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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
See attached photo.
I'm making a woodworkers workbench, my first. The bench is based on this Instructables design. Building a Real Woodworker's Workbench: 32 Steps (with Pictures)
Instead of mortise and tenon joinery he uses threaded rod with nuts on the ends to pull the whole base, frame together. I intend to use mortise and tenon joinery instead. In his design he has the stretchers positioned in the middle of the legs.
The legs will be 100 x 100 PAR and the long and short stretchers will be 50 x 100 PAR. I'm not going to be able to use the rule of 3rds for the length of the tenons. So how long and also how thick should I make the tenons, to insure maximum structural integrity of the workbench?
I'll be using 100 x 100 " green split centre free " sawn Redwood, unsorted is the best grade. Green doesn't mean the Redwood hasn't been air or kiln dried.
Cheers.
 

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Peter anytime lumber is described as green it usually means that it hasn't been dried. Redwood wouldn't be my first choice for a stretcher. It's a soft wood that is normally used for outdoor applications because of its weather resistance. It can also resist glue adhesion because of its natural oiliness. IMO pine or D. Fir would be better and maybe cheaper. Redwood tends to command a good price here.

I used the bolt and cross dowel for my own workbench and it has worked perfectly for around 25 years. It's much simpler and offers the option to tighten it later if needed. A glued tenon joint doesn't give and racking forces can break them loose, something you wouldn't have to worry about with the cross dowel and bolt. Joints that get stressed are often better with mechanical fasteners.
 

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I agree that redwood is way to soft for this use. The racking force of, say, hand planing might not affect the glue, but could very easily tear the soft wood apart at the joint. I would at least use Douglas Fir but better yet, some harder wood. Many high grade work benches use Maple. Having both an end and a front mounted vise is a really good idea.

The thickness of the top increases the hold of dog hole clamps and increases the mass so the table stays put. That design should last you 150 years or so.
 

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These are the bench bolts(Lee Valley)Veritas® Special Bench Bolts - Lee Valley Tools recommended by Chris Schwarz in his simpler bench designs.

For my bench refurbish I used through tenons made of Douglas fir and double wedged them so I could tighten it when it gets loose and break it down if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Peter anytime lumber is described as green it usually means that it hasn't been dried. Redwood wouldn't be my first choice for a stretcher. It's a soft wood that is normally used for outdoor applications because of its weather resistance. It can also resist glue adhesion because of its natural oiliness. IMO pine or D. Fir would be better and maybe cheaper. Redwood tends to command a good price here.

I used the bolt and cross dowel for my own workbench and it has worked perfectly for around 25 years. It's much simpler and offers the option to tighten it later if needed. A glued tenon joint doesn't give and racking forces can break them loose, something you wouldn't have to worry about with the cross dowel and bolt. Joints that get stressed are often better with mechanical fasteners.
The description green split center free might just be the English way of describing and in fact timber is properly kiln/air dried. I'll check and let you know. I have a 40mm Beech work top, in Europe Beech is quite a popular choice for commercial bench makers as relatively cheap and available. I'm thinking of going for Beech rather than the Redwood. I've also decided to use the original design of using threaded rod and nuts to hold frame together. I only started to think about M/T as other people said too. Starts to differ from the plan and starts getting..... complicated.Tendon going into the legs in the design I mention, won't be the 2/3 long and consequently I don't think they would be as robust as needs be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree that redwood is way to soft for this use. The racking force of, say, hand planing might not affect the glue, but could very easily tear the soft wood apart at the joint. I would at least use Douglas Fir but better yet, some harder wood. Many high grade work benches use Maple. Having both an end and a front mounted vise is a really good idea.

The thickness of the top increases the hold of dog hole clamps and increases the mass so the table stays put. That design should last you 150 years or so.
I know Maple is a very popular choice for benches in the States for the same reasons that Beech is used in Europe, UK.
Thanks for your reply.
 
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