Introduction to the BARN Workbench

A workbench designed for hand tool woodworkers but made (partially) with a CNC. It features a 3D carved leg vise and a workbench top designed to improve ergonomics.

I designed the BARN workbench for the Bainbridge Island Artisan Resource Network. It’s a Seattle area community group that has built a wonderful community facility for artisans to share resources, education, and workspace. I wanted to help my new neighbors, so I designed a workbench for their space. Having to build a total of nine benches on a budget presents some interesting challenges. One way I’ve sped up the process is with my CNC for some of the precision work and to 3D carve the vise chops.

The workbench construction is straight forward. The frame is 4″ x 4″ material purchased at local home stores. The legs are double thickness. The bench is put together with Domino joinery to speed up the process for a large group build. The top is pre-made, it’s 1 7/8″ thick and made out of Western Maple. The front vise hardware is a Benchcrafted Classic Vice and the tail vise is a Yost quick release vice. As you can imagine, the chops are a project in themselves. I’ll have several follow up articles and videos on the process of making them.

Workbenches have many details and can be complicated, the simplest way to introduce the project is via the video above.

Lots of chops. Rather than a traditional vise chop, I’ve chosen to 3D carve ten vise chops for the BARN workbenches

On the next BARN Workbench Post, I’ll take you on a video tour of how the 3D carved vises are made.

To see all the posts on the BARN workbench click here.

To see other videos on my Digital Woodworking YouTube channel click here.

— Tim Celeski

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