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 ...
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...
Due to a change of circumstances in my life, I recently moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Boston, Massachusetts. In the process I lost my garage workshop and gained a very small room in a dingy basement. Due the the space and noise constraints I have decided to try my luck with hand tools instead of the power tools I have relied on in the past. Since my bench was left in Tennessee, I decided that the first thing I needed to build a new workbench. One that was sturdy, solid, hand made, ...
Ah the pith. That very core of the tree, that for some reason, is remarkably unstable in use as lumber. The inclusion of the pith in some of the beams I have obtained all but ruins an otherwise solid thick chunk of wood. It really pithes me off. All kidding aside. I can probably still make some good use out of these beams, even the ones with the pith in them, with some thought into my cuts. I was contacted last week by an old woodworking acquaintance, Maxwell. He told me he saw my b...
Hello. I am now working on the base for my workbench. I have changed some of the design details since my first concept, but not by much. The main difference is that the two legs on the Roubo side of the bench have tenons that will go into the bench top. The base was going to attach to the top the way most trestle bases do with bullet dowels, but then I realized that when I use the leg vise, all the pressure will be placed on the dowels! So I redesigned the front legs so that they have a tenon...
For the last few years, I have been doing the majority of my work on an old bench that was in my basement when I moved in. As a work surface for dropping old oily lawnmower parts or fiddling with a child’s broken toy, it was adequate. For woodworking, not so much. The height of the bench is about 36 inches and the width was a little over 3 feet. The boards have shifted over the years and the surface was very uneven. The amount of nails and screws made it impossible to safely flatten and...
I’ve been working on the end vise. I wanted to get that mounted next so I could figure out if it would impact the placement of the top on the base. I wanted a twin screw vise for dovetailing. As I mentioned previously, I’m using two Lee Valley end vise screws for the end vise. I thought about buying their twin screw (Or Lie-Nielsen’s, or Hovarter) but couldn’t come up with the money. I also considered building a Moxon vise for dovetailing and just using a more ...
This is a 10’ x 28’’ Torsion box work bench i’m building it will sit on 2 2.5’ wide cabinets one with 4 drawers and one with doors and adjustable shelving. The top is made out of about 4 sheets of 3/4’’ mdf…... SOLID! Wrapped in walnut pieces 2.5’ long with end on end dove tails, and dove tail corners using walnut and really white walnut sap wood to create contrast at the joints. Torsion Box
Previously, I had run out of time to complete the tail vise on my workbench: This weekend I finally got the time to remedy that situation. I started off by routing the dog holes in one of the boards, then gluing up the leg vise block. The dog holes are spaced at 3” for versatility. Then I needed to figure out what to remove for the various pieces of the vise hardware. Some time was spent with the adjustable square to figure out the recess locations. Note: the measureme...
Things are moving right along. One thing I knew I would need for this project was a 3/4” upcut router bit I could do plunge cuts with for the dog holes, as well as for routing a groove in the top for the sliding deadman. I didn’t want to spend a fortune for a carbide bit so I tried the HSS bit from MLCS (item #7498). Overall I was very happy with it; more later. Once I had the end vise installed I could decide exactly where to mount the top on the base. With the base upsid...
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