LumberJocks

Projects #5: John White FWW Workbench - Base and Half of Top Assembled

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Jeff posted 07-24-2007 05:57 AM 8188 reads 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: John White FWW Workbench - Planning and Milling Part 5 of Projects series Part 6: John White FWW Workbench - Dimensions »

Hullo, folks. I’ve been sneaking in a little more time on the bench and have an update. In the last entry I mentioned a snaffu with my chamfers. I got those all done in short order on the router table. I even took a chance on the leg I had already assembled. The fit with the lag bolt was of course a little looser when I reassembled the leg but nothing to get uptight about. This was pleasing.


bench with half a top - left end


I put the legs together and then drilled my holes for the lag bolts in the ends of the stretcher. This is where I ran into my next challenge. I brilliantly didn’t think before I drilled. I had “3/8 lag bolt” in my mind and promptly chucked up the 3/8 bit rather than the proper size for the 1/4” x 3” pilot holes I really needed… I drilled three of the four before making this discovery. Fortunately, since the stretcher is 5” I was able to relocate the holes. I still had the correctly spaced holes in the legs though (they could not be used because of the difference in spacing I had to use for the new holes). Since I only drilled 3 of the 4 in the stretcher, I wanted to use the original location for at least one of the holes thinking it might add something to the stability. In hindsight I should have just relocated all four and stuck with the pre-drilled holes in the legs. At least it would have been less unsightly. It is, however, a workbench and will definitely not be the last one I build so I can live with it. I just hope I don’t have any problems with the Fir splitting. A season will tell. If it does, the replacement cost will not be bad.

The upside is the back half of the bench top involving my salvaged conference room door went together quite well and is almost perfectly level. I’m choosing to believe the hair that it is off is due to the 50-year-old shop floor. I hope to get some time this week to assemble the pieces of the well and front rail. The particle board door was secured to its supports with Confirmat screws. These are specially developed for use with particle board. They have deeper and more closely spaced threads that reduce the occurrence of tearing apart the board or becoming loose. The Fir pieces were then joined to the leg assembly with deck screws as mentioned in the FWW article.

If you aren’t familiar with Confirmat screws, I’ll be taking more detailed shots of the well assembly for the next entry and will include some shots.


Partially completed top with bubble level

buble level close up


What’s most exciting is I think I picked the right height to comfortably use this bench with my had tools. Before I cleaned up for the day, I took a pretend passes with a #4 plane (with retracted blade). It felt pretty comfortable.

This was pleasing…

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN



13 comments so far

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 3457 days


#1 posted 07-24-2007 07:40 AM

Looks very satisfying! You’re making good progress…you won’t have to pretend for long! (Though that’s fun too)

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 3554 days


#2 posted 07-24-2007 02:54 PM

Thanks, Dorje. It will be nice to have a multi-functional worksurface finally.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 3457 days


#3 posted 07-24-2007 06:08 PM

What did you have before? And, what happened to it?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 3560 days


#4 posted 07-24-2007 08:16 PM

Jeff, I’m likin’ the progress!

-- John

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 3554 days


#5 posted 07-25-2007 03:13 AM

Thanks, CISPOOK and John. I hope it turns out to be genuinely usable.

Dorje, I haven’t had anything other than the desk in the first photo or my table saw (not the best idea without a special cover for the top). The desk is not dead flat. The Black and Decker Workmate is also useful.

I have not really used my hand planes (other than my block planes) since I acquired them. That, I feel, is unfortunate since part of the reason for getting into WW was as much therapeutic as any other reason. I spent several weeks locating them and have a real desire to have an appropriate area to hone and use them. I truly want to build something without any electricity whatsoever. I unfortunately won’t make the summer project deadline but that won’t keep me away from the personal challenge. Lofty goals I know.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 3547 days


#6 posted 07-25-2007 03:43 AM

Looking great Jeff. The more I think about what to build the more I like this. Do you see any way that this could be in two or more pieces and easily assembled when needed? My shop just can’t fit an assembled bench inside, but I was thinking it would be great to be able to set one up outside when the need arises. It’s either that or wait until I build a bigger shop.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3861 days


#7 posted 07-25-2007 04:25 AM

Jeff:

Did you have Douglas use his trusty PhotoShop to get that Bubble right in the middle.

Or was it shims under the table. LOL

Great start.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 3457 days


#8 posted 07-25-2007 04:41 AM

Jeff – not to rush you or anything: What are you going to build when you complete the bench?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 3554 days


#9 posted 07-25-2007 05:22 AM

Karson,

Ummm, errr, no. Douglas had nothing to do with it…....... wink, wink. LOL!!!

Seriously, good idea but I’m proud to say, that has been my crowning achievement of the project thus far. I was really worried that I would get the top situated and it would be a half bubble off or something… Douglas, the good man that he is, probably would have rightfully told me to not be a weenie and go fix the situation correctly. I guess before I get to proud I should move it out to the driveway which is pretty level and take a measure there.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 3554 days


#10 posted 07-25-2007 05:28 AM

Dorje,

I have two things in mind. (1) The Adirondack chairs I have been promising my “shop landlords” or (2) the frame for the mirror project have made plans for. I’m thinking the chairs will win out because that gift is long overdue. Also, that was my intended project (sans fasteners and glue) for the summer project but it simply isn’t going to happen with the time left. Such is life.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 3554 days


#11 posted 07-25-2007 05:41 AM

Bob,

I can’t believe you asked that question!! Every since I started this project, I have been rolling that idea around in my noggin’. I think it is totally achievable! The downside would be the repeated line-up of the bars for the planing beam and the re-installation of the beam every time you wanted to use the bench. This said, if you only needed the beam once in a while or could plan you work accordingly, the bench is very doable as two pieces or maybe three.

The top is basically a whole assembly that rests on the leg assembly. In fact, the two are put together with nothing more than deck screws. A clever man could easily fashion a way to attach the two with a clamping/joinery system. I envision a sliding dovetail with some side rails that are ultimately clamped to just slightly pinch or clamp the leg assembly. If designed right, it would have no more lateral movement than the current design. Frankly, it might be stronger and stiffer.

To compensate for the planing beam clamp bars I have an idea but not sure. What are your off-the-cuff thoughts? Let that 3-D mind of yours flow…

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 3547 days


#12 posted 07-26-2007 04:32 AM

Sounds like a great modification. I was thinking 3 main pieces. What is the issue with the planing beam clamp? Seems like the pipes could be positioned as the pieces are assembled. They don’t actually clamp they just support, or am I wrong? Cut holes in the top and bottom to fit and just insert as you bolt it up.

This is such a cool bench. I think it will be one of this winters projects.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3771 days


#13 posted 07-26-2007 04:39 AM

Nice progress and posting.

-- Jesus is Lord!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com