As we roll into February 2016, we have a great workbench idea brought to us by Hakan L. from Umea, Sweden. This workbench features a 5″ thick hard maple top along with birch legs and also a leg and wagon vise for good measure. We know you’ll enjoy this Scandinavian beauty.
After reading all the books about workbenches I could find and looking through a few plans, I finally built this bench in 2014.
24″ deep, 96″ long and 36″ high. Weight 450 lb.
The top is 5″ hard maple (imported from the US. Hard to come by here in Sweden). Base is birch which is readily available locally.
I have access to some great machines through my work as a cabinet maker. 36″ band saw, 20″ jointer, 24″ planer, 52″wide belt sander, and a big CNC machine to mention a few.
I’m a big advocate for hand tools and was going to cut the mortises and tenons by hand but succumbed to laziness and let the CNC do it for me.
The vise screws are from your basic kits and they are flawless. The leg vise garter is made out of 7 layers of jacaranda veneer, and I used a chain vise kit from Ancora yacht service to keep the vise parallel to the leg. There’s a linear bearing in the leg to guide the leg vise. This works great, but the shaft (being a standard cold rolled bar) is to soft and the balls in the bearing wear grooves in it.
Should have used a hardened shaft instead. The shelf is 3/4″ shiplapped birch. Each one has a dowel in the middle for steering so they are always at the same distance from each other.
Finish is 2 coats of linseed oil.
Hakan L. – Umea, Sweden