The workbench is done now and producing already. This is one wonderful workbench, sure! The height is perfect for me: the benchtop at three fingers under the belly button. This pure marvel is the anchoring point to all my works to come. Sturdy, with the added storage weight beneath, rock solid. I couldn’t possibly move her. The 9″ Eclipse vise is wonderfully smooth already. Love it!
Here you can see the new bench side by side with my old rustic one. It served me for years and is very good for carving irregular shapes. I made it of a big cherry trunc split in two. This bench has travelled a lot.
I bought the pattern maker’s vise about 15 years ago. I think I thought it was a good idea. A mere idea indeed it was. It looks very sturdy at first glance. But the metal is pretty poor. Had to repair it twice. It’s very brittle and breaks easily. It broke once at the horizontal axis. Can you believe it ?! and then again, on the front part. Come on, just pick up an eclipse and mount it on an axis of your choice. This world has gone fugazi. Most of things you buy today are just plain junk and break as soon as you use them. Go and DIY.
So this apart , back to the new bench: I’m happy as can be. The drawer is in and works just fine. I had an old vise laying around and fixed it on the end of the bench. Then I put two simple wooden dogs in. When I was about to layout for the dog holes in the bench top, I went back on an article that Paul Sellers wrote in his blog. It suddenly seemed most terrible to me, to mess up my bench top with holes. The horrible vision of dog holes filled with dust, shavings and lost metal parts struck me like lightning. So I came up with the following idea.
It’s just a cutting board fixed across the benchtop. The pressure of the screw adds enough friction to hold up when planing. It works fine as well to butt up workpieces when laying out. I put some ash lining on the end vise. I’ll try this out for a while and let you know later.
On my left I put in a flush bench stop made of a sturdy piece of ash. Very simple: just push it through with a light tap of your mallet.
And that’s it: ready to go! Paradise is full of shavings