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Mini work bench

author-gravatar miketulchinsky Oct 28, 2019

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  

#workbench #bench #woodshop #shopfurniture 

Photo of Mini work bench

Ash and white oak. Ready for a few coats of shellac. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Excellent height (for me at 5’ 8”) for sawing joinery. This is just a practice board. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Mini bench can be clamped to the full bench with f-style clamps or held with hold fasts as shown here. 

Photo of Mini work bench

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. 

Photo of Mini work bench

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. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Bench dogs make the work top versatile. Lots of options for work holding. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Finished with thin coats of shellac. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Stores under the bench. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Less stooping for this glue up. 

Photo of Mini work bench

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. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Breaking down the rough 8/4 ash.  Previous iteration of the moxon vise is visible below the bench. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Edge jointing what will become parts for the base. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Nice and square. Ready for the thickness planer. 

Photo of Mini work bench

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. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Hybrid approach to the mortises. Took most of the waste at the drill press.

Photo of Mini work bench

Cleaning up the mortise walls with a wide chisel. 

Photo of Mini work bench

Dry fit of the base.  The trestle design is stout.  The moxon which will hang on the front won’t be pulling this forward. 

2 comments

That's a nice moxon vise, Mike! Building one was the best decision I've made for hand tool work. Super handy. 

Thanks Sean! It was a fun build and will come in very handy for sure.  

@Sean  said:

That's a nice moxon vise, Mike! Building one was the best decision I've made for hand tool work. Super handy. 

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