I spent over a third of my recent life in a small home with a single-car garage. One year for Christmas or my birthday, my wife bought me a set of Simpson Strong-Tie brackets designed by them to be all you needed (metal-wise) to build a shop bench. You got to pick the dimensions and, in part, the layout, but the bench would have a top surface and a shelf. I never got to build it while married to her because she kept filling up the garage with yard-sale junk. I had a narrow path from the g...
Parallel guide chain mechanism To make the chain mechanism, I used #35 chain and the sprockets are 10T with a 3/8 center. The chain is attached using two chain links. I had to do some metal working to create a few items: the brackets to hold the sprockets and a way of securing the chain at both ends. I had a 1.5” rectangular steel tube in my scrap collection so I used an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel to make both brackets that hold the sprockets with 3/8 bolts. Big box store ang...
Screw assembly The face vise screw mechanism is all DIY. Here are the piece parts. The hand-wheel has been kicking around my basement for 15 years. I remember buying it on Ebay for a project I never completed. It was too nice to throw away, so it waited and waited until now to find a purpose. The acme screw and nut I picked up on Ebay more recently. I cut the screw to length and drilled the hole that holds the hand-wheel setscrew. I found a 5 inch brass plate 1/2 inch thick also on...
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...
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