Interesting Woodworking Link

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Episode #37 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part VIII

I have been pushing hard on my bench the last two days as I had a specific goal to meet. It has been a while since my last update on the bench because it was very difficult to shoot video of the last segment of progress. A trim carpentry crew occupied a portion of my shop last week. They were repairing the interior window trim in our home (that is the subject of a separate story!). So with a crowed and dusty shop I decided to make some progress and shoot an update later. This turned out to be a good idea as things were pretty messy & dusty from the trim carpenters.

I made mid-way design changes on the bench . . . some goods one I think. I had originally planned on an MDF top, which I started to install yesterday. I got half way done and decided that I did not like the look or feel of the MDF. So, after a cup of coffee and lot of thought, I removed the MDF top and started dimensioning some 5/4 clear vertical grain Douglas Fir. This will make a much nicer work surface.

I also changed the configuration of the middle board. I am going to leave it intact. When I need the center clamping system, I will remove the long center board and use a set of support panels. My thoughts are that I like having the capability of the center clamp to work on large panels and table tops. However, I don't see myself using that feature as often working on a nice solid work surface. Additionally, the center board has a near piston fit . . . when you push it down there is a very satisfying little rush of air that escapes thru the finger holes. I just can't see myself cutting that up into small pieces!

What’s next? I need to get some more T-track, trim some proud edges, and mount the speed pins for the face clamps. Considering I was working on a floppy sheet of MDF on saw horses, that flat solid surface is very appealing!

Construction with Domino loose tenons & Miller Dowels

Detail of inset steel & pipe clamps

Detail of face clamp and edge T-track

Detail of center well and clamping system

Links For This Episode

Furnitology Productions

Furnitology Productions

Furnitology Blog
Happy 1-year Anniversary - Feb 07, 2008
Thank you for the great teaching!

Neil Lamens

Fine Woodworking – New-Fangled Workbench

Original Article


John White

Magnetic Closure Reading Glasses

Click Magnetic Closure Eyeware


Unknown said...

Hi David..........The bench-top came out wonderfully. Looks real clean and precise. Impressive!!! The design changes are definitely significant to others who decide to build the New Fangled Bench. Now you've got me curious about those fixtures you'll add to the's always something else with you :)

HEY....nice shirt!!! I really appreciate your thoughtful mention. One of the off-shoots of this on-line woodworking is coming into contact with very meaningful individuals like yourself.

You mean alot to me.......Neil

Marten said...

Any chance of some dimensions etc for this project? There does not seem to be any definitive plans anywhere which is such a shame. Not a first class woodworker like you so would need some plans to wrap my head around your great design changes which are way cool
Many thanks

David Pruett said...

Marten -

Thank you so much for the kind comments. I am not a first class woodworker, but I do enjoy the struggle towards that end!

I am happy to post some dimensions and my (crude) Sketch-Up renderings. This bench, not mine but the original design by John White, has generated a huge amount of interest and an almost cult following which is a tribute to John and the ingenuity of his design.

Because I messed around with the design a bit you can imagine I had some problems which I will share in a future episode.

Keep an eye on the woodworking file download section. I will get my references together as a PDF & Sketch-Up download.

Let me know if that helps!