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Samurai Carpenter Workbench

author-gravatar mgkapotsy Sep 11, 2019

This project has been 3 years on the making.  I set out on a journey to build a traditional woodworking workbench so that I can learn traditional hand tool woodworking.  All lumber used in this build was milled from rough stock.  It incorporates Eastern Hard Maple, Walnut, old growth Oak, Cherry, and traditional joinery methods and some Titebond III wood glue.  To say this project has tested my skills would be an understatement.  It has pushed me to learn new skills, learn how to overcome challenges either from not possessing all the tools or skills required to complete the task or just plain winging it.  The duration of the build was extended for numerous reasons including life, my job, exhaustion, etc.  I always managed to get back to it.  The build was further complicated by the fatlct I was building two benches at once.  My good friend now has one as well.  I've documented some of the build process either on my YouTube channel (not much there-Mike Kapotsy) or primarily on my Instagram account - mgkapotsy.  The bench was constructed following detailed design plans purchased from the Samurai Carpenter website.  The bench is complete with exception of installing the vise jaws. #samuraicarpenterworkbench #workbenchbuild #traditionalworkbench 

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

Completed tool rest in the raised position which provides a stop for holding your work piece.  Disclaimer, these are not my hand planes.

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

Tool rest inverted so top of workbench is completely flat.

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

Another view of the workbench.

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

Stretcher pin wedges in place.  Bench can be broken down and moved when necessary.  Oak legs, hard maple stretchers and aprons, walnut pin wedges.  Look closely you can see the square walnut pegs through the leg tenons.

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

Final assembly with wedges in place on the tapered/wedged tenons.  Walnut end rails shown are 3" thick.  If you look closely you can see the square dowel pegs in the leg tenons or aprons.  

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

Final glue-up of the side rails to the two split bench tops.  Eastern Hard Maple tops, 3" thick tops with 6" this side rails.

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

After first cutting the cheek cuts with a tracksaw, the rest of the tenon was cut by hand with a battery powered circular saw.  I simply took my time with the cut.  The tenons were then cleaned up with a shoulder plane.

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

These wedged tenons had to have two kerf relief cuts the full length of the tenons.  With them being so close together they had to be cut simultaneously.  The Japanese pull saw was the perfect tool for this.  Once the cuts are lined up, a few good strokes and they're done.  

Photo of Samurai Carpenter Workbench

Proper layout is an important part of any project and this workbench provided ample opportunity to get practice.  Here I was laying out the locations of the mortises to be chopped into the back side of one of the Walnut end rails.  They were very precise and required a bit of finesse.  

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