With several hundred pounds of red oak now sitting on my workbench, it’s time to get serious about building the two benches for my next book, “Roman Workbenches.”
The simpler of the two benches has a top that is about 3-1/2” thick, 18” wide and 7’ long. This will be a low bench – somewhere slightly above knee height but below the groin. The height will require some experimentation because the operator needs to sometimes straddle the benchtop for some operations.
As a result, 38” would be too high, even with my ostrich legs.
This bench’s workholding is super-simple: a planing stop (copied from one recovered at the Roman fort at Saalburg) and a Roman holdfast. Both iron bits were made by blacksmith Peter Ross. In the last couple months I have become very fond of the Roman holdfast, which holds like crazy.
This simpler bench will also feature some holdfast holes that occasionally will have some tall wooden stakes in them. More on this later (those of you who have read “Woodworking in Estonia” probably know what I’m tilting at).
The second workbench will be taller and made with a larger slab of oak. It will have a wagon vise (perhaps the first one ever illustrated), a series of forged-iron dogs and a twin-screw vise. Oh, and a ripping notch.
Both benches will be made using staked construction with no stretchers connecting the legs. For a variety of reasons I’ll explain later, the legs’ tenons will be cylindrical instead of tapered. Boring these 3”-diameter compound-angle mortises might seem like it will require a ship’s auger. But I have a plan.
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Staked dining table Cory finished his staked work table (above) and I am so glad he shared. I love the finish! He also added his own touch by including bevels. Take a look here.
SawStop Cast Iron Wings Mark bought a SawStop and one of the cast iron wings seems to be warped. Anyone have any suggestions for him on how they would fix it? He is out of ideas and his next step is to get a replacement.
Using a No. 45 Plane to Bead Tongue and Groove Anyone know what episode of “Woodwright’s” had Roy demonstrating how to use a No. 45 combination plane to put a bead next to a tongue and groove joint? If not, have suggestions on where Matt can get some insight?