New video workshop: My massive bench
EDITOR’S NOTE: Matt’s video is live, watch it here.
Next Monday (2/23/2009), you’ll be able to watch a new video workshop at Fine Woodworking online. The workshop features my workbench, which was been dubbed “Matt’s Monster Bench” by Anatole Burkin after he helped me move it. And it is a monster. The top is 7 feet long, 2 1/2 inches thick, and close to 30 inches wide. The base is quite a beast too. Thick trestle-style legs are joined to meaty stretchers to make a solid support system for the top.
I had a lot of fun filming the workshop, even though it was a bit stressful making the bench as we were filming. The final glue-up for the top was particularly frantic. I’m trying to wipe it from memory, but still have bad dreams about it. As crazy as that was, the top turned out very well. Pretty much dead flat out of the clamps. I explain how I was able to achieve that in the episode on making the top, so you can do it too.
There are a few quirky things about my bench. I only have a face vise, and use holdfasts to secure my work for planing and chopping. But it is versatile, and it’s good for both handtools and powertools.
At any rate, if you’re looking to build a new bench, check out my video workshop. Perhaps you’ll like the bench enough to build your own version, or at least get some good ideas.
Hand cut tenons. I use handtools a lot. So there was no hesitation on my part when deciding how to cut the tenons on the stretchers. It was much easier to cut them with backsaws than by pushing them across a saw table.
Brining the base together. Here I am dry fitting the base for the first time. After the clamps were on, I was able to finish drilling the holes for the bench bolts that hold the base together.
Flatten the top. I'll admit, with some pride, that my top was pretty darn flat when I took it out of the clamps. I just needed a few passes with my beloved Bedrock type 3 #608 jointer plane to flatten it dead to rights.
The turning of the screw. Screwing in the two vise screws can take awhile. They're 19 in. long. But it's worth it. I love my twin-screw vise.