Hand Tools Archive

Experience with the Latta bench *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.

I have been practicing the line and berry for the Spice Box door and using the new bench for the task (vise still black ordered). What follows is a summary of my experience with it.

1. Height- The top of the bench is 44" from the floor (I am 5'7"). This height is comfortable for the trough cutting and chiseling required. However, I can't see well, a factor I did not consider. My near vision glasses are focused for 16-18" and the top surface of the wood to be inlayed is 14". I will be whacking an inch off the legs in the hope of improving focus of work.

2. Other factors- For this work the bench needs to be at a lower bench corner as it is necessary to either rotate the work as the lines are scored or rotate the worker. The large overhang saved the day in this regard. The best corner lighting is over the main bench vise. The overhang gets me out of the way of the main bench vise.


The string is 0.033" wide. The margin for error is small for the relative position of the string elements. What you see is a poorly done practice run for the corner inlay. I am experimenting where to locate the arcs so that the points of the arcs come together pleasingly in the corner. Most tries were unacceptable. Also the border corner miters are difficult to get just right. I am trying to recall how I did these before. The glue squeeze-out obscures this joint as it is made so I don't know what I got till I level the string after the glue sets.

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