Workbench Build #2: Starting the glueup + the Sweetheart No. 62

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by JL7 posted 05-14-2011 03:33 AM 3343 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Tearing apart the bowling lane..... Part 2 of Workbench Build series Part 3: Not so traditional anymore.... »

Two points in this post:

1. Dealing with tricky glue-ups
2. Obtaining a decent quality plane…...finally!

I need to say – this is probably not the conventional approach to making a bench, by building the top first – but I don’t build off of plans – rather I build from the materials at hand – so the final product is not always known up front.

What I’m trying to say is – I will later build a base that fits the top. Definitely not the textbook approach – but I’m doing it anyways…. :)

Part 1. The glue-up

First, I had an extra chunk of raw bowling lane and clamped in the front on the router table to create a sort of special clamping table – I shimmed it to create a nice flat surface to clamp to:

Because the Maple is bowling lane comes in various lengths it can cause problems keeping everything tight.

So I dry clamped the pieces together and marked arbitrary locations across the bottom faces of the mating pieces:

Set the fence on the drill press and marked the the centerline of the bit on the table and drilled half depth dowel holes:

Using 1/4” dowels the pieces fit together nicely for a glue-up that doesn’t slid around:

Over the last several days after work :( I’ve glued up a few lams using this approach, wood handscrew clamps to keep everything tight to the base and an assortment of other clamps to get the joints tights:

If you read part 1 – the Jatoba is not as straight and nice as the Maple so has added some challenges. Even though superdave won’t agree, I am planning on running the lams through the power planer before the final glue-up.

This brings us to….

Part 2 – The Sweetheart No. 62:

I have a variety of planes, mostly old unrestored models. I want to learn how to tune them up and use them properly, but have had limited sucess so far – but also I am a little guarded about altering the old planes until I am more confident in the methods…....

I received a tidy in-store credit check for Woodcraft a few days ago – and decided that I needed a “decent” plane to start with. Sort of a benchmark to set the performance of the older planes to follow I guess…...

The new Sweetheart 62 is likely not the best plane that money can buy – but it is certainly the best performing plane I have ever handled…..WOW….what a difference. The first pass created long smooth shavings – and nearly without effort. I am starting to get it…...

I test drove on one of the lams and can tell immediately that this is an essential tool…....

And Fernando…...Everytime I want to just sit on the couch and watch TV, I can’t, becasue you are expecting me to keep posting on this backwards bench…........thanks for the motivation!!

Thanks for looking,


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

6 comments so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2654 days

#1 posted 05-14-2011 03:46 AM

How’s the lateral adjustment on that plane? Could you access the back of the blade with a tiny hammer (I prefer to adjust that way)? Snazzy, It’s great to have that “out of the box and it works” feeling. It changes the way you rate your other tools.

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

View JL7's profile


8662 posts in 2965 days

#2 posted 05-14-2011 04:09 AM

RG – I’m no expert (obvoiusly) so I took some photos – to make the lateral adjusment – you loosen the cap screw slightly and move the depth adjustment screw side to side. The depth adjusment screw is on a barrel nut that allows it to pivot:

As far as acess to the back of the blade, I would say yes, but it’s limitied – hope the photos help:


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2840 days

#3 posted 05-14-2011 04:20 AM

I’ll agree to anything right now. I just asked the wife for a motorcycle and she said YES;) woo woo. There goes the woodworking supplies for the next six months. Oh well. OK back to earth, hand planes are the most frustrating contraptions, to be such a simple design, to tweak and adjust that I have ever dealt with. Your bench is looking very nice. Shannon Rogers built his top first and it came out fine. You have some mighty fine shavings going on there Jeff. And I do like the dowels along with your gluing method. It looks like it will stay where you put it and be very tight.
I have been known to kill an electron or two.
Nice build Jeff. Keep us tuned in.
The sweetheart is sweet;)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View JL7's profile


8662 posts in 2965 days

#4 posted 05-14-2011 04:32 AM

Hey Dave – two things (again!) – First, thanks for peaking my interest in hand planes – I like your posts…..

Second – I ride a Triumph myself – a 2004 Bonneville America – I rode from Minneapolis to Dalonega GA a few years ago – some beautiful country to behold. Good to hear you got the go on the bike! Let me know what you pick up…..maybe our travels will cross some day….

Thanks for the comments.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2654 days

#5 posted 05-14-2011 03:14 PM

I guilt my top first and it helped me build the rest of the bench.

Thanks for the pics that answers my questions very well.

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

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2943 days

#6 posted 05-14-2011 04:02 PM

Hi Jeff.

Thank you, this is getting better all the time.

Doweling seems to be quite challenging.
So you are planning to plane the top with a hand plane !!! Nice piece of steel

I´ll tell you Jeff, I do hardly prefer watching this blog rather than watch tv. Sorry buddy.

This is as a marriage:

First step is a free decision, the following are obliged. :-))

-- Back home. Fernando

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