Workbench Build #19: Getting the base ready for assembly

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 12-18-2014 06:58 AM 1995 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Odds and Ends Part 19 of Workbench Build series Part 20: Assembly Day »

While I did most of the odds and ends yesterday, there were a few things I needed to do today to get everything ready to assemble.

First, I have a location conflict with the leg closest to the wagon vise and the first dog hole:

I knew this going in – I need a leg close to the end of travel for the wagon vise, but the dog hole spacing was going to be less than the leg width. For the holes around the leg vise leg, I simply added a bit of space between two holes, but for the leg closest to the wagon vise, I didn’t want to mess up the spacing. I’d planned on having to route a cavity into the leg from the beginning.

So I got out the two-edge router guide and created the cavity

Check the fit. Yup, it works.

I also routed a groove for a tongue on top of the deadman into the front board of the top. Forgot to take a pic.

Then put a 1/16” roundover on all exposed sharp edges. The splinters this jatoba throws off are somewhat like spears. Along sharp edges, when something sticks out and you run exposed flesh along it, you end up with a splinter the size of a toothpick and when it heals, a scar. The 10 minutes it take to run a router along edges is well worth the self-protection value. Breaking edges with sandpaper doesn’t work well. Half the time, splinters puncture the sandpaper and lodge themselves in whatever sanding block you use. For me, that’s usually my thumb.

Tried to get pics of this. 1/16” roundovers don’t show up well on camera.

And finally, ran over everything with P180 sandpaper, mostly to erase my layout marks.

Then it was time to get out the glue. First, mixed up some epoxy to deal with the two loose-fitting tenons.

A note on using epoxy – its cure time is sensitive to the ambient temperature. My shop is around 16°C/61°F in the winter. Reasonably comfortable for working, but it took the epoxy 5 hours to set.

Epoxied and PVA’d the first side leg assembly:

Not the epoxy squeeze out on the lower left joint. Try not to do this! But if you do, acetone does a decent job in cleaning up the mess.

Add the second assembly:

Later on, I put some Waterlox on the pieces for the base and the underside of the top. Figured it was easier to do it prior to assembly. One coat won’t add much protection but makes a huge difference in the look – compare the tenons to the rest of the stretchers:

I realize it hasn’t been clear from my pics, but I’ve been working with two distinctly different colors of jatoba. One is pretty red and the other is quite orange. With a bit of finish applied, this pic really shows the difference.

Jatoba is photoreactive so I’m hoping both will ultimately head toward the same shade of brown.

And the leg assemblies with finish applied:

Tomorrow, everything will get assembled. I’ve recruited my dad to come over in the afternoon and we will lift the top in place. While not quite complete, the bench will be functional! I need to start training for my Bondo pose…

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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