A Workbench's Progress #8: Glue-up's Finished

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Blog entry by TheGravedigger posted 07-01-2007 02:52 PM 1569 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: The Base Begins Part 8 of A Workbench's Progress series Part 9: Cutting Tenons the Old-Fashioned Way (sort of...) »

The easy part’s over—all of the base components have been glued up, trued up, and evened up.

After gluing the pieces together to make the rough leg components, I squared up the surfaces with a hand plane, and then sent everything back through the thickness planer to insure uniform thickness. Then, it was time to cut everything to final length. I hate this part—it’s one of my favorite ways to mess up.

While the legs were a-gluing, I skip-planed the stock for the rails and stretchers. Since no glue-up was necessary here, I was mainly concerned with uniform thickness to make tenoning easier. I was now able to determine their final length since the leg thickness was now a known quantity, and cut accordingly (adding 2” on each end for the tenon!—anybody here ever forget that?).

Base components

As you can see, I went ahead and cut the short cheeks of my tenons. This will allow me to accurately mark to cut the length of the individual mortises. Of course, I’ll have to keep all the pieces organized from this point on.

Cleaning up the tenon cheeks gave me a chance to try out my new shoulder plane. Since I use the router table for my tenons, this was a necessary step made MUCH easier by Veritas’ ductile iron wonder tool. How I got by without one up till now is a mystery to me. I’ll be making a separate blog post to properly sing my praises of that little gem.

Now comes the hard part—28 mortise-and-tenon joints.

Guess I’d better get busy.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

7 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4400 days

#1 posted 07-01-2007 03:04 PM

Nice looking so far.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4139 days

#2 posted 07-01-2007 03:20 PM

Robert -

This is a great series! Looking awesome. Can’t wait to see the M & T joints – all 28!


View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4097 days

#3 posted 07-01-2007 04:10 PM

Great progress. Looking forward to seeing the assembly. Also very interested in the plane review. Been kicking around the idea of getting the large LN shoulder plane. I would be interested in your opinions on the Veritas.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4086 days

#4 posted 07-02-2007 05:51 AM

Looking good! Can’t wait to see it finished. My “workbench” is a 30 year old B&D Workmate and a rickety old dining room table. This is going to be one of my 1st projects once I have a shop that can fit a decent bench. I would so love to have a nice sturdy bench.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4311 days

#5 posted 07-02-2007 06:20 PM

I’m looking for to your blog and the next steps in your bench making process.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3982 days

#6 posted 07-03-2007 07:56 PM

I am still new to all this hard work. I miss the 20 oz hammer and my framing gun <grin>. What is “skip-planed” really mean. I get the basic concept from a little web research but is there a simple description someone can point me to? Does it just mean roughly planed?

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4024 days

#7 posted 07-31-2007 05:49 PM

Skip planing is a term used for the initial planing of wood down to basic dimensions. It removes surface abnormalities and makes sure all of the boards are the same basic thickness. Many people are surprised at the amount of variation between different boards from the same pile. Skip planing makes sure they’re all equal.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

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