Workbenches: Wedged Aprons More Stable?

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #22150
    J_SAMa
    Participant

    Hi all,
    As you may know Paul Seller’s workbench design has aprons that are wedged to the legs in addition to being bolted and dadoed. I have made a bench with aprons with plain dado joints fitted to the legs, not wedged, but glued.
    Now which one is more stable? With the non-wedged aprons you get to use glue, but with wedged dadoes you can always re-tighten them if seasonal shrinkage ever happens.
    Can someone who’s built and/or used both shed some light on this?
    Sam

    #22152
    Eddy Flynn
    Participant

    Hi Sam as far as i am aware Paul used wedges so he could dismantle his bench for transport reasons taking to shows and such i’m sure i’ll be corrected if i’m wrong

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
    ,

    #22153
    Ken
    Participant

    Hi Sam, Eddy is correct 😉

    #22159
    J_SAMa
    Participant

    But does that mean non-wedged ones are more stable?

    #22161
    Ken
    Participant

    Not really Sam, just means you can take it apart if needed.

    #22162
    Steve Follis
    Participant

    The main thing you need for stability is a tight fit for your legs in the housing dado of the apron. I used wedges in my bench Sam, and it helped me getting the leg assemblies set in tight. That way you don’t have to be perfect with your housing dado. I was able to put the wedge in place while I was assembling the bench and then really drive them in to seat the legs in tight. I then screwed the legs in place and left the wedges to keep things tight. If for some reason the legs work themselves loose over time, I can always drive the wedges in a bit to tighten things back up.

    Memphis, Tennessee

    #22164
    Greg Merritt
    Participant

    I built my bench based on the design in Paul’s book. No wedge used in that design. Tight housing dado, glue and screws. Solid as rock so far.

    http://hillbillydaiku.com

    #316489

    Hello everyone,

    I’m just started to build my workbench, but I have a lot of questions… here is one of them:

    If I decide to use wedged dadoes to house the legs in the aprons, Could I lineup the wedges’ cut in the OUTER SIDE of the legs? or, it must be necesary between the legs (center side of the apron)?..

    My goal: I wanna set the vise closer to the leg.

    I’ll appreciate any help!

    #317176
    David B
    Participant

    I use wedged dadoes. In the build, Paul suggested that any rocking in the bench will allow the wedges to naturally tighten themselves over time, making the bench naturally more stable (though not sure about more than glue). I’ve actually not had that success yet–and probably because I cut my wedges in a hurry because I so badly wanted my bench to be complete. Also, my bench is only 5′ in length and not terribly deep so it is not quite as stout/heavy as the 8′ variety that Paul built in the demo. And to be fair, my bench is still quite solid/perfectly capable of taking the abuse I regularly give it.

    Also, in reference to the poster just above me–I ended up putting my vise on the outside of the left leg because I saw so many instances of the vise being near flush to the left-hand edge of the bench, allowing for more me to saw with a large saw and not damage my bench. HOWEVER a big drawback to this is that putting the vise inside the leg/closer to the center of the bench would make it much more balanced and stable (sometimes I’ll work something in the vise and since I am putting so much effort into something near the far side of the bench, the other side may be prone to pivoting around/jumping a bit so I may need to re-adjust the placement of my bench after any particularly vigorous work. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely place the vise inside the left leg (and inside the left leg wedge).

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by David B.
    #317200

    Dear David,

    thank you very much for your answer!! Now, you give me more confidence to do this job!

    #319691
    Debra J
    Participant

    HOWEVER a big drawback to this is that putting the vise inside the leg/closer to the center of the bench would make it much more balanced and stable

    ^— THIS!
    It’s not just the weight of the vise and what you put in it. It’s also you leaning down on the thing.

    - Debra J

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Debra J.
    #319936

    Thank you Debra for your comments!

    This is very useful for me

    #359551
    Sarrienne Cousland
    Participant

    I get the reason for the wedges, but…. Does repeatedly screwing and unscrewing the bolts not wear out the wood over time?

    #367830
    Darren Page-Thomas
    Participant

    I get the reason for the wedges, but…. Does repeatedly screwing and unscrewing the bolts not wear out the wood over time?

    If they are through bolts with a fastner on the other side (which I believe they are) then no. They are really more there to hold it in place than actually strengthen it. The leg in the dado and the wedge is what keeps it strong and stable. If I recall correctly from the first workbench build on Youtube Paul drilled the hole a bit big anyway.

    If they are screws or lag bolts then yes, lots of screwing and unscrewing could cause an issue over time, though if you were careful you’d get the threads back in where they were cut and that would help prevent it.

    Worcester, UK

    #396326
    Sandy
    Participant

    If I knew that I would be diasembling this bench on a regular bases I’d use threaded inserts. You can get these at most any hardware store or even through Amazon. I just finished my bench this week but I used the book and did not do the wedges. I got the Wilton Vice today and am anxious to see how it works. Now I have to shake up my shop agai. To see what I can take out and make roon for the new bench!

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

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