Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bench Making- The Carcass

The Veritas Tucker vise has always been my dream vise. In January 09 I found that it had been discontinued. A few frantic phone calls later I had the Winnipeg display model, the last one in the wild, on hold.

Several years ago the shop where I work had a job involving unsteamed white beech. That's hard to come by here, so an extra large order was placed. It came in huge plainsawn boards, 8/4, up to 24" wide. The remainder was in storage for a long time, so my employer sold it to me at a large discount.

I had my vise, I had my lumber, and last spring I moved shop, so I felt that the time was right to build my dream bench.


The back of the the carcass has bookmatched raised panels of white beech 18" wide. The 8/4 board I used for the panels was cupped quite badly. I cut it into three pieces, 6" wide, on the bandsaw before resawing. The six boards were carefully milled and glued back together. The kerfs dissappear in the straight grain.

The framework around the panels is steamed beech and carefully chosen for grain. All tenons are dowel pinned, and capped with ebony.

Several years ago our shop did a sheet music cabinet. It had viola pegs as its drawer pulls. The pegs were too long, and they were sawn off. The long tapering ebony shaft is perfect for capping dowel holes.

I'm using side mount full extension drawer slides, their supports are dovetailed into the carcass.

The right bottom shows a kerf for the floor of the hidden compartment, and a mortise for the divider.

I resawed a piece of white beech for the top and the floor of the compartment, severe internal stresses are evident. The last inch of this cut snapped open before the cut. The event was loud and violent and startled me, especially because my hands were fairly close to the blade.

I still got my panels from it, the floor looks good but the bookmatch in the top was lost.

The face frame is full pinned mortise and tenon. The dry fit revealed a foot room problem, so the bottom rail was arced. This required the divider to be tapered.

The top fit, the tapered divider installed, the face about to be glued on.

Bookmatched floor panel and dovetailed drawer supports installed.

The Blogs

Bench Making- The Carcass
Bench Making- The Legs and Base
Bench Making- Top Dovetails
Bench Making- Mounting the Tucker
Bench Making- The Top
Bench Making- Modifying the Twin Screw
Bench Making- The Drawers
Bench Making- Final Assembly
Bench Making- Completed Work
Bench Making- The Specs


  1. Double thumb-up to your clean & sharp joinery.
    It really inspires me to climb the learning curve!

    Masrol Sumairi

  2. looks awsome! how did you learn fit and finish? so clean looking!!

  3. Love the joinery. I only come close. Once in a while I get there. Sure is gratifying when it comes together like that. Show pics when all is done.

  4. very nice, i want to see how the vice was made though?

  5. Thanks for the kind words, everyone!


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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.