front vise? I think you've already hit on them pretty well in your Question. Leg vise can be built from solely wood components and has a deep throat. It also is the largest of all bench vises from what I can tell. A "con" could be that a traditional leg vise relies on a parallel bar at the ...


6

There are more elaborate answers to be sure but tusk and tenon and rising dovetail joinery would lend very well to such a design. I found a perfect image of what I was thinking. Image from villagecarpenter.blogspot.ca Tusk and tenons are known for both their strength, when done well of course, and ease of assembly and disassembly. Now this won't do much ...


6

A workbench top doesn't actually need to be fixed to the legs or leg assembly. As Andy Rae shows in his book Choosing & Using Hand Tools the top can simply sit on round-nosed dowels that project from each leg frame: At the opposite end of the spectrum you can use something that few woodworkers would conscience in a 'proper' job because they're so ...


6

Should I not bother with these workbench features as they might not be suited for softwood? Example being I can see a holdfast wearing out a dog hole fairly quickly if used regularly. To clarify I am not concerned with the appearance but functionality of a bench with these features. I built my Roubo workbench out of southern pine, and I can tell you that ...


6

Putting the saw in the middle maximizes the size of the pieces you can create from your offcut. Say you put the saw 1m from the end of your shop. Now you've got a 4m board and you need to create 2m work pieces. With your setup you are unable to fit the offcut between the blade and the wall. You would have to cut a scrap 1m piece, then another scrap 1m ...


6

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like your bench has any provision for a deadman. This would allow you to clamp one end of the board in the face vise and support the other end with the deadman. I think you could make a passable one by bolting some T-track to the underside of your bench top, putting some hex-head lag bolts (to fit the T-track) in the end of ...


5

I would use bolts, if I remember correctly I used bolts to attach wheels to my table/cart that I made, 12-14 years ago and they are still going fine. I attached them to 2x4's that were a part of the lower frame structure. They don't need to be real big, but by having the bolt go though something (with a good washer on either end) you can prevent the 'easy' ...


5

You could probably go through a few cycles of sanding/water-based finish and eventually get a flat and sealed surface, but if it was me, I'd sand flat and apply an oil-based primer (and follow with paint). If you must have a clear finish, sand more aggressively and use an oil based varnish-type finish. Water based finishes will always do what you've ...


5

Exterior doors for homes are made out of MDF with a lot less than a one inch hard wood veneer. It is reasonable to expect your table design would hold up to normal work bench usage. A better choice might be to rescue some used hardwood flooring. Not the engineered type that is sold new today, but the kind from the 1950's and earlier that really was solid ...


5

In Paul Sellers' blog he describes Building a Workbench which uses a drop-in wedge to make it possible to separate worktop from legs for transportation image by permission from paulsellers.com. Paul Sellers - How to Build a Workbench – Apron Recesses (part11) This sort of wedge is self-tightening and produces a very rigid and stable workbench. On my ...


5

I'm in a similar situation with a 14' (4,25m) wall. I don't recommend setting up your miter saw in the middle. I believe it depends on your usual stock length. For me, it's 8' (2,5m), so I have it that one side is 8' (2,5m) and the other is the left over. This way, I can just cut a few inches from my 8' (2,5m) stock. Which I do frequently to start with ...


4

If you search Youtube for split top roubo benches you will find many examples of this bench feature in use. The insert board is loose in the gap and designed to be flush when oriented with one side up and as a bench stop when reversed so that the other side of the insert board is up. The insert gap provides space in which two bench slabs can expand towards ...


4

It depends on the wheels and load, and without more information on what exactly failed (wood? Screws? Wheel?) it will be hard to give you an answer specific to your problem. When I built my large worktable, I had 4x4 posts as legs, but they were still too small for the 500lb rated load wheels I wanted to use, so added 2x4's wrapped around the legs to end up ...


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