Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Design so far...

I've decided an Schwarz inspired French Roubo bench.
Size: 24"x100"x4" top. 5"x5" legs. 31" high.
Vise: BenchCrafted wagon, leg, and probable sliding leg vise.
Timber: Coastal Blackbutt (Australian Hardwood Network)
(Work in progress sneak peak. I'll have more progress pics soon.)
Why I chose this design?
I wanted it solid. I've had two benches; the one shown on the left, which to use you need to brace with a foot and a knee and the other a old chipboard desk. I wanted a bench that I don't have to hold or brace to plane and that doesn't shake when chiselling. (Blackbutt at dry weight 900kg/m3 makes this about 200kg. ) I was tempted to make it 10' but my kind wife informed me that was excessive in a single garage... and I agree.
I've changed the vise configuration in my head at least a dozen times. Originally, planning on twin screw vise (for dovetailling and its lack of wracking.) It's capacity is limited. A sliding leg vise gives you the capacity to hold work up to 6' wide. Although, the big wood vise, is traditional I didn't like the slack and wood movement in it. I tried a cheap Carbatec one and it was a struggle. The bench crafted ones are smooth and I expect to last 100 years.
Blackbutt is locally grown, not too expensice, rock hard, a nice light colour, and I've used it before.
The two biggest design struggles at this stage are: storage and the sliding leg vise mechanism.

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