Workbench Ideas

Michael H. - Westford, Vermont - Workbench Idea

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Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Vise, Vice

This project started with the purchase of a new SawStop Table saw and when I discovered my very old outfeed table was the wrong height and the miter guides were the wrong width.  I wanted something much sturdier than my old table; I wanted to make better use of the space beneath the table (cabinet to follow), and I wanted a leg vice to compliment the shoulder and end vice on my 35+ year old (and also needing to be replaced) workbench.

A lot of my work is frame and panel so I am often ripping rails & stiles and wanting to re-joint between passes on the table saw.  I reasoned that I could throw a board into a leg vice and run a jack plane over it faster than I could go to the dust collector, open and close blast gates, go to the jointer, run the piece and then retrace my steps.

So, I thought, while I’m at it why not build in a new, more versatile, better dust collecting router set up.  So now I have this bench - an outfeed table, an assembly table, and edge jointing table, and super-duper router set-up. The design started with the Benchcraftted Classic bench design.  I made it 4” wider, spread the legs to accommodate the router and eventual storage cabinet.  Then I added a bridge piece between the bench and the saw to span across the bottom dust collection hose and give myself 48” behind the saw blade.

The bench is made almost entirely from 8/4 poplar.  After I got the top together I discovered I had managed to turn the thing around and had framed in the router opening on the wrong end (mistake #1), so I ripped it apart and re-glued it, but in my haste lost control of the process and had no way to flatten it (mistake #2) so I ripped it apart and re-glued it, again.  Three times a charm, except then it wasn’t as wide as I wanted and I was out of poplar.  I found a piece of cherry that had been living in my shop for a long, long time and it became eye candy trim.  The bench plans called for cutting the mortises in the top and then fitting the base to it. This required getting all 12 mortise & tenon joints in three dimensions all to come together at once.  I was amazed when it happened!  In a do over I’d build the base and then transfer markings to the top.  I also took the directions to make the holes in the leg & chop 2 9/16" too literally.  This left only 1/32” of clearance on the radius and made the installation quite demanding.  In a do over I’d go to 2 3/4. I haven’t yet figured out where I want the holes in the deadman, so haven’t drilled them.

Unlike a “real” work bench I wanted this to be slippery, so I finished it with three coats of good tung oil and then waxed it.  I only leather lined the chop, not the leg. The casters are from Woodcraft and settle onto a firm base. They provide leveling and easily screw up to a wheel when movement is necessary.

Thanks for reading. Michael H. - Westford, VT


Workbench Ideas - Past Workbench Ideas & Sorted Index Data


How does Workbench Ideas work?

The Workbench Ideas feature is very straightforward.  If you've built a workbench and used a Lake Erie wooden vise in its construction, we would ask you to submit some pictures and a brief write up so that we can give other woodworkers great ideas to help them build their own workbench.  Also, we've expanded this feature to include demonstrated uses and applications for our Wooden Vise Kits as well as our Moxon Vises as well. So, if you've purchased any Wooden Vise Kit or Moxon Vise from us, and can share some pictures of the vise in use and a brief write up on how you are using the Vise, submit that to us as well.

In return for your workbench or Moxon Idea submission, we will send you a Lake Erie Toolworks logo T-Shirt as a thank you for sharing your idea with woodworkers around the world.

We trust that everyone will enjoy this feature and encourage you to submit your ideas when you have completed your workbench or Moxon Vise efforts.

Workbench Ideas - Rules:

To date, we've had over 5 years worth of workbench ideas representing 60+ benches and Vise applications that have been submitted from customers around the globe.

What are the key benefits here:

  • Opportunity to show your tremendous workbench or Vise application to a global audience
  • Help generate workbench and Vise application ideas for other woodworkers
  • Pick up a Lake Erie Toolworks logo T-Shirt for free

How do you get in the game?  Just drop us a line at this email address with the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Full Mailing Address (City, State/Province, Zip/Postal Code, Country if International)
  • 2 or more pictures of your workbench or Vise application (Please show the vise also - JPEG Images preferred)
  • Details regarding your bench or VIse application (Type of bench, wood used, finish, build details, application specifics, etc.)
  • Comments (Anything you'd like to share with your global audience)

We will then feature an ongoing series of workbenches and Vise applications from all submissions provided.

So what are you waiting for?  Snap some pictures of that masterpiece and send in a little write-up today. It's time to show the world the amazing woodworking that you're capable of.

Note: We will only display your first name and last name initial to provide credit to you for your pictures & information provided as well as to protect your privacy.  We may also use your workbench and Vise pictures for product installation, training and promotional purposes.