Path To A New Workshop #3: Legs & Base Frame Completed

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Blog entry by Vactet posted 12-17-2014 08:20 AM 1153 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Primary Cuts & Leg Mockup Part 3 of Path To A New Workshop series Part 4: Top Layer, Pegboard, and Other Stuff »

As promised, two more days of work as produced results.

I did get one surprise through this process. I expected the whole thing to be sturdy, that is how its designed after all. I might have gone a bit overboard. It actually takes effort to make it wiggle at all and my female hung off of one side and shook around, the bench didn’t move. So success there. Anyways, on with the pictures.

So the legs are done, obviously, here is what they look like with their first of two cross pieces in temporarily.

The legs, each, are held together by 5 5/16 bolts and wood glue. 3 of the bolts go through the two pieces whose largest sides are mated. The remaining two go through the single perpendicular piece and then the combination of the previous two pieces. Little confusing I am sure. But the pictures should make it obvious. I needed my legs to be amazingly strong and since I figured, correctly, that joining 3 2×4’s together would be easier than trying to notch out a 4×4 or 6×6 post, it works well.

Next up is a picture of how the legs all work together as if you were in front of the workbench. Now obviously they are not spaced apart correctly but that was done for the photo.

So the end pieces are in. This is made from 2 different 2×4’s. This is done for a specific reason that you will soon see. Also, the main roughly 8’ long 2×4s are in (Technically they are 7’9” as there is 1.5” of wood at each side, bringing it to a total of 8’).

Next up is the cross-bar supports. There are two of these, both centered at 2’6” from their respective sides. I wanted them a bit closer to the middle than the sides as those had plenty of support already.

Finally, the 2×10’s. Those were a chore. They were originally 12’ long from my previous bench. Not only did they need to get cut to size, but also the somewhat intricate joint at the end.

Speaking of that joint, here is a better shot of it.

The reason for this joint is so that at it’s end, the 2×10 sits on two different pieces of lumber, thus more effectively transferring any weight to the legs. There is a small 2-3” gap between the 2×10’s but I was aware of this and it doesn’t really matter as there will be a top covering over this. The 2×10’s are structural.

As a note, I realize the cuts are 100% tight. Not really worried about it. They are plenty strong and once I pump a mix of sawdust+wood glue into those they will be even stronger. Moving on.

So a word on the pancake, or rather the top. I believe I might have mentioned this before. The cross-supports for the 2×10, along with everything else, is 1/2” above the bottom edge of the 2×4 frame. This is to allow an insert of 1/2” Plywood to fit under there without protruding. Doing this for two reasons. A) It covers up the 2×10s B)It will allow for easier mounting of the eventual drawer unit below it. On the top of the desk there will be another piece.

Originally I had planned to put a piece of 3/4” Ply up there and finish it with a stain or something. Inspiration hits oddly though. Turns out I have a stack of flooring from the previous owners. This was their OLD hardwood floors that they removed for newer hardwood floors. They kept it. I have no idea why. But ive got a pile of it that my brain was telling me not to simply toss. The result is that there will be another 1/2” Ply on the top of the frame, which will then have this flooring (Engineered Vinyl) ontop of that. Around the edge I am going to run a thin aluminum corner bracket to hold the flooring in tight. But it should provide a rather robust surface that looks nice and if I ever rough it up too much then I have plenty of this stuff to replace it with.

And yes, I know there are no central legs to this bench yet and that while it is amazingly sturdy, it would be best to have some. Eventually there will be. Different design though. That will wait for the drawer shelf and basic shelf to go in though or itd be a pain in the butt (having done that before).

Next up isn’t desk related at all, but pegboard. Always easier to get that on the wall before moving the bench into position. So the next blog will feature that along with a topped bench (the flooring will not be on it though).

Questions about this design? Ask away.

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