Workbench #14: Starting The Base

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Blog entry by CartersWhittling posted 10-25-2011 12:08 AM 8174 reads 2 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Tail Vise Is Complete Part 14 of Workbench series Part 15: Base Mortise & Tenons »

Hello. I am now working on the base for my workbench. I have changed some of the design details since my first concept, but not by much. The main difference is that the two legs on the Roubo side of the bench have tenons that will go into the bench top. The base was going to attach to the top the way most trestle bases do with bullet dowels, but then I realized that when I use the leg vise, all the pressure will be placed on the dowels! So I redesigned the front legs so that they have a tenon going into the top so that it is firmly attached and will handle the pressure from the leg vise. This is the where the task of combining a Roubo and German style bench became a little more complex. I will still have a bullet dowel above each trestle to help align the base and keep it from twisting since there are only 2 tenons along one side of the bench holding the top to the base unlike a traditional Roubo with 4 tenons, one on each leg. I am not sure yet, if I will glue and drawbore the tenons to the top. I may leave them and see how the bench holds without glue in those tenons, because it would be nice for the top to be removable for easier moving, if strength and rigidity are not compromised. The workbench I have now has a trestle style base that is attached to the top with bullet dowels and I have had no issues with rigidity so far.

Anyways, after figuring out the base design I went ahead and thickness planed all the leg parts and trestle parts to proper thickness. I had already jointed the parts previously so all I needed to do was mill them all to thickness. I do not yet have the wood for the 3 stretchers, so I will need to get it some time this week. Then I cut the parts all to length making sure to take in account the length of the tenons.

Then I laid out all the tenons on the parts. Since I thicknessed the lumber to the thickest the material would allow, the parts are slightly thicker than the plans called for. So some of the lay out work required tweeking and using the lumber itself to lay out the joinery properly. Though like all wood working, its more accurate to use marking gauges and transfering lines from one part to another, rather than using a ruler. Then after I had the tenons laid out, I used the bandsaw to cut the tenons since I do not own a tenon saw yet and they were identical repeated cuts. When you have the fence on your bandsaw set properly, and a good blade, you can make cuts that do not require clean up.

This is a picture of a piece of wood I used to set the fence drift, and you can see the quality of the cut is really flawless.

Here I have all the parts cut to length with the tenon cheeks cut on the bandsaw. I have not cut the shoulders yet.

Next I will finish up the tenons and start the mortising.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

1 comment so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2799 days

#1 posted 10-25-2011 02:18 AM

You are so close to the finish line. I cannot believe how smooth your band-saw cuts.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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