Last week I finished drilling many holes for the sides of the well. These included the holes for the clamping bars as well as the pilot holes and countersinks for the confirmat screws. This took a bit of time because of all the measuring and trial and error positioning to ensure I didn’t make any major mistakes since the FWW plans were subject to interpretation and my sketchup plans (last entry) were a little inaccurate regarding the size of the clamping bars. It paid off though.
For those planning to build the bench, I highly recommend using a drill press to drill all the large-diameter holes. It may just be me but I can seldom drill a straight hole… I used a Forstner bit for the clamp bar holes and Confirmat screw pilot holes. The unthreaded portion of the Confirmats are only about 1/2 inch and has a larger flat head so they needed deep countersink holes for the 1 3/8 inch side of the well. These were all done with the drill press since all I had to do was set the fence and move the board.
Holes drilled and well side clamped to the back part of the table (the salvaged door piece).
The seam you see is because I forgot to measure twice… It’s the edge of a 45 deg scarf joint I decided to use rather than a butt joint.
The front well side was not as involved. I only had to drill 7/8 inch holes for the bar clamp pipe. Since the well side and the front rail were both Fir, I just used deck screws as called for in the plan. These were placed every 6 inches. Note to those building the bench. This is a good time to cut some MDF for the well covers. I cut my to 10 inches as called for in the design. I cut two 8×10 inch pieces and one 10×20 inch piece. I set the smaller pieces on the supports above the legs and the longer one above the center support. This allows you to make sure your placement of the front well/rail assembly is more accurate in case you are a little off somewhere. I placed the front assembly on he supports, against the MDF and clamped the assembly from the bottom. At this point, I secured the rail to the supports. Another note. When you cut the MDF, cut them about 1/64 inch long (10 1/64). This is so that once you have secured the assembly, you can work the MDF out of the well and trim that extra 1/64 off and there will be a snug fit in the well but it can still slide back and forth or be removed. Sorry, didn’t grab a pic of that process. I can mimic it if anyone needs me to though.
Here are some final shots showing the progress (less the supports for the clamps that extend the length of the well).
And here is a closeup of a clamp bar that will support one end of the planing beam.
Thanks for taking a look and as always, suggestions and critique are appreciated.
-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN