FINALLY!!! After several weeks of little to no shop time each day, I finally hit another major milestone. The base is complete; glued up and sitting in the clamps for the night. The past few weeks have been crazy for me: new projects at work, a battle with the flu, getting 15 of my students ready for a competition, etc. I was able to manage about 30 minutes of shop time every other night at best. It was 14 days of knocking out one little task after another until it all came to fruition. I ...
After a very busy week, I finally got some time in the shop tonight to start on the stretchers. The 4 boards that make up the two short end stretchers were fairly flat to start. It didn’t take too much work to get them flattened and glued up. I injured my right shoulder early this week. So, I was pretty excited to find those boards to be flat to begin with. Well, that excitement was short lived. The boards for the long stretchers were twisted pretty bad. Not too bad to toss in the sc...
I got the leg tenons cut throughout the week and got them trued up tonight. I don’t own a shoulder plane, but I have a Stanley rabbet plane that did the job. I’m going to start working on the stretchers tomorrow; short ones first, then the long ones. I can’t believe that I’m finally getting close to being able to assemble the main structure. Don’t know how much shop time I’ll get over this next week. One of my students has started scheduling regul...
Because I train and teach Gracie Jiu-Jitsu between 4 – 6 nights a week, I don’t get as much time in the shop as I’d like some times. We had a 3-day weekend this past weekend, but I wasn’t able to get any time in the shop on Saturday. Our head instructor came down from Hattiesburg for a seminar and that is an all-day affair with us all going out to eat afterwards and spending the evening hanging out around a fire in the back yard. I did get to put a good bit of time ...
This past week was very busy for me and I only managed an hour a night at best in the shop. I spent most of this early evening cutting a few sheets 3/4” plywood and putting it down as flooring in my attic over the new insulation I put down last weekend. I spent most of my shop time after climbing out of the attic cleaning up and sharpening a few plane blades (just got my first waterstones in from UPS today). I didn’t want to close up for the night without getting at least somet...
Originally, my legs were going to be 3-3/4” x 4-3/4”. After I got my top glued up, I decided that I wanted a little more beef in the legs. I had enough lumber left over that was already acclimated to my shop. I spent a little time yesterday dressing up the legs and put in a bit of time tonight getting the new pieces planed true and ready to add to the leg laminations. Because of my limited number of clamps, I was only able to get 3 of them glued up so far. Taking a break to wat...
After getting the 3rd 8” section glued up to complete the bench top, I went to bed, letting it sit in the clamps all night. The next morning, my son and I moved the top onto my old bench so that I could start flattening it. That’s when I realized that the glue-surface face of the last section, while flat, was angled. I was in such a rush (ie: excitement) to get it clamped up that I didn’t realize the problem when I glued it up. Part of the problem was that I didn’t fla...
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...
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