finally getting to work on the actual bowling alley part of the “bowling alley workbench”, although I really found Damian’s comment on a previous installment entertaining, and might refer to it from now as the “Alley Workbench”...lol.
The top as can be seen in the sketchup model is made of 6 different components: Main Slab (nails and all), Dog holes strip, buffer strip, 2 skirts (front and back) and a breadboard End Cap.
In reality this will change slightly as I decided to drop the rear skirt, but might add another end cap.
Up to this point I had cleaned and had the main slab roughly ready, and the dog hole strip:
I then hand planed the bottom of the main slab flat. I only planed the areas that will rest on the leg cross braces, as the rest really has no need to be flat.
I mortised 2 rectangular mortises to fit the tenons on the back legs. these mortises are slightly (1/8”) wider than the tenons to allow for seasonal movement.
The main slab now fit on the leg cross braces and is flush with the back legs. at this point I hand planed the bottom of the dog hole strip where it would rest on the legs, glued and clamped it to the main slab while keeping both pieces resting on the legs (they are not yet flush and flat on the top – that will be done later, right now the bottom is my reference):
Next is the buffer which helps keep the dog holes from running above the legs, and also gives some support on the front side of the wagon vise (once installed). I cleaned up some more strips of the maple, and laminated them together for the buffer strip (none is long enough for the entire length, so they are staggered shorter pieces):
Once that dried, I motrised rectangular mortises in the buffer strip to fit the front leg tenons. my mortises are getting better and better which I really like:
and this fits (still dry) together like this to give the main work surface of the top:
Next would be the end caps which will also allow me to install the wagon vise. followed by the front skirt.
the nice thing is that I am now already working on this semi functional bench, and it seems very stout and steady…. and starts to really shape up now.
Thanks for reading,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.