Plumb makes it so effortless

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Blog entry by BlueHatMan posted 03-16-2011 02:59 AM 888 reads 1 time favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am in the process of building a shop table. Not so much a workbench as a rolling work table that, if luck is with me, will finish out at table saw height. My best guess right now, slightly under.
I have a workbench the size of a door. It’s the build-it-in-a-weekend-with-big-box-lumber model I am sure you have seen, and it has served me well, mostly as a carving bench. In fact, it was built at carving height, which is too high for much anything else I’d like to pursue. And it is big enough I have gotten into some lazy pile everything on the bench habits. The rolling work table will hopefully be more versatile, save space, and encourage a more orderly embrace of projects.
The base is simple enough, two mortise and tenoned end pieces joined by stretchers using Veritas bench bolts from Lee Valley. What’s not so simple is the perfectly plumb hole. I have a benchtop drill press that’s much to small for the “timbers” I have used for the table base. So I tried using a cordless drill mounted on one of those cheesy turn-your-cordless-drill-into -a-drill press gizmos. As you get to know me you will come to discover I am something of a sucker for thingmos that promise much, much more than they can ever deliver. In this case, a plumb hole. I ended up at a friend’s cabinet chop where the big boy tools live, and redrilled the holes with a stable drill press.
All of the grunting and cursing of the day before gave way to the quiet squeaking of bolt twisting through tight hole and meeting nut. So effortless. And such a joy to see the results of the right tools used in the right way.

-- BlueHatMan, N. California,

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