I spent over a third of my recent life in a small home with a single-car garage. One year for Christmas or my birthday, my wife bought me a set of Simpson Strong-Tie brackets designed by them to be all you needed (metal-wise) to build a shop bench. You got to pick the dimensions and, in part, the layout, but the bench would have a top surface and a shelf. I never got to build it while married to her because she kept filling up the garage with yard-sale junk. I had a narrow path from the g...
Parallel guide chain mechanism To make the chain mechanism, I used #35 chain and the sprockets are 10T with a 3/8 center. The chain is attached using two chain links. I had to do some metal working to create a few items: the brackets to hold the sprockets and a way of securing the chain at both ends. I had a 1.5” rectangular steel tube in my scrap collection so I used an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel to make both brackets that hold the sprockets with 3/8 bolts. Big box store ang...
Screw assembly The face vise screw mechanism is all DIY. Here are the piece parts. The hand-wheel has been kicking around my basement for 15 years. I remember buying it on Ebay for a project I never completed. It was too nice to throw away, so it waited and waited until now to find a purpose. The acme screw and nut I picked up on Ebay more recently. I cut the screw to length and drilled the hole that holds the hand-wheel setscrew. I found a 5 inch brass plate 1/2 inch thick also on...
Top Assembly The top consist of two sub-assemblies: The lower half and the upper. The lower half is made up of two plywood sheets glued together, edged with maple and joined using doweled bridle joints. The doubled up plywood is attached to the frame using a basic butt joint strengthened with 3/8” dowels and glued down with epoxy. I used this method because my wood was not wide enough for the desired final dimensions if I rabbeted in the panel. This simple butt joint gave me some a...
Leg Assembly Two leg assemblies are part of the support system for the bench. I was going to use glued up 2×4s, but found some 12/4 poplar, so sawed that to shape instead. The legs are 2.75” thick and 4” wide, and the top rail is 2.75” square. The legs are angled at about 15 degrees. The 2×4 approach would have simplified cutting the angled slots, but then you have the hassle of cleaning up the glued up legs. The large hunks of wood making up the legs give them a nice soli...
So I decided I needed to finally build a real woodworking bench for my new workspace. I got all the books by Chris Schwarz, checked all the back issues of woodworking mags and browsed the internet in preparation. Then the first thing I did was break one of Chris Schwarz rules. I decided to design my own rather then duplicate a historical bench. I think I had valid reasons. My workspace is small. I could not fit a long bench. A short bench means planning forces have a bigger impact, so I d...
The original plans said to build this after building the carcass, but I am not one to follow every direction. So it was up first. Design was completed and away I go. Even though I decided to make the UTS out of plywood, I made the torsion box out of MDF to take advantage of the its dead-flatness. I shrank the dimensions a bit so the plywood face would be flush with the rest of the carcass. I also moved around the rails so the casters would line up with the hardwood inside supports. ...
NOTE:I originally posted this as a Project and not a Blog entry. So I’ve moved it over here and will build upon it. I can not figure out how to delete the project, so my mistake will continue to live on, like most of my mistakes. ====================================================== After moving tables bought from auctions and using sawhorses and 2×4s as a miter saw base, I decided I needed a proper workbench. I spent a few months scouring the internet and magazines to find ...
Warning: pic heavy Just posting a bunch of progress. Leg vise continued. Cutting the bridal joint. Lignum vitae pin for the guide. This stuff strong. Trying to incorporate this as a pin holder but haven’t come across an idea that I can pull off with what I have on hand. So it’s on the back burner for now. Hammered a poplar dowel and drilled a center so I could bore it with a forstner. Didn’t work out so well. Stuck a roll pin...
I cannot tell what woodworking does for most people. For some it is a simple hobby. It is a pastime where you get to work with some tools and build something nice or useful. For others it’s a job, how you make your money and provide for your family. Still for other woodworkers I think it is an important escape from the world. The shop becomes a spot where you can finally be in control for a change. You alone are responsible for the failures and successes at the bench. You get the credit fo...
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