Introduction to the BARN Workbench

CNC carved vice chops

The BARN workbench was designed for the Bainbridge Island Artisan Resource Network. It’s a Seattle area community group that built a wonderful community facility for artisans to share resources, education, and workspace. Being neighbors, I wanted to help and so, I designed a new workbench. Having to build a total of nine benches on a budget presents some interesting challenges. One of the things I’ve done to speed up the process is to use a CNC to 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 a pre-made 1 7/8″ top 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.

Since workbenches have a lot of details and can be complicated, the simplest way to introduce the project is via the video above. Much more to come as we build them.

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.

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