It’s a wrap – my workbench project is now complete. The only thing I have left to do is to make the sliding deadman. But honestly, I don’t really plan on using that much, if at all. I built in the ability to have one because I thought it would be cool, and I figured it wasn’t too much work to allow for one, so I did. But I’m in no rush to actually make the deadman, so I’ll officially consider the bench project complete at this point, and worry about making the deadman at some point later. Also, I originally planned on making my own wooden bench dogs. However, after looking more into all the different 3/4” dog products on the market, I decided it would be best to just buy some. I bought a pair of 4” long metal dogs from Lee Valley, and I just learned this weekend about the plastic dogs that Kreg makes. They are only $8 for four round dogs that have rectangular heads. Great value. I have many other Kreg products, and I’m impressed with the quality of everything they makes. So I’ll probably pick them up at some point too.
Since my last post, I had to still flatten out the top, put in the stretcher shelf, make the jaw pad for the face vise and put some sort of finish on the whole thing. If you recall from previous posts, if you looked at my top across it’s length from the end, it was shaped like a “V”. I previously flattened out the bottom, but I obviously had the top to deal with too. As with the underside, I used a power planer to take off the majority of the unevenness. Then I used a #7 jointer plane until the whole thing was flat, and then a #4 smoothing plane to touch it all up. Below is the mess of shavings just from the hand planes – the power plane chips went into a collection bag.
I used straightedges to make sure there were no twists and that the top was flat and true. Here is the final flatness check…dead on.
I then gave the whole thing a quick sand with 220 grit on a random orbit sander.
I next made the shelf for the stretchers. I was tired of planing and jointing at this point in the project, so I just bought some 1×6 select pine boards from home depot, made some quick tongues and grooves on them on my table saw, and then laid them out across the stretchers. I didn’t mechanically fasten them, as I want to be able to take them out and/or replace them if I ever need to.
I then drilled a few more 3/4” dog holes in the top for holdfasts or other dog accessories.
Finally, I finished the whole thing with a 4-to-1 mixture of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits. I gave it all two coats, three on the top. And here she is…the final product:
The Rockler face vise I used came with a handle. However, the vise screw I bought for the wagon vise didn’t. Fortunately, Rockler sells extra handles, so I bought another one to use on the wagon vise so I can have matching handles on the two vises.
And here’s the stretcher shelf.
So that’s it, the project is done. For anyone who’s interested, here are some stats about the project:
DIMENSIONS / WEIGHT:
- 34 1/2” high
- Top is 63” wide, 24” deep, 3 3/4” thick
- 5” thick square legs
- I don’t know the weight, but it is best classified as “friggin heavy”
- $200 in wood (nine 2×12 x 12’ Douglas Fir joists, four 1×6 x 6’ select pine boards, three 3/8” x 3’ oak dowels)
- $180 in vise hardware ($100 Rockler quick release face vise, $70 Lie-Nielsen small Scandinavian vise screw and – $10 extra vise handle from Rockler)
- $25 in glue (gallon of Tite Bond extend glue…I used almost all of it)
- $30 in boiled linseed oil (I bought a new large container of it, but only used a small fraction of it…figure about $5 worth)
TOTAL COST…right around $400 all in
Too many to list, but I basically used the majority of the tools in my shop in one way or another. However, I have to give special credit to the undisputed workhorses of this project: planer, jointer, table saw
Not exactly sure, but probably somewhere around 60 hours, give or take 10 hours. And that’s not including drying time after all the glue-ups. I wish I would have kept track of the time, as I’m now curious exactly how long it all took. Oh well.
So that’s that. It’s all over now. My next blog-worthy project is going to be a playhouse I’ll be building for my two daughters in the next month or so. It will be probably 6’x8’ and about 7’ high at the peak. Should be fun. So thanks again to everyone who has followed this blog. I hope you enjoyed and/or learned something from it. It was a fun project to do, and I’m really looking forward to now doing more hand work. Until next time…
-- Andy Panko, Edison NJ