Thursday, April 16, 2015

A real saw bench

As opposed to making do with upside down buckets or crummy saw horses.
Yet another long overdue project. It moved up my list, since I have been looking at saw tills storage and miter boxes lately :-)

My wants, or requirements:
- build for my size, height, width (as per Ron Herman reccomendations)
- provisions for holdfast, clamping
- beefy enough to pound on it ( mortising, chiseling) while sitting on it
- I like the look of splayed legs, but they get in the way for ripping

So it will be built mostly using a left over 2x10 joist I have, left over from my main bathroom renos. I doubled some joists under the floor to take on the soaker tub and all the tiling I added. Probably overkill, but...that's me :-)
It was so much fun doubling the joist, manhandling a 14 ft long 2X10, but I digress :-)
I will incorporate some design ideas from a few diverse saw bench I saw (pun :-)
And since I could always used 2, I will probably try a splayed legs one like The Schwarz (tm).

Based on my size, my bench will have a height of 16 in
A width of roughly 14 in, and a length of 3 ft.

Yesterday I worked as a supervisor at the base Wood shop, so I brought along my project

I thought of edge gluing two pieces of 2x10 to gives me enough to rip to the desired width.
Yes, I know, it is a tad heavy duty, but I want to be able to use holdfast and do some chiseling works on it. Besides overbuilding something, is just par for me :-)

After a quick pass thru the planer, I cross cut my pieces to my dimensions

Then I took care of the twist in the lumber with my trusty Buck Rogers plane

The shop is really geared toward power tools everything, I had to fashioned some cleats nailed on temporary to plane.

A quick tour of the Wood shop. We have a complements of the usual power tools; 2 Unisaw, 3 bandsaws, 2 Delta Radial Arm saw, a Makita Miter saw, 2 Planers, 15 and 20 inches, 2 jointers, 6 and 8 inches, a large double drum sander (that we restrict to hardwood uses only), disk sanders, oscillating Spindle Sander, 2 lathes, Shaper, Router table, 2 Drill press, 2 mortisers and the usual small power tools; drills, random orbit sanders, biscuit jointer, router etc. Really not designed for handtools work. 

One Unisaw (the one with the large outfeed table) is set at 90 degrees (tilt mechanismn disabled. It prevents lots of frustrating problems :-) The other one is tilting

Assembly and gluing tables, carpeted tables are for sanding, NO gluing 

The fenced in area on top, in the back, is the mezzanine. More benches, storage and a finishing room

The door to the right is a bench room with storage lockers for the members 

We keep a small inventory of hardwoods and pine on hand and other supplies that we sell  We have been running courses and are getting low on our wood supplies.

As per Ron Herman instruction, measured my hip and settled on 14 in wide.
But after cutting a piece and sitting on it, I realized that one width is plenty. I'm not sure how Ron Herman figured his out, but my hip is not wide enough to sit comfortably across 14 inches!
He does stress the point that you should not take someone else dimensions, but build it it to fit you! Point taken :-)

After working out a sweat and making a pile of shavings, I got my pieces flat, ready for joinery.
The short pieces were easy, the 3ft long one got me chasing my tail around for a while.
Final thickness, 1/4 inch! Kidding :-)

Bob, the sawyer who saw a need


  1. Bob, are you making the Ron Herman bench for your measurements? I've been thinking of making that one too. The saw horse benches I use now suck.

  2. Yes, that is what I am doing, after watching his videos. I love the look of Chris saw bench, but I like the square edges of Ron for ripping. I may also add a few things from other designs. l'm making it up as I go and will probably make some changes after using it for a while. And since I could uses 2, I will probably do one of Chris design as well.

    Bob, working on tomorrow posts