Let’s get right to it. Here are the final dimensions:
Depth: 22 1/8” (which includes a 3/4” split)
Height: 33 1/4”
It fits me quite well, but I got lucky. I knew I needed to design the workbench around the primary user (me), but I had no idea how to do that. I hoped to find someone who was roughly my height (6’2”) and copy what they had done. After all, imitation is how we being the learning process.
What follows is how I settled on each of the key dimensions (length, depth, and height).
In my research about workbenches, I came across this article. Among the many things I gleaned was this:
I’ve made tops that are 8′ long. My next bench will be a 10-footer, the maximum that will fit in my shop. It is difficult to make or imagine a workbench that is too long.
I didn’t want to be caught with a measly 6’ foot bench and an 8’ project. So I measured my garage width, and estimated the available floor space along the garage’s length. I figured I could only fit a 7 foot bench. Oh well, it’s longer than 6. Looking back on it, I’m glad I only went with 7’. If I went with something much longer it might negate the benefits of the knockdown feature. I added the extra length to the middle of the bench, between the legs. That was an easy decision, because this random internet commenter asked a question I didn’t even know to ask!
The depth was a little trickier because I decided to do a split top. Any change I made the to the top would cascade through the rest of the bench. I was also limited by the final width of the 2x12s. Because of this, I decided to make the leg stretchers after milling the 2 top boards. All I knew was that I wanted it around 22 inches.
I read somewhere that Chris Schwarz is about 6’3”, so it was easy to just leave the bench the same height as it was in the plans. I figured that if I needed it to be taller, I could add plinths. If it were too tall, I could shorten the legs.
If I knew then what I know now…
I would’ve sized it based on the information in this video.
I didn’t plan to build a Nicholson bench. I had every intention to build one of those beautiful split-top Roubo benches. When I got into woodworking, the Roubo was the latest cat’s meow. It looked like an intimidating thing to build, especially as my first bench.
It was about that time that I came across the Knockdown Nicholson. It was one of those, “Hey, I can build that!” moments. It was simpler in its construction, it was made of softwood rather than hardwood (cheaper!), and it would be easier to disassemble when I move one day.
I didn’t stray too far from the plans included on the Lost Art Press website, but I did make a few small modifications. I went with a split-top, and I made it 7 feet long, but it is basically the one that Schwarz built. I’ll go into more details with some highlights (and lowlights) in upcoming posts, but I wanted to get this out there in case anyone else is interested in a split top design for the top.
There are a billion blogs out there. Does the internet really need another?
Well, probably not. But I’m going to try anyway. Here’s why…
I spend a lot of time learning on the internet. Because of the internet I have learned how to fix carburetors, take apart Macs, install water-powered sump pumps, make websites, diagnose and replace the heating coil in a dryer, build a Nicholson workbench, and so much more. The only reason I was able to do those things is because someone put them out there.
I’ve taken a lot from my online peers, but rarely have I given back. I think I’m finally ready to contribute.
I want to make sure I’m not wasting my energy though. If I want to add to the fabric of the internet, but no one
learns anything even visits, it was a bust. I’d probably be better off putting my energy elsewhere. I don’t want that to happen. So I’m going to try this out until the end of the year. Like a mid-year resolution, so to speak. I just have to make sure I can stay on track. Thankfully, a lot of other people have already figured out how to do this.
At Secondstreet, we’ve adopted (and modified) the OKR system that Google uses. So I’m going to lay out my Objectives and Key Results for this blog. It’s the only way I know how to determine my success.
- Be first when Googling ‘jake apple’
- Have this blog be considered worthy of syndication at unpluggedshop.com by December 2017