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...
I was out in the shop/garage at 8am today and didn’t finish until 7pm. I don’t recall taking a lunch break, or any break for that matter, the day just flew by. But I did get a while lot done. Yesterday was all fitting the mortises and tenons. That took all of yesterday and I left it dry fitted together. This morning I had five things to do before I could drill holes for the draw bore joints. I ran the legs across the table saw to chamfer the bottom edges, check the leg v...
Yesterday I took the end cap and cut out two mortises first using a spade bit and then chiseling it square. I had to trim the tenons down a bit to fit in, and when I was squaring the small mortise, part of the end grain wall broke away leaving me with a big gap. I really didn’t want to make another end cap and do all of this work again, so I think I’m going to go with it for now. If I decide later I can’t live with it, I can just take it off and make another o...
Today was a light day for me as I’m running out of things I can do until I get more wood, so today I cut out the side profile of the chop. I had this piece of thin ply laying around so I ripped it down to size and put my alignment marks on it, then drew the shoulder using a french curve template. Using the centerline I was able to do both sides. I clamped it on edge and sanded the template profile smooth then traced both sides on the chop. I cut a bunch ...
I put in an eleven hour day yesterday on this thing, the work was really kind of fun compared to the tedious work of digging out mortises of the day before. I’ve never tried the draw bore method of locking a mortise and tenon together. I didn’t even use clamps. Well this morning I just had to get the tops to fit on the tenons, so after trimming back a couple of mortise surfaces they both fit down snugly, a very sweet fit. As a bonus, the sides of the tops ended up flush wit...
Whew, my workweek is finally over and now I can have some fun. I’ve been thinking all week about today, particularly what I still need to get to push this project along. I needed a jig to cut the mortises, and I was looking at pattern bits and I came away with an education. Top bearing straight cut pattern bits are expensive. I didn’t want to spend that much so I went to woodcraft last week when I bought my last pieces of wood for the leg and rail, and picked up a guide bushing fr...
Finally got the bench to the point where it’s time to flatten the top and finish it. Going into the project almost a year ago, I made a promise to myself that I would flatten the top by hand. I’ve seen the fancy router sled used by the Woodwhisperer (among others), but that’s not how I wanted to go (besides the fact that I don’t want to put down $50 on a wide-pass router bit). The top wasn’t too far out of flat, globally. However, there were lots of...
21st Century Workbenches Project #7: The First dry fit this will give you an Idea of how big these benches really are.
Well my Friends I have been at if for some time now and felt it was time to get busy I worked on the legs first after a critical error the leg assembly had to be broken down which was a big job and then the legs were taken back one step the outer legs were re worked and the bench was put together for a test fit and to let the tops lye flat for a while to get them as flat as can be. First we made the leg assembly this is a through mortice that is back cut and wedged together for a tight fit...
Had a surprise today, more funds available in the budget than I thought so I went to the lumber yard and got the wood that I needed. Got it all milled up and the front rail is now in the clamps. Due to my clamp shortage, I’ll have to glue up the last leg after I get home from work tomorrow night. But that’s good because it’ll set me up perfect for next weekend’s activities. I picked up a 2 – 5/8” forstner bit for the plastic bearing ring, a 4” fors...
Yesterday I picked up a 1 – 1/4” forester bit and a 3/8” x 10” long brad point bit at Woodcraft. The forstner bit is for drilling the hole through the chop and leg for the leg vise. The bit is too short to make it all of the way through the leg so I also need to get a forstner bit extension. The 3/8” bit is for the pins that hang the Criss-Cross on the chop and leg. The chop is 9” wide so this was barely able to make it through. I didn’t want to hassl...
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