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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
Well I finally got the lid back together. My better half thought it looked too good to stay in the garage, but after checking it out in the bed room, it is too small for the foot of the bed. Close call. As I was mortising the hinges, I dropped the lid onto a front corner. Popped one of the mitered bridle joints. I thought I had clamped the frame to tightly onto the panel but the fit is ok. Reglued the joint, doweled it from underneath. Fit is good and looks ak. It is a tool ches...
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...
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