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Blog series by Airframer updated 08-26-2013 03:19 AM 44 parts 81267 reads 303 comments total

Part 1: Design Requirements

01-28-2013 04:04 PM by Airframer | 2 comments »

After doing some reading here and spending some time in my shop I have come to the realization that I need a standalone workbench for my shop. Right now I have 2 benches that I call “Table top benches” meaning they serve as counter space for equipment and a large soldering station. What I need is a bench that I can access all 4 sides on, has adequate clamping ability and is solid while being mobile at the same time. I also need it to not only serve as a woodworking bench b...

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Part 2: Styrofoam Modeling....

01-30-2013 05:22 AM by Airframer | 9 comments »

Work has kept me pretty busy this week and I haven’t had time to do a proper sketch of the bench as I have it in my head but, I did have a few minutes tonight to toss together a small “scale” model of the basic shape and function of the flip top design I have in my head. Basically it rides on a central pivot rod with dowels (probably steel or hardwood.. haven’t decided yet) to keep the top aligned when secured together. I am still working on how to secure it. I a...

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Part 3: It begins....Kinda

02-02-2013 12:53 AM by Airframer | 3 comments »

Ok, so after tossing around some overly complex ideas and trying to reinvent the wheel I have finally settled on building a Hybrid Roubo style workbench. The design is tested and it works very well for what it does so why mess with success. I plan on 2 vices. One wagon end vise and a leg vise. I had to do a lot of reading on the leg vise vs. a side vise to see what all the rage was about. I had never heard of a leg vise until a month ago when I discovered this website lol. After read...

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Part 4: More work on the vise plus a failed trip to the local mill...

02-04-2013 05:52 AM by Airframer | 3 comments »

This morning I went over to my bosses house so we could weld up the bolt bracket for the leg vise. He had some scrap plate metal on hand and a plasma cutter (want one lol). He made quick work of the job and within an hour I have a rough plate with a large bolt attached to it. He left it up to me to clean it up and drill the mounting holes plus I owe him lunch tomorrow heh. He ALSO gave me a practically new angle grinder so I can cut up the 6’ rod to length so that is a bonus. eit...

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Part 5: I've Got Wood!

02-06-2013 02:20 AM by Airframer | 3 comments »

I was on the phone with that lumber yard just down the street this morning just asking if they could get what I needed (they don’t have much on hand) and they called up their mill and it turns out they can get me some 8/4 6” -8” x 9’ – 10’ Red Oak stock for 4.50/BF. That was a smidge higher than I was looking to pay but they will deliver it to my house for free which saves me a lot on gas so it was a deal. I placed an order for 60bf of the Red Oak and t...

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Part 6: What have I got myself into! Oak Delivered Today..

02-08-2013 02:16 AM by Airframer | 10 comments »

It was an exciting day here at the Airframer household… While I was at work my wife waddled out to the garage to take delivery of 66/BF of 8/4 Red Oak. Now I just need to figure out how I am going to mill this stuff to size. I have a Skill Saw which should do it I just need to go grab some saw horses to build a rip jig on. From what I can tell it is dry not green but I am not real sure how to tell for sure. I do think I’ll see if I can find a moister meter just to be sure...

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Part 7: Picked up the last pieces of the puzzle today..

02-09-2013 08:37 PM by Airframer | 5 comments »

I visited my local orange store today and picked up the materials for the base. I am using 4×6 Douglas Fir for the legs and 4×4 DF for the stretchers. I had to have them rough cut them to size so they would fit in my car and I might still need to go back and get a bit more but this will get me going. I also got a new toy. A 9” bandsaw to help with some of the ripping. I was trying to avoid using too many power tools on this but I don’t think I am up to ripping by ...

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Part 8: Leg Vise Hardware Finished..

02-10-2013 07:16 PM by Airframer | 3 comments »

I spent the morning at the drill press working my way up 1/16” at a time from 1/4” up to 1” for the screw to feed through into the hand wheel. The larger the bit got the more difficult it became but if you go slow and don’t try to force the press it goes pretty smoothly. Make sure you have your pilot hole absolutely centered before you drill. Mine was oh so slightly off and it became very noticeable the larger the hole got and that took some doing to mill it close...

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Part 9: Finally Making Saw Dust!

02-17-2013 01:52 AM by Airframer | 4 comments »

After a bit of hemming and hawing over how to rip this wood to size and exactly what size to rip it to I have finally started to cut wood! I measured them all out and I can either get a 16” top with a 3.5” thickness or a 24” top with a 2.5” thickness ao I have decided to go with the wider thinner top with a tool tray. I am still trying to decide on a tool try in the middle or a plane stop in the center with a tool tray on the outside. Anyone with experience with t...

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Part 10: Finished cutting the top and started planning out the wagon vise..

02-17-2013 11:25 PM by Airframer | 6 comments »

FINALLY! Finished rough dimensioning of the wood for the top. In the process have become good friends with my Skill Saw.. even though it is only the cheap 12A model it is a beast and a work horse lol. I have also decided to cheat and count it as a “had tool” since I hold it in my hand and push it with my hand lol.. so this is still mostly hand tool built so far! Rough dimensions of the top are 2 5/8” X 23 1/2” x 75” and that will reduce down a bit after I s...

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Part 11: Wagon Vise Hardware..Mostly Done..

02-19-2013 01:51 AM by Airframer | 4 comments »

Spent the day piecing together and cutting iron for the wagon vise hardware and skid. As I had mentioned in the previous post this is what I am getting my inspiration from… I am using the same hand wheel as on the leg vise just a smaller diameter. I have also added a tapered copper fitting to the end of the screw that fits into a bearing that will be pressed into the wood under the table to add both stability to the screw and a bit more of a smooth crank. I wasn’t able...

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Part 12: First real issue.. Suggestions needed

02-21-2013 02:37 AM by Airframer | 11 comments »

I finally got fed up with tripping over things and wading through a sea of saw dust last night. That was all it took to finally clean up the mess made by the ripping process and reset to start on the base. After sweeping up and re-stacking Still need to clean off the wall benches though! As I was re-stacking the lumber I noticed some issues with the 4X6 fir posts I had bought for the legs. I went with those because A) They were inexpensive and easily acquired at Home De...

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Part 13: Moxon In Work... The vise to help build the bench.

02-22-2013 01:52 PM by Airframer | 0 comments »

Just a quick update before I leave for work. I was trying to clean up one of the legs last night with a hand plane and realized this is not an easy task without a vise of some sort. That prompted me to start building the Moxon vise that is in the plans for the bench first. I can then use it to help build the rest of the bench. I’ll get more detailed into the process once it’s finished but here is some teaser shots for you guys. Stay tuned more to come!

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Part 14: Moxon 2... Adventures in wooden Handwheels

02-24-2013 12:31 AM by Airframer | 8 comments »

The last update was pretty brief and short of details so I hope to make up for it with this one. I just finished up 1 of 2 wooden handwheels for my Moxon vise. I decided to go with wooden ones instead of cast iron for 1 simple reason…. they would be free lol. Well sorta I did already pay for the wood but it is mostly made from scraps and a chunk of the padauk I bought to add contrast to the bench with. I cut the main wheel out on the band saw and used a hole saw set to cut out t...

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Part 15: Moxon 3.. Almost done.. I think..

02-25-2013 02:47 AM by Airframer | 8 comments »

So, have you ever wondered how to plane a large piece of wood for a work bench without a workbench? Yep, me too lol. This was another day full of learning. Lesson one was that the blade I had on my band saw was too wide to cut the hard wood and that was why I was having so much trouble with drift. Number two was that my Bucks Brothers 6 1/2” block plane is actually a decent little worker now that I have tuned it up. Lastly… it is hard as hell trying to face plane 36 X 5 3/4 ...

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Part 16: New Crank Handles...

02-27-2013 12:50 AM by Airframer | 3 comments »

After finishing up one of the hand cranks for the Moxon vise I realized that the poor excuse of a turning I did on my leg vise crank handle just wasn’t going to cut it. So after that revelation I scrounged up some scraps of Padauk and Oak and started piecing together a segmented stackup that would become my new crank handles for both the leg and wagon vises. Once the glue was set on those I cut different sized plugs out with my hole saw set which works out nicely b...

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Part 17: More Moxon... Finally doing some glue ups..

03-03-2013 05:19 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

I finally got off my arse and started to finish up this Moxon vise. I really can’t wait to have this guy functional. It will make building this bench a lot easier as far as hand planing goes. So far both hand wheels are done and ready to go.. Then I got started gluing up the rest of it. This was kinda a test run for the bench top glueup and I’m glad I did this first. I first tried to dowel the clamp “leg” (no idea what it’s real name is) you kn...

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Part 18: Finishing up The Moxon!

03-04-2013 02:06 AM by Airframer | 4 comments »

I banished myself to the shop today in an effort to finally finish up the Moxon vise build for the bench. Lets just say it was an unqualified success! The day started out with drilling the pilot holes for the threaded rods. I finally put to use another flea market find. This old B&D drill works great and was only $15! The only downside to it is the 1/4” drive but fortunately I was still going to be able to fit this in my drill press. Once the pilot holes were drill...

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Part 19: Clean up and Reset.. Laminating the top Part 1

03-05-2013 05:23 PM by Airframer | 3 comments »

Not much “Progress” over the last couple days unless you consider a good cleaning of the shop progress (which I kinda do). The place had become a safety hazard and I just wasn’t able to focus on anything with all the clutter and dust about so it had to be delt with before moving forward with anything else. I started out like this.. And after a full day of cleaning and re organizing some tools I got it to a working condition.. As a side note.. the wi...

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Part 20: Laminating The Top 2..

03-06-2013 02:06 AM by Airframer | 8 comments »

Sorry about the blog spam today but….. It. Has. Started! FINALLY! I set up my saw horses and have jumped into planing the boards flat so I can get them glued up nice and tight. Broke out my $18 new model Stanley SB4, sharpened the blade for the first time and gave it a go. This is the first time I have used it since I bought it. I wasn;t sure what to expect as most the reviews for the newer cheap Stanley planes are less than steller but I gotta say.. this guy does the job! I...

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Part 21: Leveling.. Well.. Evening The Top..

03-11-2013 02:05 AM by Airframer | 10 comments »

More progress on the top today. I finally found a full day off of work to spend a good amount of time in the shop today. The day started out innocent enough. The plan for the day was to knock down and even out the thickness of all the boards making up the top so it will be easier to level once it is assembled. As you can see I was less than accurate when ripping the Oak for the laminated pieces.. I started out just scrubbing away the squeeze out and the high boards. As...

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Part 22: Rough Plan For The Base.. Opinions Needed..

03-12-2013 07:00 AM by Airframer | 17 comments »

Well, I bit the bullet and finally installed Sketchup. I am very far from proficient at it but I was able to mock together a rough draft of what I have planned for the base of this bench. Here is the deal. I am active duty military so I know I WILL be moving at some point. With that in mind I have to be mindful of what I build and the fact that I will need to load it into a truck at some point. My second project for my shop was to be a tool cabinet for my various hand tools and such....

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Part 23: Where we are at since last update...

04-03-2013 02:32 AM by Airframer | 2 comments »

OK, so I haven’t had much progress going on since my last update other than finishing up the glueup of the top. I still need to trim up the ends and get the skirt glued up but this is the end width of the top plus tool tray. Once I finished with that my wonderfully tuned and sharpened #6 arrived from Mauricio which showed me just how lacking and out of shape my current selection of tools were. So I have set upon a side mission of getting the tools I have collected to ...

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Part 24: Getting Ready To Cut Some Dovetails..

05-06-2013 05:29 PM by Airframer | 12 comments »

Ok, so I got a little distracted with getting my hand plane assortment ready for work. I still have a couple more to go and another on the way but as it sits now I have a fully functional selection of old Stanleys that should get me wherever I need to go with them. Now as I sit here preparing to cut my first ever dovetails (seriously have never done this before) I need to get my saws in order. I have been putting off sharpening these for a while now and it is time I gave them some a...

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Part 25: Forward Progress finally... Top Glue Up done and Legs started..

06-08-2013 06:27 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

So, it has been a few months since I have done any work on the bench. I think I needed a mental reset and to get through the rest of my wife’s pregnancy distracted by small projects. Now that that is over with and my shop is in a manageable condition again finally I can get back to work on this elephant of a project. Having a newborn in the house has limited my available time in the shop but that seems to have focused my energy when I DO get in there to get something done while ...

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Part 26: Standing on it's own 4 legs...

07-08-2013 05:59 AM by Airframer | 7 comments »

Time for some catch up and an update. Most of you who follow the workbench thread on the forum have already seen most of this but I feel compelled to keep this blog alive and I really need to resist the urge to spam the forum with progress updates and keep them here lol (sorry about that guys!). So we left off with the legs being glued up so naturally the next step was to square them up and make them more “leg” like. I had to get creative with the clamping to make this happen...

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Part 27: Top Trimming and Prepping for the Deadman..

07-11-2013 05:08 AM by Airframer | 6 comments »

First things first I trimmed the tenons that I left long flush with the top. My HF flush cut saw took care of that pretty quickly. Then I wanted to square up one end of the bench. Eventually I will cut a tenon in here for the end cap. The other end is waiting on the end caps and wagon vise hardware to determine where it will be cut. Then I wanted to carve out the deadman groove before I forgot and ended up trying to cut it out upside down and backwards lol. I al...

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Part 28: End Caps and Tool Well Started.. Two Steps Forward and Whatnot..

07-13-2013 12:43 PM by Airframer | 4 comments »

Well, yesterday was almost a wash. The day started strong. I got everything setup to rip the bench side tool well wall to size. Then I decided to kill a few electrons and use the circular saw to get the job done quickly. Simple enough right? Well the saw decided to go walking about halfway through the cut for some reason and basically made that piece of cherry unusable. That almost has me sworn off of power tools for all but the hardest tasks. With power tools when things go south it ha...

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Part 29: Finishing one endcap and cutting my first dovetails..

07-14-2013 05:57 PM by Airframer | 5 comments »

Yesterday started with the bench side of the Toolwell. I glued up the back wall the night before and yesterday morning it was time to remove the clamps and rip that to the correct thickness. I decided to do it this way so I could clamp the other side to this one as a cutting guide. It worked pretty well. A quick pass with the No 4 and it is done. Then I trimmed up the leading edge where the dovetails will be and started on the mortise in the endcap. I used the same process a...

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Part 30: Wagon Vise Build is a Go Finally..

07-19-2013 08:40 AM by Airframer | 10 comments »

This has been a relatively slow week build wise. I had a series of 15 hour nights at work which kept me out of the shop for most of it. I did, however, find a few minutes here and there to get some work done on the wagon vise for the bench. I need to knock this out so I can finish up the endcaps and get started on the leg vise and stretchers then finally assemble the darn thing. I am fashioning this after the benchcrafted wagon vise which is a departure from my original plan of the Ma...

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Part 31: Wagon Vise Cont'd......

07-20-2013 06:32 AM by Airframer | 17 comments »

So, we left off with this pile of steel waiting to be turned into a wagon vise… I started with one of the thin pieces. I measured and scored a line the full length to mark the depth of the channel for the 2 rails. Measured for the rail length.. Then with this piece on top I stacked all 3 pieces and clamped them together and cut the first rail to length with a cut off wheel in my angle grinder. Gotta love the smell of burnt metal in the morning :D Next w...

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Part 32: Wagon Vise Cont'd...Again...

07-21-2013 08:16 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

Well, I didn’t get as far as I had hoped yesterday but progress was made… I finally got the shorter rivets and attached the runners to the base plate. If I had been able to find 3/16” thick plating large enough to make this all one piece that probably would have been better but this will work. Then I drilled the dog hole, which was an experience in and of it’s self. My drill press doesn’t do straight holes so I was free handing this. I discovered th...

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Part 33: Going Backwards Again.. But for a Good Cause..

07-22-2013 08:40 PM by Airframer | 8 comments »

Last night a fellow LJ asked a question that had me pondering all night at work. He asked why only one dog hole in such a big block. I really had not thought about that and it makes sense to have a shorter block with only one dog. You get a lot more travel and use out of the vise and what is the use of having a vise that is only partially mission capable? So this morning I sat down and stared at the wagon block for a bit trying to work out what I was to do and that is when I noticed a f...

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Part 34: Wagon Vise is Alive!

07-24-2013 10:07 AM by Airframer | 8 comments »

Well, after the setback I spent most of this morning and a few hours after work finishing this up. After the initial assembly there were some sticky spots that got fixed with a chisel and then there was some major sticking towards the end of the run on the end cap side of things. That took about 3 hours to get figured out. The bearing flange needs to be shimmed on one side so I need to come up with a creative tapered washer of some sort. Am kinda leaning towards a leather compression wa...

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Part 35: Endcap Part Deux....

07-26-2013 09:10 PM by Airframer | 6 comments »

Now that the wagon vise is sorted out and functioning quite well I might add (am having too much fun with it right now tbh).. Last night after work (1am.. pretty sure my neighbors hate me right now) I decided to go ahead and make the 1” dog for the vise. Fairly straight forward. Sanded the 1” dowel slightly to give it a smooth fit (using the vise to do it no less :D ) Then cut to length, cut an angled notch at the top and then used my 1/4” chisel to cut a grove d...

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Part 36: Back at it.. Fitting the Tool Well...

08-05-2013 08:13 PM by Airframer | 12 comments »

Well, now that I am done distracting myself with mallets, saw benches and cleaning it is time to get back at this. I have set an arbitrary deadline of September(ish) for completion of this bench so it is time to ramp things up a bit. We left off with a partially fitted end cap in the last blog. A bit more progress has been made there. I have the Dovetails cut and “fitted (will require more plugs and shims.. perhaps by the 4th dovetail I will have this figured out?) As before I ...

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Part 37: Finishing up the Toolwell... All downhill from here.. I think..

08-10-2013 09:34 PM by Airframer | 12 comments »

We last ended with the second dovetail and the end caps mortised for the tool well ends. After a week of no progress in the shop I finally had some time this weekend to get something done. To start I needed to cut the remaining dovetails so I would know where the dados should stop to not be seen on the out side of the bench. I am sooooo glad this is over with. I would love to say I got better with each one but I really didn’t. I did learn something new on each one but the mista...

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Part 38: Final Assembly of the Top...

08-11-2013 05:34 AM by Airframer | 9 comments »

I couldn’t wait till tomorrow to put the top together. This did not go without it’s fair share of oh sh#t moments one of which almost had me starting the whole thing over almost.. But I’m getting ahead of myself.. I had planned to use pegs instead of bolts. I am trying to keep the number of mechanical fasteners to a minimum on this so lets have a go at it.. Marked out the location of the peg holes and drilled just the end caps.. Then fitted them and marked th...

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Part 39: Stretchers and Shelf

08-16-2013 08:11 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

Now that I have a list I suppose I have no excuse not to at least attempt to finish this thing. So this week I got started on list item #1… The stretchers. I had originally planned to build them out of the same ceder that the legs are made from but changed my mind in the name of weight and durability. So I rummaged through my pile of oak cut offs left from the top and found a slab just the right length for the long stretchers. I figured I would figure out what to do about the sh...

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Part 40: Leg Vise #1.. Started the Chop...

08-17-2013 04:15 AM by Airframer | 9 comments »

Today was almost a wash. Had errands to run this morning and the boy had a Dr appointment this afternoon ANNNND I have to work tonight so not much in the way of free time in the shop but was able to get some progress made on the leg vise. And I am happy to report that no electrons were killed during todays progress :D I have some Galoot points to recover lol.. First things first I had to flip then rotate my top so I could get some measurements made and have access to the wagon vise. Fl...

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Part 41: Leg Vise #2.. Another Item Off The List...

08-20-2013 03:45 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

Once the chop was shaped it was time to get started attaching the hardware to it and making some holes. I had hoped to have this completely finished by the end of last weekend but I missed that deadline by a day… close enough I think. First up was the parallel guide. I measured out the mortise and marked some holes to be drilled out. Then got my brace and bit out and hogged out the waste. Getting better at drilling straight holes :D Nearly all of them landed right on t...

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Part 42: Attaching the Base #1..

08-22-2013 03:14 PM by Airframer | 9 comments »

I got started attaching the base to the top last night. Only got about halfway through it because it was late and I didn’t want to rush through it and mess something up. But so far so good. This is mostly a short picture post but you should have an idea of what is going on here.. Once more flip and rotate the top.. Then measure out the side stretcher by the leg vise for clearance of the chain bracket.. Then got everything drilled and ready for drawboring...

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Part 43: Finishing the Base and Flattening the top....

08-25-2013 01:17 AM by Airframer | 7 comments »

I FINALLY found enough free time between work shifts to get the back 2 legs and side stretchers attached. Since I glued up the toolwell before installing the back legs I wasn’t going to be able to drawbore them into place so I decided to wedge them instead. So a couple relief holes and a bit of saw work later they were ready to go but first I needed to do the long stretcher. Again, drill and offset the tenon.. make some pegs and get all my ducks in order for this operation since ...

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Part 44: Dog Holes and The Sliding Deadman

08-26-2013 03:19 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

Last night after flattening the bench I couldn’t wait any longer to get some holes drilled in the top. I have been kinda dreading this part because it is one of those permanent type things in a major component of the bench. Earlier I had mentioned that I didn’t have a 3/4” auger bit for my brace…. well that turned out to not be true lol. The problem is that I can’t math. Turns out I have a 12/16” bit and for those of you following along that simplifie...

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