FINALLY!!! After several weeks of little to no shop time each day, I finally hit another major milestone. The base is complete; glued up and sitting in the clamps for the night. The past few weeks have been crazy for me: new projects at work, a battle with the flu, getting 15 of my students ready for a competition, etc. I was able to manage about 30 minutes of shop time every other night at best.
It was 14 days of knocking out one little task after another until it all came to fruition. I had to:
- measure and cut all the tenons for the stretchers
- mark off and chop out all the tenons in the legs for the stretchers
- drill out the hole for the leg vise screw and it’s rear collar
- cut the mortise for the leg vise parallel guide
- drill out the holes for hold fasts on the front right leg
- drill out and mark all the holes for to drawbore the stretchers to the legs
- chamfer the bottoms of the legs
- clamp up and drawbore the entire base
Oh, and I realize that most people skip clamps when drawboring joints, but I’m one of those better-safe-than-sorry guys and I had clamps big enough to handle it. So, I figured it wouldn’t hurt.
Drilling out holes in the front right leg for the hold fasts
That leg sitting on top of my sawbench
Most of the time was spent fine tuning the mortises for a nice snug fit with the stretcher tenons; which I finished up tonight. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow coaching a bunch of my students in a jiu-jitsu tournament. So, I made a big push today to get the base together.
My next move is to finish flattening the bottom of the bench top; which should only take about an hour.
- put the base upside down on the top
- trace out the mortise locations from the tenons
- chop out the mortises
- cut the mortise / slot for the sliding board jack
- drill out the holes for the hold fasts in the bench top (have to do this when it’s upside down, because they have to be wider at the bottom than the top in order to work with my hold fasts)
- and finally drawbore the top onto the base
At that point, my son and I are going to completely clean out my shop, lay anti-fatigue mats down in the entire shop (right now they’re only around my old bench), move my old bench into the corner to be used for sharpening and finishing, and finally put the new bench in place in the middle of the shop. After that, I’m going to use the new bench to finish itself (leg vise chop, sliding board jack and track, shelf, planing stop, bench holes / dogs, etc).
*Here’s the completed base, clamped up for the night