This is my new Split-Top Sawbench. I consider this bench to be the best version out there for a hand tool woodworker. I do a ton of sawing in my shop. I dimension all of my stock by hand, and in doing so I have to do a lot of rip cuts. Ripping boards between two benches works fine for larger pieces, but it just doesn't work well for small boards. If you have ever tried ripping a 4" wide by 2' long board in half you know what I mean. You can do it in a vise or on a sawbench, but generally half way through you need to flip it around and saw from the other side. This is not the most productive technique when ripping. Ripping boards is a rhythmic experience. To stop and restart from the other side can just about double the time needed to rip boards, not to mention cause possible issues with accuracy With the Split-Top design however, you can just keep on cutting without stopping. I just pick up my knee and finish the cut with my hand holding the board in place, no loss of rhythm, time, or support.
One of the other attributes to this bench is its square sides. A traditional sawbench has splayed legs that get in the way of ripping or crosscutting boards. If you look at the legs on my older traditional sawbench you can see that the legs and the stretchers get in the way. Even if you change the stretcher to a single central stretcher, the legs are still annoying.
Another benefit to the split top is evident when cross cutting boards. You can get more control and support by placing the cut over the center of the bench. With both sides supported I have noticed cleaner exits because the board is not solely reliant on me supporting it on the final strokes.
All and all I can't wait to put this bench through its paces over the years. If you build one let me know how you like it.
Below you will find the two videos documenting the construction of this bench. I do consider the videos targeted more towards the beginner, so realize that I am going to cover tenons, dovetail layout, drawbore technique, and half lap dovetails. I don't cover dimensioning stock because I have done that in the past.
In the videos you will also hear me say that I will be adding holdfast holes to the bench. I decided not to do that for the moment. I will let time and circumstances dictate if I really need holdfast holes in the bench. The split top allows for the use of clamps, so that may be the best option for now.
If you just want to see the dimensions and the designs I worked from you can go to this previous blog post:
New Improved Sawbench : Split Top Sawbench
Like usual, if you have any questions about the bench don't hesitate to ask. Just leave a comment or email me directly by clicking on the icon at the top of the page.
Split-Top Sawbench Part A
Split-Top Sawbench Part B