Workbench Build #20: Assembly Day

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 12-19-2014 07:58 AM 10267 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: Getting the base ready for assembly Part 20 of Workbench Build series Part 21: Of Dogs and Deadmen »

I knew today was going to be a good day.

Got out to the shop and started assembling the base. Well, back up a bit – had to clean up and organize some, move the desk/bench thingy to the wall and lay out where exactly I wanted the new bench to be placed. Once it is all together, it will not be moveable without a lot of effort.

Ah, on to the base. Laid the tape down where I wanted it to go and set the legs in place.

Added the stretchers

Right about this time, Dad came by. Perfect timing, an extra set of hands was helpful in bolting the stretchers to the legs.

Then we moved the top into place and carefully lined up the tenons and mortises. Didn’t want to go. Jostled it a little and it looked good, but still no luck. Got down to look under the bench, and it seemed about 1/32” off on one end. Gave it a good bump with my hand and it seated. Made a very satisfying “thunk”! Just for good luck, I used a mallet to give it a good whack over each leg. From the sound, you could tell it had seated just fine without the extra persuasion.

Dad wanted to see how the hardware worked so I hooked up the leg and wagon vise hardware.

I get about 4 revolutions with a good twist on the leg vise wheel. Awesome!

An aside – I ended up painting the Bencrafted hardware with a spray bomb. Color is Oil-Rubbed Bronze and I like the look. I’m hoping it will be relatively durable. Here’s the spray rack:

Also fitted the dog traveller today:

And made boards (hard maple) for a shelf underneath. Will be tongue and grove:

Had to notch the two end boards to fit around the legs. Got to use the leg vise for the first time!

With this end, I used the table saw to make as much of the cuts as I could and then finished off with hand saws. For the second, I just used the hand saws. Before now, never had a vise to be able to do this type of work easily. I think the hand saws will be seeing much more action.

Adjusted some of the tongues on the boards for better fit:

And at the end of the day, applied some Waterlox to the shelf boards so they can be installed tomorrow.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

6 comments so far

View terryR's profile (online now)


7403 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 12-19-2014 03:07 PM

I know you’re ready to complete this build, and get back to furniture…

...but this is nicer than any furniture in our home!

Thanks for all the photos and lessons.

Been thinking of painting my BC hardware, too. Same color. :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2317 days

#2 posted 12-19-2014 03:29 PM

When I did my bench, I initially wanted to do T&G for the shelf boards. When I did a dry fit with just butt-ended boards, there was no real need to do T&G since they all lined up fine and you really can’t put enough load on the shelf to make the boards deflect appreciably.

Still, the T&G is a nice touch. I think Chris Schwarz would say to put a nice shadow line on the long sides with a beading plane, though when you have the shelves piled with crap like mine it won’t much matter :-)

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2708 days

#3 posted 12-19-2014 03:52 PM

The T&G is to allow for seasonal movement across the width of the shelf. I could have done a shiplap, but a T&G is better if any of the boards decide to cup.

The boards are a.heavy 7/8” thick. The unsupported span is about 18”. Ya, deflection wont be an issue.

It isn’t visible in the pics, but I put a small chamfer on the long edges before finishing.

I figure the shelf will be full of stuff in about 3 days, maybe less. I eventually want to build a tool cabinet to go in that space to keep small stuff handy. The drawers in the desk I was using were handy.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2317 days

#4 posted 12-20-2014 12:56 AM

I ended up adding a cabinet to house all of my planes. Not the prettiest, but it’ll do. Another cabinet for smaller tools would be handy, but I’m afraid I don’t have the real estate underneath now!

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View exelectrician's profile


2328 posts in 2605 days

#5 posted 12-20-2014 01:07 AM

You made your dad proud, a bench to last more than a lifetime. Very nice.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View sb194's profile


197 posts in 3196 days

#6 posted 12-20-2014 03:31 PM

Very nice. I am going to start my bench this winter, and hope I can make it half as nice as this one. It will last for generations.


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