All posts filed under: Moravian Workbench

Final Design for the Top of my Moravian Workbench

ith the base of my Moravian style workbench completed, it’s time to turn my attention to the top. The design of my workbench has changed only slightly since I first shared my vision for a new bench on June 1, 2014. This early design doesn’t really portray a split top; rather a top with two slabs of wood joined in the middle with no gap like the current design (above – the tool cabinet design continues to evolve and will likely change even more after the top is finished). Before buying lumber, I needed to finalize the design of the top. My biggest concern has been the true size of the front vise; specifically, is it too big? After some considerable study, several months ago I purchased a large, 10″ Eclipse quick release vise from my local Woodcraft store. I never gave serious consideration to a leg vise like a true Moravian bench would have. As you will see in a photo below, I have a narrow traffic area in front of my current workbench; …

Moravian Workbench: The Base is Finished

A project which has totally taken over most of my weekends is the renovation of my father-in-law’s home. It is a project which my wife is in charge of. She along with her brother and I have been directing a contractor who is bringing his old house up to date. Many of my Saturdays over the past two months have been spent doing small projects to help control renovation costs (oh, and college football has been a time eater too). Every now and then, I have been able to do a little work on my new workbench. A major turning point in the construction of this bench has arrived – the completion of the base. Most recently, I have been fabricating the front and rear stretchers. These stretchers have long tenons which slide through mortises in the workbench legs and these legs are splayed adding a little complexity to my woodworking. Each tenon also has a mortise for a wedge. Cutting away all the material for the tenons has been a super slow process. I …

Was it the wrong process or the wrong tool?

I have been a woodworker for more than 33 years and during these many years, and as you would expect, I have learned a lot about woodworking. I like to think that I can simply look at an interesting piece of furniture and, in my mind, begin to build it. Run through the steps I’d take to create my version of it. For me, part of the fun of woodworking is coming up with a sound process for making an object. I posted the photo above on Instagram and was proud of what the photo portrayed. The image shows the front and rear stretchers for my new workbench coming to life. There is an organized workbench, my new tool cabinet in the background and the stretchers well on their way towards completion. The photo made me smile for these reasons, but also because I had conquered a design dilemma which had been secretly troubling me for several weeks. My dilemma: Find a better way to cut the wedge mortises on the front and rear stretchers. …