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The Quest for a Better Bench #4: Construction begins...

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Blog entry by PlanBWoodworks posted 11-01-2017 08:39 PM 1235 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The search for inspiration... Part 4 of The Quest for a Better Bench series Part 5: Mortise and Tenon Joinery... Just writing that makes me feel like a SUPER WOODWORKER!!! »

I had to temper my desires when it came to dimensions, features and materials in the design of workbench 3.0. Again, I wasn’t going to be building the bench from anything fancy. Good old southern yellow pine was good enough for my first laminated top bench. It has held up amazingly well (with the exception of various stain/shellac splatter). Very few scratches/gouges/dents have marred the surface, and what has could be easily cleaned up with a little planing and sanding.

In addition to sticking with pine as the construction material of choice, I also decided that I wanted to also reuse as many of the boards from the workbench that this newer bench was replacing. That was going to limit the thickness of the top due to the fact that the previous bench was constructed of 2×4s. That meant that after cleaning up those boards, I would be working with a top thickness of 3 1/4”. There are a few reasons that I am really ok with this limitation.

1. By using materials that I have on hand currently, my additional expenses are limited.
2. I also will not be permanently attaching the top to the base. This way, down the road, I can have the ability to upgrade the top to thicker/better material down the road.
3. Finally, I really want to make this top in a certain manner. I want to coat the top with a thick layer of shellac. The reason for this is that when I get around to replacing this top with hard maple (or similar) – and that should be sooner rather than later – I want to repurpose this top as the top to a new desk for my home office.

I started this build by tearing down the bench to be replaced. What a mess that created!!!


After clearing out enough space to work, I cut the boards to length, 60”, and planed and jointed them to the proper thickness. Following all of that, it was time for the glue up.


It felt great to get a start on this project. I was thrilled with where it was going.

In the next entry, I will discuss the steps taken to complete the construction of the top and to cut the mortises.

Thanks for reading!

-- Hardwoods shouldn't be so expensive. Unlike money, hardwoods literally grow on trees!!!



1 comment so far

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PlanBWoodworks

84 posts in 297 days


#1 posted 11-02-2017 11:28 PM

Ummm, thanks Divya, but I think you misunderstood the “wood” we discuss here.

-- Hardwoods shouldn't be so expensive. Unlike money, hardwoods literally grow on trees!!!

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