I first got into woodworking a year ago when my wife and I bought our first house. At the time, my son and I built a makeshift workbench using 2×4s, plywood, hardboard, and a $20 vise from Lowes. It’s served me well in building some cabinets for the house, but it’s seriously lacking in a lot of ways. Being a big fan Christopher Schwarz’s books, DVDs, and blogs, I’ve been wanting to build a Roubo-style bench for months. I finally got a break in my honey-do proje...
Yesterday I took the leg blanks back to the jointer and the planer and got them down to a hair over 5” x 5”. One of them ended up a hair under. I found out during this process that the depth stop on the Makita planer does not handle anything 5 inches thick so it was a little tricky to try to get all 4 pieces exact. All that will be left to do on these is to hit them with a smooth plane to take off the plane tracks, which are barely even visible. It will also fix the “...
Here’s a quote from my last post: I am making progress on the bench, but as before, I get hung up mentally when I come to big steps in the process. Guess when I wrote my last post? About 2 months ago. Yep, got to another big step in the process and got hung up mentally. Well that, and also just lost my motivation entirely for a few weeks there. I’m back! So gluing four boards onto a 28-board benchtop shouldn’t really be a “big step” in the process, right? ...
For the top, I decided to use construction grade 2×4s. However, I did not realize that I was short by a few when I started. My father in law gave me some redwood 2×6s from a deck he took down a few years ago. He told me all the rich people in Belle Meade, TN used to have their decks built from the stuff, but now you can’t find the stuff anywhere. The 2×6s he gave me were rotten for first inch. I ripped it off the top inch at the tbsw and planed them down to 1.5”. Th...
I had thought that I previously finished the legs (except for mortising for the stretchers). However, after visualizing how the top would mate to the legs, I realized I needed to adjust the tenons on the two legs on the left of the bench. I’m going to be putting the left legs flush with the left edge of the top. I don’t want to be able to see the tenons from the side of the top when the project is complete. Using the table saw, I notched the tenons on the top of the legs so th...
Decided to make a workbench for my father for a belated Christmas and birthday gift. (Working on it in the evenings after my brain is fried from writing). The space he has available is small, so I am going to scale it down to be roughly 20” x 60” or a bit longer. Based off of a lot of different elements of a lot of benches. See my note collection here.
I’m sure this has happened to other people—you start out trying to do one thing and end up doing all sorts of others. That’s the definition of yak shaving—one thing leads to another and before you know it you end up needing to shave a yak when all you wanted to do was (insert activity). I have the bench top to the basic shape I want, including dado-ing out some chisel and saw holders. I started to visualize the base of the bench—I like to get exact meas...
I didn’t quite get as far as I’d hope today, but I did make some good progress. I set a goal of getting through my list up to flattening the top, but I decided to put that step off for another day; partly because I put in almost 12 hours of shop time yesterday and my body is HURTING today. My son and I flipped the bench back upside down. Then, I marked out the location of the sliding board jack trench, grabbed my drill and chisels, and got to work. It wasn’t hard, but it ...
Cutting the tenons on the legs. I was really impressed with how well my new Japanese-style pull saw worked. I have never used this type of saw before and it tracked very well once you had an accurate kerf to guide it. Here is one half done. I then used a chisel and a block plane to clean everything up. You will notice that even on the beveled sides of the tenon I left a little ledge just to ensure the top wouldn’t slide up the tenon if pushed upon…like from the leg vise...
Managed to get all four sections of the top glued up. A bit laborious, but pretty straightforward. Decided to take a suggestion and use some jatoba for contrast. The plan was to glue up 4 sections of boards. Then I’d flatten each section before gluing the sections together. The rationale was that it would be easier to flatten each section using the powered jointer and planer than it would be the entire top using hand planes. There were two problems with this approach, both of whic...
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