Well, it’s finally done. The workbench base is done and has been mated to the top.
I gave the finished base three coats of finish. The first was equal parts turpentine, BLO, & spar urethane. The next two were just BLO & spar urethane 50:50. All were applied with a rag & then rubbed dry like all finishes of this type. This gave me a good seal for the wood, and gloss wasn’t really a consideration. Yes, I know lots of folk will go for a proper finish, but I’ve already dinged the base a few times just moving it around. It IS a workbench, after all.
We then inverted the base onto the upturned top & checked for any gaps between the top of the legs and the top. There was only one, & I applied a shim to it rather than sand the other five down. I also plan to shim the gap in the foot mentioned in the previous installment.
Once this was done, I drilled the top of each leg to accept a 3/4” oak dowel to a depth of 2”. The dowels were then cut to extend 1” above the top of the leg. These locations were then transferred to the underside of the bench top, which was drilled with 1” holes. This gap was to allow for wood movement, but (hopefully) no play in the top.
Finally, we cleared everything away, set the base in position, and added the top. As hoped, the top slid easily into place on the dowels, but had absolutely no lateral movement once in place. This will make it easy to disassemble the top from the base if I ever need to move the bench. The end product is below:
The 38” total height ended up being perfect. I’ve gotten used to working on “standard height” structures for so long that it felt strange at first. However, I quickly realized that it would save a lot of strain on my back. I highly recommend customizing your bench & counter heights whenever possible if you’re taller or shorter than average.
The 30”w x19”h x23”d spaces between the legs are just begging for a pair of storage cabinets, so I guess that’ll be the next phase of construction. It’ll have to wait awhile, however, while I work out the details of drawer layout & design. Till then, it’s time to clean up the shop.
-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com