I was fortunate enough to be able to take off Christmas week and get a good start on my workbench. I’ve had the idea to build one in my head for a few months now, and have been slowly accumulating the parts and hardware necessary. My intention was to make it possible to take the bench apart and move it with relative ease since I will be moving it from my dad’s shop once I have a shop of my own (side note: apartments suck). I used southern yellow pine, special ordered from Men...
Well, it took 6 months from the time I first bought the yellow pine, but I am glad to say that the bench is finally done. I could write a bunch about all the mistakes I made, stuff I learned, etc., but I won’t bore you with all that. Just a few quick comments. True to form, I made some silly mistakes, like relying on the dimensions in the Chris Schwarz article and forgetting that his legs were narrower than mine so this nicely cut inset for the end-vise was in the wrong place. N...
For the last few years, I have been doing the majority of my work on an old bench that was in my basement when I moved in. As a work surface for dropping old oily lawnmower parts or fiddling with a child’s broken toy, it was adequate. For woodworking, not so much. The height of the bench is about 36 inches and the width was a little over 3 feet. The boards have shifted over the years and the surface was very uneven. The amount of nails and screws made it impossible to safely flatten and...
I got some time in the shop tonight and was able to get the sliding board jack made and installed. To make the V-groove at the bottom, I first made two cuts down the center with a rip panel saw. Then I cut a 45-deg kerf from the front / back that met those first two cuts in the middle. Finally, I chopped out the middle section and pared it flat with a 1/4” chisel and cleaned up the slopes with a paring chisel. Here’s a picture after the first 45-deg cut: After the sec...
Just a quick update tonight. I got the shelf completed and also made / installed the track for the sliding board jack. I chose not to nail the shelf boards down. They are joined with shiplapped rabbet joints; no glue. This way, I can easily remove the shelf to sweep it off, sweep under the bench, etc. I also decided to forgo screws to attach the track for sliding board jack. I made some v-grooved cauls with 2×4 scraps to clamp it during the glue up. I made the 45-deg chamfers on eithe...
I spent the evening cleaning up and rearranging my shop the night that I got the top flattened and the leg vise installed. For the first time since I moved into this shop, it actually feels and looks like a work shop. Everything is actually in the proper place, as opposed to being thrown randomly some where in the hectic scramble to get our house remodeled so that we could move in last year. After getting everything cleaned up and organized, I started working on some of the remaining acces...
What can I say…when the bug bites, it bites hard! I had about 1-1/2 hours after work before I had to be at the gym for Karate. I got busy with my “scrub” plane (heavily cambered iron in an a modern Stanley #5). I spent about 45 minutes in the shop, got the bench almost entirely roughly flattened, and still had enough time to clean up and get to the gym on time. Well, things went great at the gym (I got promoted! :) ) and came home pretty pumped up. So, I got busy with my ...
It’s funny that no matter how many hurdles I’ve tackled so far in building this bench, I still find myself “paralyzed” with fear when I come fact to face with a big new task….even if it’s a task that I’ve already accomplished in the build. My next major task for the workbench was to flatten the top. This shouldn’t be too hard. For one thing, the boards were fairly close to lined up when the top was glued up. I purposely didn’t spend tim...
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 ...
The day started with me cutting the vise chop into shape. I cut the straight cuts with my rip panel cut (as seen in the first pic below). Then, I cut the curved cuts and glued the chop together. I didn’t have any 8/4 stock, but I did have some 4/4 hard maple and red oak left over from previous projects. So, I hand planed them flat / square and decided to cut the shapes out before the glue up. After letting it sit in the clamps over night, I’m going to clean up the sides of the ch...
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