Tool thoughts #18: New fangled Bench almost complete

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Blog entry by NedB posted 04-18-2009 04:21 PM 4161 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 17: New Pen Mills & I'm a glutton for Pen-ishment... a different swap underway Part 18 of Tool thoughts series Part 19: New Home and (eventually) shop »

Well the past two weeks the shop has actually warmed up to a point where I can be out there without losing body parts to frostbite.

I hauled a few 2×4’s up to Grizz’s shop and we got nearly all of the parts cut to dimension. I could just as easily done it at my shop, but it was fun visiting his shop as always.
Once I got them back in my shop, here’s what I wound up with:

all cut to length and ready to go, except for the holes for the cross clamp piping.

I tried assembling the legs, got most of the way through one, when I realized i hadn’t drilled a pilot hole for the lag bolt.

well it was late I was tired and I had to stop when the wrench I was using slipped off of the bolt head and flew across the shop. (NO I did NOT throw it, honest) Time for plan B.

Meanwhile I also needed to drill the holes for the pipes, and my forstner bit set just wasn’t up to the task. on my way home from work I picked up a 1 1/8” spade bit, called a speedbor. Man does that thing make a hurricane of chips:
you can see the swirl in the dust it leaves behind, Someday I’ll shoot video of how it throws out a cloud of chips, different than any other spade bit i’ve used. I highly recommend them if you’re in the market. They leave an extremely clean hole, even on the exit without a backer board. There was very little tear out in the dozen or so holes I drilled. No pics of drilling the holes themselves, but the two crosspieces which hold the main pipe clamps, plus the two long boards needed holes. The two short pieces were simple, the two long ones with the 8 holes were a bit more of a challenge. to keep them in regiistry, I screwed the two boards togther, marked the location for the top pieces and did them all at once. That was a bit of chore, my litlte benchtop DP doesn’t have a long throw, so I had to drill some, stop the motor, raise the table, drill some more, etc…

The next day I loaded the two legs, one mostly assembled, the other in pieces, plus the main beam into my truck and headed off to another friend’s shop. He had the tool I needed to finish the assembly in no time.
A ryobi 18v impact driver. sigh Someday…

Back in my shop yesterday, I got to bolting the leg assembliies and the main beam together: got everything to this point and I was starting to dry-fit the two main pipe clamps, which is when I realized that I had the legs just a tad too wide…

Mr Impact to the rescue, it was quick work to tear it all apart, lop off about 3” of beam, drill two more pilot holes, and bolt it all back together after checking for square. When I shut down for the evening last night, here is where it stood, and how…

I had screwed the back piece with the holes in it on, but when I fit the three board glue up on , I had a gap I didn’t like. I decided to screw them together on my ts, which will get me a better joint (I hope). I’m probalby going to replace the back section at some point, so I’ll simply screw them together.

This is the 4th bench in my 12’ x 20’ shop… I had two in my old shop, which were very good at collecting clutter (still are in fact, so I may have to use sterner measures and tear one apart soon), plus my miter saw station which I threw together to build the shop. I like having the chopsaw handy, but I’m considering tearing that apart, keeping the top section around, but re-using the legs and more importantly the floorspace for this new bench.
Here’s a look… as you can see getting around in there is a lot tougher than it should be

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

5 comments so far

View MauBow's profile


55 posts in 3413 days

#1 posted 04-18-2009 04:46 PM

Looking good Ned…hey didn’t you just clean things up in there? What happened? (insert, just kidding smilely here)

-- If it wasn't for misplacing things, my shop would never get cleaned up.

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 3532 days

#2 posted 04-18-2009 04:52 PM

yeah I did, but hey, that’s why they make brooms and I’m saving up for a better shopvac…

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4066 days

#3 posted 04-18-2009 06:20 PM

Looking pretty good. I look forward to seeing all the projects that you build upon this bench.

Can’t wait to see it finished!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 04-18-2009 10:01 PM

Ned the bench looks great.

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 3532 days

#5 posted 04-26-2009 09:53 PM

I suppose I could make a new post, but essentially it’s the same as this post… not quite finished, but getting there. I’d call it functional at this point.

I got the top installed the other night…

In order to fit that in, I had to dissassemble my chopsaw stand, which I ‘overbuilt’ a couple of years ago. the Top is still in one piece, stored behind the new bench. The legs are in a pile out in the yard until I find a new use for them (which I think I have, but that’s another post…)
Here’s the pile of deck screws I pulled out of the stand… No, I really didn’t want it going anywhere…

And finally I got pipe clamps installed today, drilled holes for two pins that will keep the clamps from pulling out of the end, insurance really, since the vise ends of the clamps are screwed to the bench, they’re not going anywhere.

I also cut the disposable section of the bench… 3/4 MDF panels with holes to lift them out of the well. I think I need to put a dowell somewhere the end of the bench so I can store them when not actually In the bench. Or maybe just a deck screw… have to see where it’ll fit.

with that I’m going to call it ‘done for now’. I have a few other projects to work on now, and a nice pile of Black Ash to see what it looks like inside after turning…

there’s some spalting going on in there, so I’m going to throw some on a chuck and see if I can’t make a bowl or something out of it.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

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