Type of bench
#8
  
I made these two Scandinavian benches back in the late 90's. One was a dual tail vice. I'm back into woodworking after 15-20 years, and am trying to decide whether I need something like this, or something easier to build. I sure miss that rock maple that was cheap back on the East coast! I now live in the Northwest and not much here that isn't ridiculous in price except Fir, not even sure if that will take a pounding or not. Forgive my pictures as they are photos of photos in a album covered in plastic. I guess I'm asking if anyone has any ideas on a bench for general woodworking?


https://postimg.cc/gallery/rvksevv0/
Now where is that chisel
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#9
  Re: Type of bench by Smashedfinger (I made these two Sca...)
To me, building a bench like those would be an enjoyable project. I would build it "just because" and use whatever wood you can find that might be a suitable replacement for the maple. Building a nice bench is on my wish list, I just have to find the time.
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#10
  Re: Type of bench by Smashedfinger (I made these two Sca...)
Smashedfinger, those are beautiful benches! I'll bet they were serious and not easy projects. There are easier ways to build a nice bench these days. The bench hardware business took off about ten years ago and there is lots of really good, innovative hardware on the market today. Most of it is pricy, but installation is sure a lot easier than building this traditional tail vises like yours. Take a look at:

Benchcrafted (https://www.benchcrafted.com/index.html)

Lie-Nielsen (Under "Workbenches") - (https://www.lie-nielsen.com)

Lee Valley Tools (Under "Woodworking/Vises") -( http://www.leevalley.com/us/)

Hovarter Custom Vise (https://www.hovartercustomvise.com)

IF you're interested in a maple top but don't want to go through the glue-up hassle, take a look at Bally Block Maple bench tops. (https://www.butcherblock.com/product/ind...bench-top/) I ordered an unfinished 24" X 72" X 3" maple top from them, glued on 4" thick dog hole strips and mounted my vises. It is a heavy, bomb-proof bench top. I did some calculations and discovered that it was only a little more expensive than if I'd purchased the raw materials and laminated the top myself. That was well over ten years ago, so things may have changed. In any event, it was a lot easier than building a bench top and vises from scratch.

I can't answer whether you NEED a solid, real workbench or not. I just know that mine is the best, most useful thing I've ever built and I wouldn't be without it. It sure makes woodworking a lot more pleasant that struggling with an inadequate, make-do bench.

My $.02. Glad you're back woodworking and I hope you enjoy it.

Hank
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#11
  Re: Type of bench by Smashedfinger (I made these two Sca...)
(06-11-2019, 11:39 AM)Smashedfinger Wrote: I made these two Scandinavian benches back in the late 90's. One was a dual tail vice. I'm back into woodworking after 15-20 years, and am trying to decide whether I need something like this, or something easier to build. I sure miss that rock maple that was cheap back on the East coast! I now live in the Northwest and not much here that isn't ridiculous in price except Fir, not even sure if that will take a pounding or not. Forgive my pictures as they are photos of photos in a album covered in plastic. I guess I'm asking if anyone has any ideas on a bench for general woodworking?


https://postimg.cc/gallery/rvksevv0/

My two cents is if you want a another bench like that make it.  If you want a bench that's robust but not quite as much challenge do what Hank said and use one or more of those new vises.  I built a Euro bench about 25 years ago after a Frank Klauz design.  Rock solid and those two vises were quite the challenge to build back then. But to be honest, I don't use it nearly as much as my other bench, which is nothing more than a 32" x 96" laminated maple bench top that I got for free mounted on a plywood reinforced 2 x 4 base.  No vises at all, although I recently bored a bunch of 3/4" holes in it to use a hold down clamp with.  It's big, flat and fits my needs.  So figure out how you want to work and the type of bench that fits those needs will make itself clear.  

John
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#12
  Re: Type of bench by Smashedfinger (I made these two Sca...)
Fir is a fairly good choice for a bench top. Fir like ash is a dead wood, it absorbs blows. Hard maple on the other hand bounces back. You mentioned a scandinavian bench and I will say I find a shoulder vise screw just as greattafing to use for $29 as a leg vise screw for $300 plus from other bench hardware suppliers. If you enjoy the steps then build it yourself and if not, go a different route. 

Tom
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#13
  Re: RE: Type of bench by Hank Knight (Smashedfinger, those...)
(06-11-2019, 02:33 PM)Hank Knight Wrote: Smashedfinger, those are beautiful benches! I'll bet they were serious and not easy projects. There are easier ways to build a nice bench these days. The bench hardware business took off about ten years ago and there is lots of really good, innovative hardware on the market today. Most of it is pricy, but installation is sure a lot easier than building this traditional tail vises like yours. Take a look at:

Benchcrafted (https://www.benchcrafted.com/index.html)

Lie-Nielsen (Under "Workbenches") - (https://www.lie-nielsen.com)

Lee Valley Tools (Under "Woodworking/Vises") -( http://www.leevalley.com/us/)

Hovarter Custom Vise (https://www.hovartercustomvise.com)

IF you're interested in a maple top but don't want to go through the glue-up hassle, take a look at Bally Block Maple bench tops. (https://www.butcherblock.com/product/ind...bench-top/) I ordered an unfinished 24" X 72" X 3" maple top from them, glued on 4" thick dog hole strips and mounted my vises. It is a heavy, bomb-proof bench top. I did some calculations and discovered that it was only a little more expensive than if I'd purchased the raw materials and laminated the top myself. That was well over ten years ago, so things may have changed. In any event, it was a lot easier than building a bench top and vises from scratch.

I can't answer whether you NEED a solid, real workbench or not. I just know that mine is the best, most useful thing I've ever built and I wouldn't be without it. It sure makes woodworking a lot more pleasant that struggling with an inadequate, make-do bench.

My $.02. Glad you're back woodworking and I hope you enjoy it.

Hank

Hey thanks for all that info!
Now where is that chisel
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#14
  Re: Type of bench by Smashedfinger (I made these two Sca...)
Yes Hank, thanks for the information. That Hovarter tail vise looks like the "cat's meow!" And for less than half the price of the Benchcrafted tail vise. I really like the fact that you can slide the dog into place without having to crank the handle to get it there, and then just lock it down - pretty slick!

Doug
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