Workbench Project #2: Making a base. Alternatively, learning to hate home depot.

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Blog entry by Jon3 posted 10-22-2007 08:38 PM 1525 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The workbench project begins! Part 2 of Workbench Project series Part 3: Tage Frid time! »

So, way back (9 months) in my woodworking infancy, I knew little of the wonderous joys of rough lumber, jointers, and planers, so I bought the lumber for my workbench base from home depot. 1×6 maple. I dug through the pile at the borg to try and find the straightest and cleanest pieces of the lot. I thought I had done well, but I was to be stunned later.

I got it home and laid it out. Since there’s certainly no maple 2x lumber at the borg, and I didn’t think a 1x base would be sturdy enough for my 2inch maple top, I decided to do glueups. Since I didn’t have a mortiser, I figured this gave me another advantage. I could use my dado set to make the mortises, then do the glueup.

It worked ok, but I’m not sure I would do it that way next time. By necessity, that makes all of these through tenons. Through tenons would look better and be better, structurally, if I were able to wedge them. But I’m not sure the force of such against a glued joint would be that wise.

Also, when you’re doing a glueup like that, you’d be better off not glueing up 2 pieces of 6” lumber, but instead taking a 12” board, doing the dadoes, and then ripping and glueing. Oh well, lessons learned.

I did get introduced to the usefulness of a hand plane. And I got myself a nice LN block plane to commemorate the occasion!

The bulk of the tenon was cut on the tablesaw, no special fixtures, just a dado blade, so a lot of cleanup was needed! That is why there are a lot of rough chips from the planing, and not clean shavings.

Finally, I got the base assembled, glued, and I did some final trimming and cleanup with the dozuki.

And here is where I left the bench, maple top unfastened, just sitting there waiting for me to finish someday!

[begin 6 month hibernation, during which much skillbuilding took place…]

2 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13794 posts in 4332 days

#1 posted 10-22-2007 09:28 PM

I take it you like the rabbit plane. Looks like it did a good job on the tennons.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4340 days

#2 posted 10-22-2007 09:43 PM

I think even for a power tool lover, a simple block plane, and a simple rabbet plane, are still incredibly useful items!

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