One of my goals in renting the space for a shop is to build all of my shop fixtures in anticipation of moving them to my own permanent shop in a future home where I’ll have the dedicated space for one. I cannot make a move now as my folks are elderly and in need assistance at this point. However, renting the space for this shop has offered me some time away from the stresses that unfortunately accompany the aforementioned. I come here and tune out other issues until I return home. R...
Over the past several years I have been needing and wanting to buy or maybe just make a workbench. I have gone to five woodworking shows in three states over the past two years. At these shows and in several magazines or catalogs I have noticed many of these really nice woodworking benches that are way far out of my reach as far as the $$$ involved. Finally after a elongated sick spell lasting nearly two months I finally get few boards together, screws, a very few nails and other items tha...
Glue up timeI was able to get my bench base into its new home today and did the final gluing which was just the stretchers on the back at the bottom which are mortise and tenon joints and the top rails which are bridle joints. After I glued in the stretchers on the back, I was going to glue in the top rails at the same time. I put the back rail in place and to my amazement the bridle joints didn’t line up (imagine me with a stupid expression on my face, ok, I know that isn’t so...
I have finally gotten around to making a real workbench for my new, and smaller, shop (see my previous entry). I am in the planning phase right now. I’ve been pouring over plans, books, philosophy of workbench design. I guess it’s safe to say I may be over thinking this. But the design is half the fun. So, I’ve put together a journal that you can download and look at. It has pictures and explanations of some of the design considerations I’m mulling over. I am ...
Hello. I have now finished the tail vise, and today I had acually started work on the base. After I had got the dovetails for the tailvise fit and the pins on the guide rod I cut out the place for the pins to be inserted in the vise assembly. I then started work on getting the notches cut in the guide blocks for the sliding parts. Here you can see the guide rod in place, with the one guide block attached to the end cap with a notch for the guide rod to slide through aswell as a small notch...
Welcome back, everyone, I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since the last blog update! But, you know how life can be at times… The good news is…the Bench is complete! Let’s see if I can share photos from the last phase of the build… With the tool well secured via glue and wood screws, it was now time to flatten the top. I had been apprehensive about this step, but all the bench-building books I read made it sound fairly straight forward. I started with my shop m...
So my 3 sheets of veneer arrive and I open them to inspect them. I opted to use 2 ply 4×8 sheets to save time vs. laying up my own veneer. Out of the 3 sheets I rejected two, one walnut sheet which was supposed to be flat cut and the maple sheet which I paid a premium for to have wider leaves. The walnut piece didn’t have any cathedraling in it at all and was made up entirely of the quartered portion of a flat cut piece of veneer. The supplier worked with me to get me repla...
I did a trade for some woodwork with a guy who had a garage full of lumber and several nice hand tools. Most of the lumber was Oak. I don’t really like working with Oak. But I thought it would be perfect for a bench, and there was enough of it. I got lots of different lengths and widths. Most of it was 3/4”. I forgot to take a “before” photo of the stack but here is a sample: Now I intend to make a nice, sturdy bench, but its going to be more functional than ...
Well, I haven’t gotten a lot of time in the shop lately, but I did get two coats of BLO on the bench, and I’m calling it complete. Overall I’m happy with the way it turned out. I might still ad a shelf underneath, or I’ll just store my bench jigs on the floor underneath. I installed a wall mounted shelf and tool rack, so most of what I need easy access to is just behind the bench in easy reach. I’m happy with how the LVL worked out...
Hello. Its been 6 months since I finished my bench and I have spent over 1000 hours on it. Now that I have gotten a good feel for how the bench works and its ups and downs I thought I would write an update on it. To start I’ll mention the modifications I made. The first was to add leather to the pads on the hold fasts. With leather I no longer need to place scrap wood between the work pieces and the hold fasts to prevent denting. If you have hold fasts (which you should) I would r...
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