I've been considering for quite a while making a workbench for other's use in my shop. My bench, as most of you that have been to my shop know, was built for me and won't comfortably fit most humanity. The base is a hydraulic lift table on sleepers that allows me to adjust the height of the bench to fit most statures. Two sides, each with a Continental European tail-vise and a twin-screw face-vise allows a flexible platform for two woodworkers to work simultaneously. I've incorporated a central tool tray into the design so as to provide a no-man's-land between the two work surfaces- and thereby eliminate (or greatly reduce) the need for good manners. What follows are a few progress shots.
I began by selecting 8/4 rock maple in lengths and widths that would allow me maximum yield. After roughing to size and milling square I marked out for loose tennons and cut mortises. The use of the tennons in this instance is for nothing more than alignment while laminating the pieces.
After gluing and clamping the field of the bench surface (note that one plank is shorter that the others, this is for the tail vise), the assembly is crosscut square and to finished length.
The apron around the perimeter of the bench is thicker than the field and is assembled from two pieces, then attached to the field lamination later. Before this can be done though, holes for "dogs" must be cut into one of the apron pieces. The dogs slope off perpendicular 2 degrees (if you're counting) and are routed using a simple jig made of scrap mdf.
After routing all recesses for the dogs, the two apron pieces are prepared the same way as the field pieces were, with loose tennons for alignment, then glued and clamped.
Once dry, the apron is glued and clamped to the field. All joinery is done to the aprons before they are attached.
More pics to follow in the next few days!
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