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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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