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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Brunswick VIC
    Age
    40
    Posts
    352

    Default Tiny-big bench in Vic Ash

    It's the first woodworking bench that I have built, and has a few other 'first times' too, e.g. draw boring, flattening with hand planes, and probably a few other things.

    It's based on Guy Dunlap's small workbench (PDF plans, and build video), and customised for my space. It has a small footprint, at just about 1200 long. In my shop, I want to run this bench perpendicular to a wall. For that reason, I went with a big end vice, which will do most of my clamping operations. Later, I'll add a plain screw woodworking vice to the front, for times I want to joint an edge, or do something with a long board.

    I'm left handed, so if all this looks backwards to you, that's why.
    Dog holes to come later, and I'll also build a little cabinet to go underneath at some point too. But for now, I'm calling this done.

    Quite pleased with how this turned out. It's was a pretty fun build, and relatively quick too - about 8 weeks from buying the timber to applying finish. That was important to me, because I think of the workbench mostly as a tool, and I didn't want it to be a huge project that gets in the way of building other projects.

    The hardest part of this project was fitting the Lie Nielsen chain drive vice. There's a lot of steps, and as Mike Farrington says, "you really need to be on your woodworking A-Game to install this - there is very little room for error". For anyone installing this hardware, his installation video is worth a look. Being aware of that, I really took my time. Thought things through, marked out accurately, used a lot of router templates and bushings, and did many test cuts to get this right first time.

    One aspect that I might have overlooked is radial expansion of the bench top. This wouldn't be an issue if I'd installed the vice to the front. But because it's on the end, and because the LN hardware is a precision fit, there's a real chance the threads will bind up if there is any significant expansion. That'll be a wait and see!

    IMG_0830.jpeg IMG_0833.jpg IMG_0828.jpg IMG_0813.jpg

    Thanks to the many forum members who helped out with know-how at various stages. The result is all the better for your input!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hervey Bay
    Age
    44
    Posts
    206

    Default

    Looks really good Roger.
    Hope it works out as useful as planned.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Great looking bench mate! Glad to see the hand plane plan worked too!

    Do you mind saying where you sourced the timber from? I'm always interested to hear good sources of local timber

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Brunswick VIC
    Age
    40
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FlaminGunz View Post
    Great looking bench mate! Glad to see the hand plane plan worked too!

    Do you mind saying where you sourced the timber from? I'm always interested to hear good sources of local timber
    Thanks!

    Yep, my go to source for Vic Ash is Melville Timber and Hardware in Brunswick West. They're great. I found these old school timberyards a bit intimidating at first, but they've gotten to know me, and they know I'm making furniture with their KDHW F17 DAR, so they usually let me pick through the racks to select what I want. Most of their KDHW is has a straight edge profile (although some have round overs). No finger joints. Price is always really good too. Last year I was buying 140 x 35 KDHW for $9.30/m and 90 x 45 for $7.50/m. Most importantly, I hardly ever have to do much work on the jointer. 2 or 3 light passes is usually enough to clean them up and get square 4 sides. It's great stuff!

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