So it seems like it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I have gotten some more progress on the bench, but not nearly as much as I’d like, nor nearly as much as I’ve had the opportunity to accomplish.
I got the slabs out of the clamps, and finished flattening the bottoms using my existing arsenal. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my sons were all here, so I found a cabinet shop that would run my slabs through a drum sander. We loaded the slabs into my truck and trundled over there. Once there, we found that the wide slab would just make it through his planer, so we ran both slabs through the planer rather than sander. While there, I also got a look at one of the SawStop Jobsite Saws. Yes, before they were even officially announced. Good looking little guy, Sawstop is going to sell boatloads of ‘em to commercial operations simply because of the insurance.
Work on the bench slowed down substantially between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Okay, slowed down isn’t quite the right term. Stopped is more accurate. I did get some other stuff done in the shop during that time, but no bench work. I had from Christmas to New Years Day off, so I set my sights on getting the bench finished. Fortunately, I wasn’t shooting for qualification, because I came nowhere near my mark.
Part of the problem has been weather. We had snow (finally) hit, and hit heavy, on Christmas. My shop is overcrowded currently, so I have to move some tools outside in order to work. Outside doesn’t work when temps are below freezing and the driveway is snow covered. That, however, is actually a smaller part.
A larger issue is my decision to go as long as possible with the bench given my timbers. Between that, and squeezing as much width out of my top lamination pieces, ALL of my stretchers are too short. So I had to spend some time cutting and milling up new stretchers. But wait, there’s more!! Sadly, the big printed plans I have from Benchcrafted don’t match my hardware. I have a Glide CrissCross, not the traditional Glide. Now, this isn’t really Benchcrafted’s fault, as the instructions for the CrissCross do make it clear that the leg vise chop and lower front stretcher are different from the printed bench plans, but if you don’t READ all the instructions before hand, such nuances can escape one. So, I ended up cutting pieces for the vise chop that are too short, and will have to laminate a thicker front stretcher.
The adventures in stretchers aside, I have made some other progress. The cavity for the wagon vise has been excavated, a very messy process using my router. The tenon for the endcap has been mostly cut, I just have to trim one end. And my blank for the endcap is glued up and ready for cutting the mortise as well as the rest of the wagon vise installation work.
So there’s still a LOT of work to do. I plan on getting all the wagon vise/endcap work done next, as well as getting that front stretcher glued up. Once the wagon vise work is done, I’ll do the doghole strip, front lamination and condor tails. At that point, the top will be finished except for final trimming, which will be left for last. With the major work on the top done, I’ll start in on the base joinery and leg vise. I’ll need to glue up a blank for the chop. Any of these glueups are a pain, because I have to bring the pieces inside overnight because my garage is too cold. I’m not looking forward to the final front slab glueup…
Well, that’s it for now. Sorry, no pics, but I’ll get some for the next update.
-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.