Top Assembly The top consist of two sub-assemblies: The lower half and the upper. The lower half is made up of two plywood sheets glued together, edged with maple and joined using doweled bridle joints. The doubled up plywood is attached to the frame using a basic butt joint strengthened with 3/8” dowels and glued down with epoxy. I used this method because my wood was not wide enough for the desired final dimensions if I rabbeted in the panel. This simple butt joint gave me some a...
Leg Assembly Two leg assemblies are part of the support system for the bench. I was going to use glued up 2×4s, but found some 12/4 poplar, so sawed that to shape instead. The legs are 2.75” thick and 4” wide, and the top rail is 2.75” square. The legs are angled at about 15 degrees. The 2×4 approach would have simplified cutting the angled slots, but then you have the hassle of cleaning up the glued up legs. The large hunks of wood making up the legs give them a nice soli...
So I decided I needed to finally build a real woodworking bench for my new workspace. I got all the books by Chris Schwarz, checked all the back issues of woodworking mags and browsed the internet in preparation. Then the first thing I did was break one of Chris Schwarz rules. I decided to design my own rather then duplicate a historical bench. I think I had valid reasons. My workspace is small. I could not fit a long bench. A short bench means planning forces have a bigger impact, so I d...
This blog is all about my work in my shop, detailing the trials and tribulations I experience there. I had been a woodworker, in the most peripheral sense, most of my life. Typical outport kind, I guess, building things with Dad out in the garage. I’ve built a significant portion of sheds, cottages, decks, installed windows, doors, siding, poured concrete, worked on asphalt, etc, etc, ad nausium. It’s all good though, Woodworking (as just one of my many hobbies) quiets a part of my soul that ...
My name is Robin Gosse, living in a (very) small town on the northern tip of the island-portion of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We are WAY out in the Atlantic ocean, farther East than New England region of the USA, well above 50 degrees of latitude. My wife and I recently bought a house with a huge garage, and I’ve begun the adventure of renovating it into a proper woodworking studio. Please visit my blog page and join in my adventure of home ownership, woodwor...
Fine woodworking is not crafty. It is craft. It takes time, effort, and a commitment to excellence. It requires persistence and a willingness to overcome failure, repeatedly. It takes practice and patience and then more of both. It is as rigorous and as rewarding as learning a musical instrument or teaching your body ballet or the tango. It is formal and full of expression. There are rules to follow and rules that bend. It is cumulative in its knowledge and yet so vast that no one can know al...
I recently inherited my grandpa’s vintage 10” craftsman table saw. It had a broken fence and was on a wobbly metal cart that had been pieced together. I have no idea honestly if he ever ripped anything more than 3-4” on it because of the fence. Anyways, the saw runs great and I want to put it to good use. Some of the problems presenting me were: 1) Saw will be in a garage shared with other stuff2) The stand and fence needed to be replaced3) My young kids play in the garag...
Happy Mothers’ Day everyone! Finally got a chance to go back to my parents’ house for the weekend (i.e., the location of my shop). Went into the shop and this is what my bench looked like: Looks like my dad has been at work in the 2.5 months I’ve been away. No surprises there. I made a pair of holdfasts in a blacksmithing class last fall. When I made them, I tried to round them down to about 3/4”. Since they aren’t necessarily a standard size sha...
I always feel like I just won the lottery when I acquire something for free. This is probably the nicest free thing I have ever snagged. It is made by ULINE and is a solid butcher block top with metal frame workbench. I really like the adjustable height. I am taller than most and develop back pain when working on normal counter height benches or surfaces. With the optional drawer these things retail for over $400 brand new! It is 60” long and 30” deep which is a great size for my ...
Well, here it goes. I posted in the forum about getting started on some hand tools and thought it was time to get started on the most important tool of the shop, the bench. There are a few design constraints on this project, namely, I have to be able to bring this thing back at least in pieces in my Toyota camry from Raleigh to Charlotte, but I’ve always enjoyed a challenge. Anyway, I’m going with the standard mortise and tenon design. I was sick of constantly looking at my cra...
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