Ladies and Gentlemen . . . I Give You The Joinery Bench.

Well, when I first planned out the build for the Oldwolf Workshop version of a Joinery Bench, I planned to do the complete build using hand tools for at least 95% of the work, and I planned to be finished in a month. Well one out of two is something I can live with, especially since it was my time estimate that was off.

The Bench was designed to be able to break down for smaller transportation to and from events. My other hobby is Viking Age Medieval Reenactment, and it has been a goal of mine to set up and do hand tool woodworking at Medieval and Renaissance faires and festivals that the troupe I belong to attends. (you can check out the group and find out where we'll be showing up by going to our website )  I wanted to build a portable bench that would provide me with the comforts of home and be easy to transport. Building a taller joinery bench gave me something smaller to use at these events and also provided me with a type of bench I would still use regularly in my shop. I want to one more time thank Tim Williams who writes the blogs Wood Therapy and Bench Vice for sharing his Joinery Bench with the world and inspiring me to build my own take on it.

I really enjoy thinking back on this process and all the things I've learned and figured out along the way. Drawboring, flattening large pieces of wood with hand planes, cleaning up my dovetails with a plane, working with a router plane, ripping a board in half and doing it fairly square and relatively fast, and so much more. Yes at times it was exhausting, and I sweat more building this project than I have on almost any other, but I think the sweat and hard work makes me all the more happy.

So there is not much more to say as I start planning the next projects, I need to make a Moxon style vise to use along with this bench and I also need a couple tool boxes and a saw till to carry my tools to faires.

Without further ado, here's the pictures.  :)

 Here's the bench all "packed down" as it could be for transport. It's resting on top a pair of saw benches.

 Here it is all put together and ready to work. I am really getting to like the ogee profiles on the apron and bottom stretcher.

 And from the side. . .



 Benches should really be judged in how well they work for you. This joinery bench uses simple hold fasts to accomplish much of the holding needs. It will also employ a Moxon style vise that can be added on like an accessory. I have only drilled the holdfast holes in the apron, the holes in the benchtop will come a few at a time as I decide where they will be best placed, But the holdfasts work so well already. They held this pine bard tight enough to cut dovetails.


All in all I am very happy with the way this project turned out, When I look at it it's difficult for me to not see the mistakes I made. Where the dovetails I cut leave a small gap, where I miss-cut one of the tenon shoulders on the frame legs. 
  So . . .  another one in the books, let's see where we go from here.




  1. Great job. Looks really good. How's the lateral stability? Looks like front to back for sawing will be nice and stiff. I went the same way about not drilling lots of top holes. Wait and see where you want them will really do you well.

  2. Thanks again David, you're right front to back stability is great but she's got a bit of a lateral wobble. If I think about it though I'm not overly concerned, I built the baby to do joinery on, that may include some planing but not such an amount that I think it will bother me.

    Design wise planing is a problem all over with the height too high, In the shop I'll plane on my nicholson bench, If I'm out in the "field" well I may have to get creative if I have to do a lot.

    Hey though I do have to say it is too cool finding you on Lumberjocks!

  3. Great looking bench, I live in an Apt now and I thought about building a knock-down bench so that I could store it when I am not using it, then I got to thinking I really use it all year long, even in the cold for one thing or another, and then there was where to store it so I just build be a modified English style bench.

    I'm Lj also or you can find me at my blog Sleepydog Woodworking. hope to talk more with with you.

  4. Hey Joey, good to hear from you, I do know your blog, I have visited before you do some nice work there. We are moving into an appt building ourselves here soon and though I'm setting up some shop space somewhere else for the bigger toys, I am starting to ponder on what small corner of space I might use to my own evil designs. . .
    I just put my english style, or nicholson style bench back together today!!!! She's been in pieces for almost a year. It was good to see her up and together again.

  5. Very nice! And I like your other hobby! I'm going to be building two copies of the collapsible workbench from Roy Underhill's "The Woodwright's Apprentice". These will be for students to use in a class I'm teaching this fall, and will be my portables for craft shows. I just picked up some nice 2x10 poplar slabs yesterday, so I should be able to start on them this week, and I'll show the build on my blog.


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