Workbench Build #3: Half a top

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 03-29-2014 04:53 AM 2720 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: More design tweaking, and some cherry sawdust Part 3 of Workbench Build series Part 4: Almost the whole top »

Milled and glued up two quarters of the top today. Started edge jointing the first board and realized I had a jointer taper issue. Spent an hour getting that right, or at least pretty close. My longest straight-edge is my 6’ builders level, so it is sorted out to whatever degree of accuracy the level allows. Didn’t seem to be an issue afterwards, at least.

Process was to mill 3 boards and glue them up. Mill the next set while the glue was setting.

All clamps on deck!

Line up the boards properly – check to make sure all the grain is running in the same direction:

And get to work

The bottle says the clamp time for the glue is 30 minutes. I swear it took me 25 to just get the clamps on tight.

While that was setting up, I got busy milling another 4 boards for the next section. One had a long radial crack near an end.

I planed that board down quite a bit, to just under 1 1/2” trying to get rid of the crack. No luck, but it was decidedly smaller with a good amount of area for glue on both sides of the crack. If it ever expands and becomes an issue, I’ll figure out a way to deal with it.

My forearm is sore now. Pipe clamps take much less work than parallel jaw clamps.

Most of the boards have been netting 1 7/8” width. These 7 boards measure out to 13” total, half of my target width. We’ll see how the rest do, but looks like I’ll get away with a 14-board top instead of 15.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

6 comments so far

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8517 posts in 2010 days

#1 posted 03-29-2014 10:45 AM

Nice. I don’t think the cracked board will be a problem sandwiched in a lamination.

Jointer taper- I’ve got a grizzly jointer too. And I noticed the other day that the setup needs adjusting. All three knives are good on the fence side. but drop toward the front edge. Not sure if I can raise the cutterhead on just one side, or if I have to adjust all 3 knives. How’d you do it? Ehh, just got it last year. Need to learn more about it.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View theoldfart's profile


9743 posts in 2479 days

#2 posted 03-29-2014 01:57 PM

Mark, that crack won’t hurt a thing. I left a sizable knot hole in one of the narrow pieces of cherry, avoiding any possible dog holes and the like.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2073 days

#3 posted 03-29-2014 07:31 PM

Were those Irwin parallel clamps? I read a review saying they used fine thread screws for the handle, requiring more turns than usual.

-- paxorion

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2559 days

#4 posted 03-30-2014 07:28 AM

Red – my taper was lengthwise. Seems like my out feed table had been jarred during the shop move. That’s relatively straightforward to fix (adjust the height), but it is a bit of trial an error as the table moves ever so slightly when the locking screw is tightened.

For side-to-side taper, first check to see if the tables are coplanar. If they are, then you’ve got two options. Easiest is to adjust the knives to the table. If they can’t be adjusted, the you need to shim either the cutter head bearing or bearing block on the low side. It isn’t terribly difficult to do, but it helps if you have a dial indicator to determine how much to shim. Otherwise its trial and error. I had to do this when I installed the spiral head in my jointer. Took about 20 mins using the indicator.

If the tables aren’t coplanar, depends on the jointer, but usually you need to shim one side of the dovetail ways on the out feed. That one is a bit of a PITA. :-(

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2559 days

#5 posted 03-30-2014 07:35 AM

Pax (or should I address you as “Optimus”?) – yes, those are Irwins. Four of them, anyways. The rest are an import brand identical to the Irwins in every way apart from the color and handle shape. Like, I’m pretty sure they were made on the same factory line using the same moulds and tooling. Just half the price.

Anyways, they do seem to take a lot of work to tighten. I’ll have to look at a Bessy to see how the thread pitch compares – these are 10 or 11 tpi.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8517 posts in 2010 days

#6 posted 03-31-2014 01:53 AM

Sorry to jack your blog with jointer talk Mark, but I appreciate the help. The tables look good. Think I’ll just adjust the knives…maybe sharpen them while I’m at it. Thanks man.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

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