Friday, April 9, 2010

Bench Making- The Top

My top glueup started with the dovetail between the doublewide front rail and the end board, my end vise rear jaw. Then the top board was glued to the front rail as it was installed into the end board mortise, and pegged to make a breadboard end. The top board is a single plank of 8/4 Beech 15 9/16" wide, from the same board that provided the four base panels.

The rear rail and end board joint was glued up, and the floor of the tool tray was glued to the rear rail as it was installed into it's end board mortise.

The benchtop is designed to allow the top board to be supported while still allowing for movement. Seasonal differences are absorbed by the joint between the tool tray floor and the centre board.

The centre board is the glued to the top board, the lip of the tool tray in the kerf.

I then flipped the bench top over, and attached three strongbacks, thick boards with slotted screw slots to allow for wood movement used to keep the top flat. I used dovetails to attach them to the front rail. Two are inline with the front leg mortises, and the third is centered. The one beside the front vise is mortised for a vise support.

The somewhat ugly mortise is for a NOS Record pop up stop that I won at auction while I was building the bench.

The vise support is tennoned into the strongback and the end board, and is glued to the front rail and the top.

The end is then glued on, and given a test run.

Out of order photos, the top glued up on the dry fit base.

I have always wanted to letter carve, but never had. I seized the opportunity to do it here, following the directions given in Fine Woodworking Magazine #187, which is accompanied by this video. I carved in my intials and the year of manufacture of the bench.

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. What a gorgeous, and solid build. love it. It looks like you'll be using a veritas twin vice, i really enjoy mine. On my front vice when dealing with large panels i pull out my bench drawer a bit for added support. the tucker vise is discontinued (that's a shame)?


  2. Thanks, Tyler. I tried to make it as stout as I could.
    You got it, it's a Twin Screw. I modified it though, it's one of the coolest parts of the bench. I'll post about it soon.
    Ya, the Tucker is discontinued. When I found out I made some frantic phone calls untill I had the Winnipeg display model.

  3. Inspirational.

    I wish the Tucker vise was still available.

  4. Thanks Anon.

    An online post by Robin Lee suggested the Tucker wasn't dead, just looking for a new manufacturer. Call, write, or email Lee Valley and let them know there is interest. Hopefully we will see them made again.


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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.