We were really impressed by the unusual width and flexibility of this workbench, which makes for very comfortable working conditions.
The well-aged oak used for this workbench was kept in a drying loft belonging to a retired cooper, who was kind enough to supply 2 cubic metres of wood. Some of this wood went into making the workbench. The bench measures 2200 mm (length) x 800 mm (width) x 890 mm (height). It weighs an unbelievable 300 kg and took about 80 hours of highly concentrated work to build!
The design is based on an article by Robert W. Lang in the US magazine "Popular Woodworking Magazine".
Download drawing (Google SketchUp file)
The bench halves are each held from below by 4 large woodscrews. Despite standing absolutely rock solid, the workbench is easily disassembled. The trestle is flush at the front and back with the 80 mm thick bench top, allowing very large items such as doors to be clamped without any problems.
The front vice is a Veritas twin screw vice with a long chain cover. The wooden jaws were made 65 mm thick. The tail vice is based on a quick-release no. 52 carpenter’s vice. All holes in the bench tops and front, longitudinal bracings and legs are 19 mm diameter, drilled with a BORMAX Forstner drill from FAMAG (1622 series) plus extension. Workpieces can be held using bench pups, bench dogs or a Veritas surface clamp.
This close-up view shows the workbench with the front vice. The boxes in the middle of the bench can be lifted out so that you can also use screw clamps or cramps to clamp a workpiece. The surfaces are treated with KUNOS natural oil sealer from Livos, making it easier to remove any glue residue.
The trestle is held together by 4 longitudinal bracings. The upper bracing joints are large dovetails; the lower bracing joints are through joints each secured by a wedge.