There were points in this process that I didn’t think I’d get this far. I took some vacation time and spent the past few days trying to get the top finished up. My goal was to have it completely glued up before the first of the year. I’m glad to say that despite a few set backs, I’m a week ahead of my goal. Not only is it a big motivational factor in a long bench building process, but it’ll also allow me to take a few days off to let my achy planing / sawing m...
Still hard at work putting the top together. I recently upgraded the blade in my vintage Stanley #7 jointer plane with an IBC Pinnacle blade / chipbreaker. This made a HUGE difference in dimensioning the boards and getting the faces flat for glue ups. I decided to glue it up in 3 sections each 8” wide. Then one final glue up of those 3 sections for a final full width of 24”. The pieces being glued up for the top top are 61”; which will be trimmed to 60” after the en...
One of the things I’m most thankful for about this project is all the lessons I’m learning, relearning, and getting a new appreciation for. Dimensioning the boards for the top 100% by hand has proven to be a lot of work, but I’m loving every bit of it. Planing these boards has been a real challenge considering that they’re a foot longer than my current plywood + hardboard bench top. I’ve had to be creative and to attack that problem; finally coming up with a g...
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...
A lot’s happened lately! I pegged the long stretchers. Funny story. In my mind, the pegs in Schwarz’s Roubo were 5/8”. I didn’t have a 5/8” bit, but I had a very nice 3/4” one, so I used that and made 3/4” pegs. I figure, maybe they’re a touch bigger than the ones Chris used, but hey, no biggie. Just the other day I realized: Chris used 3/8” pegs!!! Haha, oh well, the Schwarz has said that you can’t overbuild a workbench, right? ...
I don’t know what is making me procrastinate on this bench. I think maybe it was the hand planing that was a part of this next step. Well anyway, it wasn’t that hard – I just had to make the tenons on the long stretchers a bit narrower so they’d fit nice and snug in the mortises. Not too hard. Next step – whittling some pegs for drawboring the stretchers, and at the same time getting a start on laminating the benchtop!
Wow, that was tedious. Sawing through a 6” x 6 1/2” with a ryoba was no joke. Then I had to flatten the bottom. Not too bad. Creating the chamfers on the bottom of the legs was fun, though. Then I weighed the leg with my luggage scale just for kicks. All four legs are done. Next: fitting the long stretchers! P.S. The post title is my general feeling after seeing my legs lying horizontally on the ground for such a long time. It’s good to see them upright!
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...
Today it’s back to the glueup phase of my build. I’ve glued up half of the boards for each leg and done the short stretcher mortises for each. Now it’s time to glue the other half of the boards on, and voids in the glueup will create the mortises for the long stretchers. Here’s the first layer just after clamping, with a closeup: Then I glued an identical layer onto that one (both pieces), and voila, a mortise for the long stretcher. The last two boards clos...
So in my last post, I mentioned the difficulty I was having boring the overlapping holes for the mortises that will receive the short stretchers of my bench. I was tired, but wasn’t gonna let it breaka my stride. This past Thursday was a federal holiday, and my wife graciously gave me the space and time to get in a lot of shop time. So I started with the flip side of the first mortise (from the last post) and was able to complete that and the mortises in two other legs. But when I wa...
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