LumberJocks

First Workbench

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Greg9Strat posted 1433 days ago 786 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Began working on a workbench for the garage so I don’t have to keep cutting on the floor or my makeshift horses (2 bar stools and the first board I can reach). My plan is to have a laminated top out of whatever wood is available and affordable. A quick run to the local hardware store resulted in the purchase of 30 2×4x10 boards for $60.

I’ve cut and glued the legs down (36” pieces of 2×4 laminated) and spent the day today cutting tenons with a plunge router. That was interesting – and I knew it wouldn’t be as easy as using a table saw (but I can’t afford one right now).

I’d seen my grandfather cut tenons on a table saw before, but never saw anyone use a router for this task. Now I know why. :-) I had 5 boards which both ends needed tenons, making it a total of 10 tenons to cut – 1/2” deep. I wonder if cutting these by hand (with a good saw) would have been faster and easier…..

All-in-all, it took me about 5 hours to cut all 10 tenons. Using a 1/2” router bit I put the fence at 1.5”. I know… this just makes it sound like cutting by hand would have been easier, doesn’t it….

I will say I learned a few things though:

- ALWAYS use safety gear when using a router (ear plugs – I would have ended up with mounds of sawdust in my ears…, good fitting safety glasses, and a respirator)
- using the router wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be
- ALWAYS secure the piece to be cut
- you can never have enough clamps!!

I had difficulties getting the correct sizes on the tenons, but hoping that glue will make up for the difference. Tomorrow: cutting mortises and prepping the tenons for assembly.



5 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2249 days


#1 posted 1433 days ago

sounds like you’re on the right track.

a few tips:

1. you could quicken making the tenons with the router if you cut most of the material off with a handsaw/ circular saw/ jigsaw

2. glue will not ‘fix’ your tenons – however, the good news, since you didn’t cut the mortises yet – you can custom cut them to perfectly fit the tenons. OR (maybe easier) – glue a piece of scrap wood to the undersized tenon, and recut it to be as planned.

good luck! making a workbench is always a fun challenge

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1002 posts in 2087 days


#2 posted 1433 days ago

If you feel your tenons will be a bit wobbly, you can drill a couple of holes through each tenon and glue in some dowels. Cheap easy fix.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

261 posts in 1955 days


#3 posted 1433 days ago

-Next time cut your mortisers first, then cut your tenons to fit. Cut the tenons over size, then slowly creep up on the correct size for a nice tight fit

-Until I made a table saw sled I used to cut all my tenons with a router and router table. it’s pretty fast, you just have a clamp a backer board to your stock to prevent tear-out as the bit leaves the piece.

Once you have your router table and fence all setup you should be able to bang out as many tenons as you want very quickly. The only drawback is clamping the backer board on each time. It also helps to have a miter slot and attachment on your router table to make this all go easier. If you can’t afford a table saw for a while I strongly recommend getting a cheap router table and mounting your router to it. I think you’ll find this is also quite a bit safer feeling then trying the rout tenons by free hand with the router top-side.

View nmkidd's profile

nmkidd

758 posts in 1774 days


#4 posted 1433 days ago

Looking forward to seeing the finished project….......

and Welcome to LJs!

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1481 days


#5 posted 1433 days ago

...and leave room for the glue in the mortise/tenon joint! I learned that the hard way after gluing some tight fitting joints. Try pulling them apart after the glue swells the wood – yet the joint won’t quite close tight because the glue is taking up the space! Oh brother! What a mess!!

Now, I make some grooves for the glue to rise up and out….

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase