Finished the Research and Making a WorkBench! #5: Topping the "top"

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Blog entry by RichClark posted 06-09-2009 05:01 AM 1254 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: The Top... Part 5 of Finished the Research and Making a WorkBench! series Part 6: Dead Men may have a tale to tell »

We need to set up things first… (this is just CLAMPED, to heavy to chop them as the top)


The center is marked and the big triangle will help me put it back the right way.. The legs need to be positioned so that they are FLUSH or a bit proud (the way I went, to make them flush, by hand later) and you need a starting point then need to pick out the pretty legs for the front and such.. Once I noodled it all out. At the pointy end I wrote BACK and Left and Right with arrows. I placed a LEG at each side kinda mentally standing on my head. and I wrote BACK/R or FRONT\/L and I placed them on the top and drew triangles on them also showing the SIDES that will face INSIDE the “bottom” so I can lay out the Stretchers Later.
(REMEMBER your working on the BOTTOM of the bench)

First I cleaned up the edges of the table “close” so that I can get a great glue up..

Cleaned up, good for now

Doing that I struck a square line from the Point to the open end of the triangle and then Measured out the width between the Stretchers.. (mine are 56” and I took into account to subtract the Tenon’s 1.5” each side) and struck mine at 26.5” from the center line. These need to be perfect so the were marked with my square. I repeated this and marked the Inside edge of each leg.. I scored each with a sharp knife. Then using each individual leg as a guide to the width of the Mortise I marked the outside edge. I went over it with a square and a pencil so I could see what I was doing.. (In this picture I decided to switch out the leg I picked first and you will notice the lines moved… I stood each leg Tenon down on its place and used a straight edge to acheive a 1/32” or so proudness on the face. You can not be so anal on this if you want on the back.. but the face of the bench being flat and true is a goal if you want to not get frustrated jointing up long stuff later.. And Well I am anal!..

Chop set up

Then You CHOP!


And Repeat 4 times…. The legs are so heavy, getting them setup and such was a 2 hour ordeal for the first one. By the last it was like 45 minutes and I was getting so good that Fitting them it was super painful on the last two… I chopped each one out then I cleaned out the sides with a 3/4” chisel and dropped the leg in and the first was bench quality.. some slop was evident.. but after that! We had to put them on the Jointer and flip them upside down with one of us sitting on the table piece and one trying to wiggle the leg back out..

The first fit was like this… or better

Fit Check  on disassemble table

And that leg was “cleaned” up a bit more and the few K’s of gap was gone…..

In the end you are looking for legs lined up where they go and the top NEARLY ready to glue up…

Fit Check  on disassemble table

I use a Forrest Dado King to cut deep/or any dado’s and the “deadman” needs an accurate one.. I don’t have a router guide and trying to clamp and route out the deadman’s top channel was going to be a pain so I decided to Dado it on my TS.. and Ill show you how that went next.

Take care Rich

-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

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#1 posted 06-09-2009 11:50 PM

Your looking at the bottom..(btw) and I expect maintenance every few years. The total cost is less then $350 USD including the hardware for it so far. It is expected to wrack, that will actually tighten the joints as it moves, its part of the design. This is going to sit in a Garage in Bradenton Florida.. The humidity is from 50-90%, and I live just of the water. I have a #7 and #6 and a #4 to clean it up and will flatten it as needed. I go into this with open eyes and the knowledge of success by others making it.. It will be a huge improvement to my current set up.

-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

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