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 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...
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 ...
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 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...
One of the things I’m most thankful for about this project is all the lessons I’m learning, relearning, and getting a new appreciation for. Dimensioning the boards for the top 100% by hand has proven to be a lot of work, but I’m loving every bit of it. Planing these boards has been a real challenge considering that they’re a foot longer than my current plywood + hardboard bench top. I’ve had to be creative and to attack that problem; finally coming up with a g...
Still hard at work putting the top together. I recently upgraded the blade in my vintage Stanley #7 jointer plane with an IBC Pinnacle blade / chipbreaker. This made a HUGE difference in dimensioning the boards and getting the faces flat for glue ups. I decided to glue it up in 3 sections each 8” wide. Then one final glue up of those 3 sections for a final full width of 24”. The pieces being glued up for the top top are 61”; which will be trimmed to 60” after the en...
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