Mini work bench
About six months ago I made a moxon vise. I love it. A big improvement over my cast iron face vise for joinery. Last week, I modified it and added it to the front of this mini work bench. I find certain processes are easier when closer to the eye, particularly sawing, chopping dovetails and gluing-up kumiko. I often found myself leaning way down to my bench to get a good view of the work, which isn’t particularly comfortable after a few minutes. This raises the work about 8 inches off the bench. Should be a better height for sawing joinery and chisel work. I think this will also be very helpful with certain router tasks. Stores under the bench when I want to use my normal bench height for planing, crosscutting, assembly or anything else. Bench in quarter sawn and rift sawn ash. Moxon in rift sawn white oak. This project was inspired by, but modified from, an article in Fine Woodworking 198
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Ash and white oak. Ready for a few coats of shellac.
Excellent height (for me at 5’ 8”) for sawing joinery. This is just a practice board.
Mini bench can be clamped to the full bench with f-style clamps or held with hold fasts as shown here.
Top view. Two rows of dog holes will allow me to pinch work from the front with the moxon or from the side with the wonder dog or from the top with a holdfast.
Finished project. The top is attached with four 2.5” screws through the base into the top. The moxon is attached to the bench top with four countersunk 2.5” screws through the rear vise jaw into the bench top. Before attaching the moxon, I clamped the vise to the top so there would be a very minimal difference between the top of the bench and the top of the vise. Any variance was flushed with a few swipes of my smoothing plane and a card scraper.
Bench dogs make the work top versatile. Lots of options for work holding.
Finished with thin coats of shellac.
Stores under the bench.
Less stooping for this glue up.
I glued up the top in three glue ups. This is the third and final. I took my time to joint these so there was minimal squeeze out and not much clamping pressure required. Quarter/rift sawn glue up yields straight grain which is a look I shoot for quite often.
Breaking down the rough 8/4 ash. Previous iteration of the moxon vise is visible below the bench.
Edge jointing what will become parts for the base.
Nice and square. Ready for the thickness planer.
All tenons cut. Time for mortises. Usually I would cut the mortises and fit the tenons but I tried the other way around for this project. Worked just fine but I think it takes more time to fuss with the mortises than to size the tenons to fit with the tablesaw and shoulder plane.
Hybrid approach to the mortises. Took most of the waste at the drill press.
Cleaning up the mortise walls with a wide chisel.
Dry fit of the base. The trestle design is stout. The moxon which will hang on the front won’t be pulling this forward.