Thread: My Jarrah Workbench
19th Feb 2013, 07:32 PM #1
My Jarrah Workbench
This workbench project started for me when an Uncle gave me a plan for a dream workbench somewhere around 1988, It was a complex dream workbench and I never got around to doing it , no time , He was moving back to Canada and took the plans with him. that was like a seed that had been put in place though, "One Day a Bench would be nice, a really Nice bench" You Know what I mean ?
Then somewhere around 1994/95 I went into a workshop to visit a newly made friend Who is a cabinet maker , he had made this incredible Shaker bench and he showed me the Workbench book. the seed that had been planted by my uncle just got a severe watering.
I needed a good bench with a tail vice and a well.
some time in 1996 the drawings were done , and over 5 months of after hours work My bench was made.
In 3 more years it will be 20 years old !
I had a heap of Jarrah that would be good for the job. and I started sketching ideas influenced by the Book and the Shaker bench on the cover. My ideas started to change the more I drew and I wanted a bench where the tail vice did not stick out over the end of the bench, I needed drawer storage space , and the half column decoration that I had seen on 1840s Aussie Furniture seemed like it would work. The sketches and scale drawings show how the idea evolved.
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19th Feb 2013, 07:54 PM #2
At the time this was built I did not take many pictures, pre digital for me.
The last two drawings in the above post were the final ones that I had decided on.
The main timber used is Jarrah.
The Redgum threads were cut with a German wood thread cutter.
Sticks for turning the screws for the two vices are she oak , The figured Redgum one pictured lasted about a week after I started using the bench.
Queensland Maple for drawer Bottoms and Vic Ash drawer sides.
This is going to be a quick Bench Build thread
3 posts in half an hour and it's done !!
19th Feb 2013, 08:30 PM #3
And here she is all dressed up and pretty, The nice shiny pictures were taken after a good clean up and a polish so I could put them on My web site. Under normal working conditions It is rarely ever that clean
A lot of cabinet work has been done on the bench , I love the well, I notice quite a few benches without them . At the planning stage I was thinking of not putting it in and I remember discussing What do I need it for ?
To Keep a mess in was one answer and to be able to clamp jigs and work to the square front of the bench was the other. I did not want to be pulling it off the wall to do this. Carcase sides get dovetails cut this way among other things.
I work at the bench with a heavy duty table behind me. The table is the remains of the first workbench I made and the top is about 40mm thick Karri This sits on bearers so that the top has a gap underneath of about 50mm . its great for clamping things to. and a good place for dirty work like stripping finish and applying finish.
One thing that was recommended in the workbench book was the height of a bench , I think wrist height was what it said ? for effective planing . This for me would have been at about 910 mm high. But what about all the other things I do at a bench where I don't want to bend down to do it ? I did the bench at 950mm high and when I need to do a fair bit of hand planing of drawer sides and fronts and backs or what ever , I lay down a plank I made up of 250 wide pine and walk on that.
19th Feb 2013, 09:18 PM #4GOLD MEMBER
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- Jan 2010
Wow, what a stunning piece of joinery. That would take pride of place in any workshop. Thanks for sharing-Scott
19th Feb 2013, 10:38 PM #5
That is quite something. I am impressed.Visit my website at www.myWoodwork.com.au
20th Feb 2013, 06:11 AM #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Wow, beautiful work....that vice - awesome!
....makes my new planned bench look like an Ikea Flat Pack......actually no, makes it looks like the cardboard box and Ikea Flat pack comes in
20th Feb 2013, 07:18 AM #7
Really nice piece of craftsmanship.
I also like the tool storage backed to the bench - nice and organised.Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can? -- Sun Tzu
20th Feb 2013, 07:22 AM #8
Beautiful and a testament to it's design and functionality that it still looks so good after decades of use!
20th Feb 2013, 01:58 PM #9
The tool set up and the way I have used the drawers seems to be an ever evolving idea as well. When I was building it I had ideas of fitted drawers for saws , chisels and all the rest, possibly lined with felt . but if you just keep buying tools like I have been doing, it never happens.I am pretty sure I am near the end of my tool buying though.
The cabinet to the left has held my infill planes and moulding planes , I'm thinking of changing it all around once more.
I want to add sort of left and right hand side wings of shelves and drawers as well
I will see what "work in action" pictures I can find to add.
20th Feb 2013, 02:02 PM #10
I expect all drawers are dovetailed by hand.Visit my website at www.myWoodwork.com.au
20th Feb 2013, 02:49 PM #11
That's a classic. Not just a workbench but a piece of furniture. I love the way you have integrated a sliding deadman and the under bench drawers.
The incorporation of the well for tools is always a controversial feature. The school workbenches had that and I still have a workbench with that style although if I ever get to build my new bench it probably won't have a well.
It is a credit to you and a workhorse workbench to boot.
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
20th Feb 2013, 05:47 PM #12
I cut Dovetails by hand on the drawer side ,pin holes taken out with a fret saw, then the draw side held in place over the end of the drawer front, side dovetails marked out , a saw cut to the line, left and right of each tail position, then the waste removed by router, corners cleaned up by chisel.
This is what I do with all my work. I think the secret to good neat ones is in how a person holds the side to the front when marking out and I have made a few special jigs for doing this. I did not have them when I was building the bench and the bench dovetails are a little rough in places .
The drawer knobs are Redgum as well , the bench dogs I have always used wooden ones , a pair lasts a few years , I was going to do metal and have an original pair that come of another old bench in the workshop but they are to long and get in the way of the drawers.
A picture of the thread after all this time, still going well. there is a slightly larger ding taken out on the other side from a dropped chisel.
Thanks Rob , " a sliding deadman " I've never heard of tit being called that before.
20th Feb 2013, 06:47 PM #13Skwair2rownd
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
- Dundowran Beach
Awesome is a word I usually avoid, but how else do I describe this beautiful bench???
20th Feb 2013, 07:24 PM #14GOLD MEMBER
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
- Mornington Peninsula
I am so jealous. Very nice (and practical) work.
20th Feb 2013, 07:44 PM #15
what an inspiration - the bench and surrounding setup just seems to have this presence.
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