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...
After the success tweaking the installation for the end vise I hoped the good karma would continue to the leg vise. Not so… It All Starts With A Small Bonk… I removed my chop from the clamps, removed the glue and jointed/planed to size. the final size was about a 2 3/8 thick – plenty. I determined the centerline of the chop and leg and clamped the chop directly to the leg. I transferred the hole locations to the chop. The it was off to the drill press. Simple. While at Marc Adam...
So, after the disaster of last year, it’s time to once again plan the disaster of this year! Last year, you won’t recall, I planned to build a massive all-weather roubo style workbench, and after designing what I still feel is a really good design, faced the difference between the project materials cost, and the amount I had to spend…which last summer was: Zero. Obviously my design was somewhat more than zero, and while cheap, zero is a number that’s hard to argue w...
I’ve begun. After months and years of trolling the internets and wondering what (and when) I am going to build, I started today. Over the last 6 years since I first owned a home, I have acquired an abundance of tools. I’ve always had more tools than the average bear, however when you buy a home that’s a ‘fixer-up-er’ there are going to be MANY times when you don’t have the right tool and your father doesn’t either. I managed to get my hands on the...
There was (and still is) a book called The Inner Game of Tennis, and while I never read it, I remember one of the claims the book made. The claim was that the more one thought about playing tennis (and playing it well), the better one played tennis in real life. The parallels have been drawn in many other sports and indeed, in many other facets of life. So why not woodworking? I am convinced that my workbench will be far better, and the construction far smoother, because of my ruminations. Wi...
So I’m done with my leg glue-up on all four legs. The mortises were really the thing I was dreading most, and now they’re done. And my left front leg has a nice 2 1/4” hole to accomodate the wood screw for the leg vise. That was a beast to do with an expansive bit. My chest is still sore from the bit brace, and I was even using a board to better distribute the pressure. Right now I’m en route to Germany for a conference. Will be back on Saturday. Then I’ll fin...
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