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A New Life for an Old Bench

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Blog series by ToddJB updated 09-02-2016 06:02 PM 8 parts 19770 reads 134 comments total

Part 1: A beginning, of sorts

03-10-2014 04:21 PM by ToddJB | 16 comments »

Last Friday was the fateful day that my stomach began to churn – it was letting me know that it and the beef and bean burrito I had for lunch were having a strong disagreement. So off I go. Why am I telling you about my serendipitous bowel movement? Because at work, potty time = Craigslist time. And the beauty below greeted me in that stall after only being posted 30 minutes prior. I feverishly replied to the posting stating that I wanted it. I pleaded with “I’m a you...

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Part 2: A snap shot of history

03-10-2014 05:47 PM by ToddJB | 11 comments »

This entry will serve as the documentation for the condition of the workbench as I received it. Here she is in the shop – with obligatory plane on top. Rear: Condition – the bad: There are few things that will need to be addressed quickly, before she can be put to use. One of the glue lines has separated: Here’s why – The top and the bottom separate. The only thing that holds the top to the bottom is weight and two positioning dowels. Thro...

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Part 3: Garters and Glue - a Tail Vise's best friends

03-17-2014 03:04 PM by ToddJB | 12 comments »

I got some great time this weekend in the shop between late nights and toddler naps. We’re on the home stretch (days away) of our little lady coming into the world, so I’m feeling a sense of urgency to get some crap done. With that – I present Garters and Glue: The big project was to get the tail vise up and running. Here is how she looked when she came into the shop. No garter – meaning the screw would just unscrew, while the tail vise didn’t move. ...

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Part 4: Addressing Wood Rot & Questions About Gluing Up The Top.

03-17-2014 07:16 PM by ToddJB | 29 comments »

Okay, the last two things on the “needs immediate attention” list to get this bench initially up and running are: - Solidify rotten spot in tool well- Reglue where the top has split (if you don’t read the rotten section my feelings will not be hurt, but I would really love to hear you thoughts on this sections so please skip to the bottom) I took care of one, and I am pussy-footing around the other because it makes me super nervous. Taken care of – wood rot. ...

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Part 5: Relaminating the top and a few other odds and ends

04-03-2014 05:54 PM by ToddJB | 4 comments »

When this bench got to my shop the delaminated top was my biggest concern – I had never done a long glue up. Here is what I was working with: The top split straight down the glue line where there are two positioning dowels that align the top of the bench with the front of the base. In the last post there is a lot of discussion about how this is poor placement of these dowels. So once the top is glued up – the dowels will be moved. Back to the glue up. I had gone ba...

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Part 6: Scrape, Scrub, and Oil

04-04-2014 09:36 PM by ToddJB | 13 comments »

Now that the bench has most of the structural issues taken care of it’s on to the lipstick. There are plenty of things I could/should do first (deadman, bench dogs, etc) but honestly I couldn’t wait any longer to get some shine on this old girl. The issue that you’re presented with in working on old items like this is how far do you go? There are a 100 years worth of dings, dents, and dirt on this bench, to remove it all, in my opinion, would be a terrible shame, but ...

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Part 7: Deadmen and missing dogs

04-08-2014 05:58 PM by ToddJB | 31 comments »

This is an exciting entry for me. It’s exciting because I’m done with my original list of things that had to immediately happen to bring the bench back to a functioning state, and now have moved into “Added Value” items. And for me that’s exciting. This bench came to me with no bench dogs and no deadman. There were holes in the top for the dogs, and grooves for a deadman, but no trace of either. But through seeking some advice from the workbench thread we c...

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Part 8: Phase 2 - storage and heft

09-02-2016 06:02 PM by ToddJB | 18 comments »

Well, it’s been 2 years and I’ve had some time with this gift of a bench. I’ve had the opportunity to learn some of its strengths and some of it weaknesses. The first weakness, and the one I will be focusing on in this entry is primarily its heft, or rather the lack thereof. Just as a memory jog, here’s where we left off with the restored bench. It looks pretty, but in use I’ve found when pushing through some strokes I move the bench. I’ve addr...

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