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Blog series by JL7 updated 742 days ago 19 parts 60435 reads 228 comments total

Part 1: Tearing apart the bowling lane.....

1208 days ago by JL7 | 25 comments »

Long story short – 2 years ago a picked up a couple pieces of thick Hard Maple bowling lane for really cheap. The idea was for a workbench. I then realized that the bowling lane was held together with LOTS of spiral cut nails that have some incredible holding power. I did actually start building a base out of Walnut but never finished because I found a great deal on this bench on Craigslist: I never really took a shine to the Craigslist bench, it’s not heavy enough (ev...

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Part 2: Starting the glueup + the Sweetheart No. 62

1204 days ago by JL7 | 6 comments »

Two points in this post: 1. Dealing with tricky glue-ups2. 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 textb...

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Part 3: Not so traditional anymore....

1202 days ago by JL7 | 11 comments »

So the project took a little turn today…..................... Before that, The top is glued up into 5 sections, was shooting for four sections but it didn’t work out that way. The sections are pretty flat and square – just need a bit more fine tuning of the mating faces…..... I guess I’ll take some heat for this, but it dawned on me I still have a quantity of extruded aluminum piled up and waiting for a purpose – same stuff I used for my r...

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Part 4: aka - the tornado shelter

1193 days ago by JL7 | 15 comments »

All I can say is I am very grateful for all I have….this will be a quick post and my heart goes out to all the folks in Joplin Missouri and the unreal devistation that occurred there on Sunday….. On Friday I glued up the bench top sections: Saturday – I worked on getting them semi-flat: On Sunday, I got a text from my sister asking “are you in the basement?” I was actually…..but I ran upstairs to check the weather and immediately r...

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Part 5: check out the crook....

1191 days ago by JL7 | 5 comments »

So I was thinking about using some more Jabota to finish off the bench and I unloaded the rest of the boards from the bottom of the stack. I guess I forget how crooked they were: Amazingly, that 8.5” wide piece of Jabota is almost flat, but look at the crook! I am considering using the crook board for end caps and vice faces (it’s 12’ long) along with some Curly Maple for proper accent. Also ripped some Hard Maple which came from the Mille Lacs Lake area to...

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Part 6: Still working on the top...

1181 days ago by JL7 | 6 comments »

Slowly but surely….......... Instead of a tool till, I added a back rail with slots cut in to store some bench tools. Made from hard Maple, but not as nice as the bowling lane Maple. I cut the slots at various depths with a dado blade on the table saw – used Miller dowels to install since the gluing surface is limited: Also glued up the end caps, vice faces and fron apron using Maple and Jatoba lams: Next – created a tongue on the ends of t...

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Part 7: First attempt (ever) at hand cut dovetails....

1179 days ago by JL7 | 6 comments »

Not much of an update here – but I will start by saying…...I have contemplated many ways of building this bench without dovetailing the apron into the end caps…..but of course I WANT this essentail feature so invested part of my tax return into a proper saw, and now I am committed. I picked up the Lie-Nielsen saw and and as most of you know, it is amazing the difference it makes in cut control. Before that…....I cut the dado’s into the end caps and they fit t...

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Part 8: Still Dovetailing......

1174 days ago by JL7 | 12 comments »

Today I attempted the fisrt set of pins on the apron board. Here are the tails from the previous post: Dry fit – first on top of the bench and then in place: Lessons learned here: - It is very tricky to dovetail a 1-3/4” thick board. Especially when it is your first hand cut dovetail.- Be very patient! I ended up with some gaps but it will still be usuable – the joint is really tight so will be serving the intended purpose. On the other...

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Part 9: Bittersweet Dovetails

1170 days ago by JL7 | 13 comments »

If you caught my previous post – I cut my first (ever) dovetails into the right end of the apron, which is the tail vice end. First – I appreciate all the great comments from that post – and I want to thank superdave for alot of the inspiration to even attempt this…......There are ALOT of inspiring posts on this site, but I happened upon Daves posts (and links) with hand tools and they just kind of hit home. So – the sweet part of this post…........ ...

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Part 10: Lots of holes drilled.....

1167 days ago by JL7 | 8 comments »

So it was hole drilling day today (and yesterday too I guess….) Did I mention that I decided to go with the Veritas Twin Screw for the end vice? Up to that point, I had less than $100 invested in the bench materials, but had a bit of tax money back so I went for it….:) The end cap (on top) is cross drilled for bench screws at the middles and rear and the vice face is below: Dry fitting the twin screw: Forget to photograph, but I also planed the vice face w...

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Part 11: Look Ma - No Clamps!

1165 days ago by JL7 | 15 comments »

A big day on the bench top build – no more clamps required to hold all the bits together…....gotta like it. Both vices are in place….as it turns out (in my case) the twin screw was much easier to install than the cheap Grizzly front vice. But both came out nice and smooth. I was sweating that a bit…......... Still need to drill a bunch of dog holes…......argh….... Also – need to clarify a statement from the previous post ̵...

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Part 12: I'm back - let's finish this....

959 days ago by JL7 | 7 comments »

OK – the bench build is back – APPRECIATE all the support in the previous posts….even tho that was a long time ago….:) I don’t know why, but the dog holes in the top of the bench have been a drag on me…....yesterday I decided on a plan and today I made some dust and some burnt Maple. I keep a router with a plexi base on it for various tasks and this seemed like a good choice for this. Note there is a square block under the plexi establish the offset&#...

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Part 13: Last of the holes + Some Leather......

958 days ago by JL7 | 17 comments »

Yesterday I used the router to create the start of the dog holes, today I bored them thru….... awhile back I bought some Irwin Speedbor bits on clearance – a 3 pack for $6.97…...a definite bargain, but they have been hanging on the hook since I bought them for 6 months or more…...until today. These babies are bad to the bone – and actually a bit hazardous if you are not hanging on tight…..You need to run the drill at low speed but they cut this hard map...

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Part 14: Some add on's......

950 days ago by JL7 | 12 comments »

Not much to post here – but still working on the bench project…....because of my general rule of “build as you go” it tends to bite you in the end. In this case, many of the dog holes are interfered by the base – so they are limited to short dogs (2-1/4” max).....so it goes. Had more scraps of Jatoba from the bench build so made some dogs from scratch. I ended up turning some hard maple stock and sanded them for the perfect fit….. When...

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Part 15: 3 Way Mitered Cube - the Cabinets

950 days ago by JL7 | 14 comments »

08/19/2012 Edit: Just to avoid any confusion – I didn’t end up using this concept for the bench storage…..the actual storage post follows this one…...Some day these pieces will be finished into something…...maybe. Jeff So today I started on the under bench cabinets – this starting point is sort of inspired by superdav’s post here. I like the cube design….....but wanted to make it different somehow… I remembered reading about a...

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Part 16: Storage - Pt. 1

751 days ago by JL7 | 13 comments »

I know, this blog series should have died by now…..and I’m not a huge fan of tucking away stuff in drawers….... But I can’t figure out a better use for all that precious space under the workbench. So I figured that drawers are the best use of space and I will fill them up as I go. Also not a plywood fan, but I did score a fair batch of 32” x 40” bamboo plywood pieces, so here we go… This is a little cabinet I made a few years ago using the...

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Part 17: Storage - Pt. 2

747 days ago by JL7 | 18 comments »

Progress is always slower than anticipated! If you read the previous post – the drawer boxes are made from Bamboo plywood, but I hadn’t decided what material to use for the drawer fronts. The bench is Maple and Jatoba, so considered this. Considered about 10 other (seemingly great) alternatives also. But settled on sticking with Bamboo ply fronts with Jatoba borders…. The next thing was deciding on the pulls – really wanted to avoid store bought pulls. Here...

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Part 18: Storage - Pt. 3

744 days ago by JL7 | 12 comments »

Assembling drawers now. Have half of them done, enough to fill one of the two boxes: The drawers are pretty straightforward, utility grade stuff – here is one ready for glue: They use hardboard bottoms that also serve as slides…...The hardboard extends 2” beyond the drawers to get the full extension effect….....they don’t really have any load carrying ability fully extended, but you can open them fully without dumping the drawer: ...

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Part 19: Storage - Pt. 4

742 days ago by JL7 | 13 comments »

OK – all the drawers are built, the boxes are sanded (yuke!)........... Had a chunk of 1/4” walnut ply just big enough to build 2 backs: In place: I saw this post from Triumph1 and the Kaizen Foam..this stuff is really addictive…...just one drawer done so far….....I love geeky stuff like this…. More stuff waiting to be cut…... Winding down…..thanks for looking….

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