Reader's Gallery

Dovetail Workbench

comments (0) October 24th, 2012 in Reader's Gallery

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Woodworker: Darnell Hagen

When Hagen set out to build his dream bench, he knew he’d be using it for the next 40 years, so he went all out. The 15-9/16-in.-wide top and the panels used on the back and ends all came from the same giant beech board. He used the same board for the bookmatched drawer fronts. The drawer boxes are sugar maple with Baltic-birch bottoms and hand-cut dovetails (half-blind in front, through in back). The front vise is a Veritas Tucker with a hand-carved flush mount. On the end is a modified twin-screw Veritas vise with one handle removed and a custom chain cover (right). Hagen turned the vise handles from curly beech and added brass accents. Still not satisfied, he added a tool tray, a built-in pencil sharpener, ebony dovetail-angle guides in the vise jaws, and a cup holder. The dovetail guides show him how to angle the boards so the saw cuts are plumb. It’s easier to saw accurately that way. The bench is 27-1/2-in. wide by 76-1/2-in. long by 37-in. tall and weighs 460 lb. empty; 600-lb.-plus with tools. The finish on the base is wipeon poly, the top is unfinished. Hagen says building the bench took five months of weekends. For construction details and more photos, go to for a link to Hagen’s blog. From Fine Woodworking #223

Design or Plan used: Not specified

posted in: Reader's Gallery, maple, brass, beech, Wipe-on Poly, granite, baltic birch, Curly Beech

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