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...
My bench has had a gaping…er…gap in the middle of it since I built in in December 2012. Since I have Thanksgiving week off, I thought I’d remedy the situation. The divider is a simple piece made with two boards of sapwood-y black walnut with oak spacers. The bench was quite useful for gluing the thing together. The shot below shows that I staggered the spacers to accommodate different sized tools. After a little cleanup on the table saw and some fine...
After getting tired of cleaning sawdust out of the nooks and crannies of my planes, I decided to build a little cabinet for them. It’s just a basic scrap plywood box with plywood drawers. I got a couple pairs of 100# full-extension drawer slides off Amazon for the drawers. I’m not the greatest at building carcasses (i.e., making them square), so I had to do some trial and error getting the fit right. For the drawer backs I just screwed on a couple pieces of scrap O...
BASIC WORKBENCH DESIGN This entry outlines my basic workbench design concept. It contains ideas from 3 different traditional style benches; Roubo, English, and Holzapfel inspirations. It is made from inexpensive Southern Yellow Pine and Douglas Fir with some hardwood accents (vice chop for example). The overall dimensions are 6 feet long, 33 inches high, and just over 2 feet deep. The split top is designed to facilitate leveling the top after construction and provide an area for ...
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 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...
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