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...
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...
so After setting on the last design (see previous post in this series) I went out to disassemble the bowling alley laminated top – the purpose was to remove all the nails, so that I can drill the dog holes, and also laminate it in a double stack to give me a 4” top on the perimeter (5” in from the edges – for clamping purposes, and leg attachments). This idea turned to be disastrous. The nails are hardened steel, and twisted making the job of pulling them outridicul...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
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