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Work Bench Build #2: More Plans, Top Slab, and Starting Legs

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 612 days ago 4414 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Beginnings, where I come from, and where I'm going. Part 2 of Work Bench Build series Part 3: Tenons on Legs, Mortises in Slab, and bottom board cut out »

So, as promised (though maybe a bit later than I had hoped)...

Here’s another image of the plans I’ve got set forth. This still isn’t 100% set in stone yet, and probably won’t be, until I cut the joinery in the top for the legs. Thumb is a link to the larger version

Right, with that out of the way, two things were certain. The size of the slab/top, and the length/geometry of the legs. So I have at least started that much.

Cleaning up the face edge of the slab with my #4 1/2. It was a 12/4 slab of red oak that was 4’ long and a little over 9” wide. It was planed to 2.75” thick when I got it.

Then, I took to cutting the top to width. When I got it, it was around 9.5” wide on one side, and 9.75” on the other. So I used a straight edge guide and made 3 passes with the circular saw, lowering it more each time.

The problem I ran into, however, was that with the straight edge guide, the motor bottomed out on it before it was able to cut all the way through. Even with out the straight edge guide, I would have been a little shy of making it all the way through. With the guide, I was about 1” shallow.

So… I gave myself a bit of a work out…

Cleaned that up with the #7 followed by the #5 1/2 as the smoother. I must say, I really liked the #5 1/2 for this…

—————

I also started on the legs as well. The legs were cut from oak 2×4’s and a 2×6 for front left leg, which I wanted wider for the leg vise.

I had taped over the joints to protect my clamps from the squeeze out, but that left a mess on the leg…

So with a combination of #75 for cleaning off most of the thick glue, a #7 to make it flat, and the #5 1/2 again to smooth it out, I took care of that problem…

These are the two front legs

Now, this is where the picture taking takes a bit of a bad turn… Here I also have glued up the back two legs, cut the end caps, tool well back piece, and the front apron, and cut the legs to size. I skipped a few steps as far as pictures are concerned, but I’m sure we’ve all seen a miter saw in action :-)

The Maple is for the end caps, and tool tray back, and the oak on the left is the front section, that will go in the notch of the legs.

This fuzzy cellphone picture shows about what the top will look like (though it will obviously all be flush.

The back legs are cut to 75 degrees. After I cut one end, I decided it didn’t look quite large enough, so I had to second guess myself, and re-measure. Good thing I did. Both the back legs were about 1” too short. You can see some of the lines that I didn’t cut (thankfully) in this picture as well.

—-

That is all I’ve got for now, thanks for checking it out!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods



24 comments so far

View bhog's profile

bhog

1967 posts in 1287 days


#1 posted 612 days ago

Looks like fun Mos.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View ShaneA's profile (online now)

ShaneA

5249 posts in 1195 days


#2 posted 612 days ago

Looks like a lot of progress. It will be able to fit through the doors of the apartment, right?

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4502 posts in 889 days


#3 posted 612 days ago

doesn’t have to, but if I can still take the legs off once it’s done, I would use it in my apartment for the winter…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9575 posts in 1215 days


#4 posted 612 days ago

Congrats on progress! Solid bench in the offing, good plan, lots of capability to make it happen, too. I’m liking this series! :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4502 posts in 889 days


#5 posted 612 days ago

Thanks Smitty. All I need now is a decent Tenon saw to cut the joints for legs and top ;-)

I just have to keep reminding myself to take it easy, and keep things slow. As much as I can’t wait for this thing to be done, I know I’ll be much happier if I take my time and avoid the stupid little mistakes that will undoubtedly bug me.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1220 days


#6 posted 612 days ago

Beautiful Mos. So, square dogs? If so, I have a template that can help you route those.

Also, I notice that your end caps have pins on one side and tild on the other. Why? Just curious.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9575 posts in 1215 days


#7 posted 612 days ago

Very soon, I’m sure, for the tenon saw! :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1220 days


#8 posted 612 days ago

Oops. I meant to say tails on the other.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Brit's profile

Brit

5107 posts in 1440 days


#9 posted 612 days ago

That is going to be a great bench Mos. I’m looking forward to this build as I’ve been kicking around a few ideas of my own for a small bench. I’m going to make mine a folding bench though. My daughter is now making her own way in the world and I know I’m going to get more than a few “Dad can you make me…” phone calls. Not only will I make use of a small folding bench, but I can also use it to make a biger bench for my workshop in the future. I’m looking forward to the day when I can torch my Workmate.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10383 posts in 1603 days


#10 posted 612 days ago

Andy and Mos can both have a workmate bonfire when the benches are built. Id be willing to provide the popcorn. Nice lookin oak slab you got there Mos … and i think that youre right in taking your time on this one. I tend to get way too gung ho with some builds and rush toward a completion.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View LukieB's profile

LukieB

921 posts in 927 days


#11 posted 612 days ago

Looking good Mos, this will be fun to follow along withyour progress!

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this http://www.melbrownfarmsupply.com"

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1749 days


#12 posted 612 days ago

Looks awesome Mos, I love the plans you drew up, its going to look great.

I like how you worked out the notch for the front apron and the tenon on the front legs all in one. Will it be a through tenon? It doesn’t look like it in the drawing.

Now the inspiration is coming full circle, seeing your blog is making me really want to finish my bench! I’m working on it, but progress is slow….

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4502 posts in 889 days


#13 posted 612 days ago

Thanks everyone :-)
-

Scott, the reasoning for pins on one end and tails on the other, was to use the strength of the dovetails in the important directions, but still allow for the tool well to be removed.

Pins on the front, so I can remove the end caps by sliding them towards the back, but still use the strength of the dovetail to help keep the joint form pulling apart because of the wagon vise. Not that I should be clamping anything that crazy with the wagon, but with age, I wouldn’t want the joint to get loose. I designed it that way because I won’t be able to do much on the left side of the wagon vise (when looking at the end) to mechanically fasten it.

Then I had tails on the back side of the end cap, to help hold the back portion of the tool well on. This way, if I’m removing it, I can use a clamp as a spreader to pull the dovetails on the other end out. Does that design make sense, or am I overlooking something important?

I would certainly be interested in seeing the template, Scott. Even though I’m not 100% sure I’m going with square dogs. Round would be a lot easier, but I think I’d rather have square…
-

Me too Smitty, and I can’t wait! Thanks :-)
-

Thanks Andy. If it weren’t for the fact that you’d have to sacrifice two clamps to do it, I’d say clamp a log in the workmate when it’s torched… make it useful one last time :-P

I had tossed around the idea of a folding/more portable workbench, but I ended up settling on this on a whim when I found that great slab of oak.
-

Mauricio, thanks. I like making things easier on myself with out cutting corners when I can. I wanted the top a little wider than 9”, and thought I’d add the apron, which then made the legs a lot easier. I am still not 100% on the tenons yet. As drawn, it is designed to be a through tenon, but just barely.

The design was to have a rising tenon so the legs could be removed still, but I’m not sure if I’m going to go that route still or not. An alternative would be to do as you did (if I’m remembering correctly) and cut the tenons on the rear legs so they would go straight vertical. Haven’t decided yet. If I do go straight vertical, I’ll just create a small shoulder all the way around the front legs, and have it be a through tenon. They’re both cut long enough to be a through tenon at the moment.

Slow progress is better than quick mistakes :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1749 days


#14 posted 612 days ago

Mos, another good option, is to add a top/horizontal stretcher to the top of the legs, then you could just lag bolt it to the top, it would also make it easier to disassemble for moving. McGuire’s splayed leg bench is made like that.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4502 posts in 889 days


#15 posted 612 days ago

That is another good option… My only issue with that, is that I’d have to go back to my friend’s place and cut the back legs down some more. Not a show stopper by any means, but he is almost an hour away, and I’d have to coordinate when he’d be available as well. My miter saw isn’t large enough to cut a 4×4, which is why I went to his place yesterday.

I’ll have to draw it up this week, and see what I’d have to modify. I might go that way, as it would also make for a more robust means of fastening, if I end up removing the legs more than just a couple of times.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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