Photos. Birbs. Wood. Food.

Small Miter Box Bench

Originally written Dec 18, 2021

miter box bench side view

oblique left view of the bench

I bought a miter box from another woodworker a while back, and needed a place to set it up, since my main workbench is a bit… chaotic most of the time. I also had scored four 92 inch long 4×6s from a neighbor, who had planned to use them as the corners of a pergola he never got started on.

First step was cutting down the 4×6s to 30-ish inch lengths and taking off the rounded corners, giving me nine 4×5s. Then I started building.

I started by cutting a recess for the Veritas small inset vise into the top of the bench, and cutting a line of ¾” square dog holes along the edge of the “front” board of the bench. With those two boards glued together, I attached a couple legs.

close-up of the inset vise

I also glued up the back of the bench, three 4×5s and a couple legs.

The bench in two pieces

My joinery wasn't great, but I had a couple ½×10” carriage bolts, so I put one of those through each of the front legs and tightened them down. Much more sturdy! For the back legs, they got three 4” long deck screws each.

Gluing the two halves of the bench together

That done, I glued the two assemblies together, aiming to get the top of the bench as flat as possible. Then I braced the legs with a tubafor, mortised into the legs (with more deck screws).

Bracing the legs with two-by-fours

A little flattening of the top, then leveling of the legs later, plus a few coats of BLO, and it was time to wrap things up.

The miter box sits on two ¾” thick scraps of pine left over from my bookcases. This makes the deck at the same height as my main workbench, so I can use that to support a long end of a board.

miter box installed on the bench

I also made a deck for my Stanley 77 dowel maker so I can mount it on the front of the bench when I need to make dowels.

Definitely not the prettiest construction, but I find myself using the small vise very often when working small parts. I've got two pine-scrap dogs to go with it that are enough for now.

Stanley 77 dowel maker held in the inset vise

Update February 9, 2023

I'm still using the bench on a regular basis. The only thing I've changed about it is that I painted a bunch of it with leftover paint from other projects, and I added a Veritas Universal Vise to the left front corner of the bench to hold things I want to carve.

Update March 12, 2024

Miter box bench with carving vise and small inset vise holding a board I made grooves in with a Luban 043.

This is a recent photo of the bench in use. The green carving vise is to the left, and in front is a board which will be one of the long sides of the box that’s going to hold my pen-making supplies after I put in some grooves with the Luban 043, which is sitting on top of the pine board.

#project #woodworking #HandyTools

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