You can’t discuss handplanes without discussing the workbench. Do you need a workbench to do work by hand? No, what you need is a way to hold your work while you work on the face, edges and ends of various sized boards. Benches just so happen to fill that need VERY well. The problem with benches is that people convince themselves that they cant build a good bench without a bench, to an extent that’s true but it does not have to be the stumbling block some people make it. ...
I considered a lot of different materials for my bench. At the top of the list were southern yellow pine, white oak, red oak, ash, cherry, maple, and beech. Really, I think you can get away with a number of species, but it generally comes down to a few issues: availability, aesthetic (at least for me), price, and of course suitability for the purpose. Chris Schwarz really advocates using SYP in his workbenches book and even uses it for his 2005 Roubo bench. The advantages of SYP is that yo...
Hello, this is probably my last workbench blog entry, now that my bench is complete! Like I said in my last blog, the workbench has been complete a couple weeks before this post on November 12. With my last post I had wrote about completing the base. After I had the base assembled, glued up, and drawbored I placed the bench top onto the base. Previous to putting the top on the base I had put one coat of boiled linseed oil on the underside of the top. The top is removable from the base, I deci...
I was working on fitting the skirt to the front of the bench, and it looks fantastic. in order to get to the final dimensions of 30” width of the top, I’m missing 1/8” extra material between the benchtop and the skirt to fill in the gap, while keeping the skirt flush with the legs fronts. so far so good. while fitting the skirt to the legs, I noticed that the gap on the left side of the bench is larger than the right side… a quick reach to the tape measure confirmed...
I put my wooden screw build on hold for a minute. While I ordered the router bit I needed to build the thread cutting jig I made some progress on the top. Here is a quick review from previous blogs of how I got to this point: The raw materials:Started with a green table I got for free from a cabinet shop. Very cupped due to the piths in the slabs. Cut out the piths. I ended up with the good parts which were all quarter sawn, about 2.5” Red Oak. The knots will be hidden on th...
This is my interpretation of this cleverly designed bench by Fine Woodworking’s shop manager, John White. There have been a few mentions of this bench on the site and I have been eagerly anticipating having the time to build my version of the bench. I’ve had the lumber for about a month but had to sacrifice time in the shop to get our condo ready for sale this summer. Those preparations are all behind KT and I now and I can finally work in the shop when I want to. We’ve h...
After finishing the mockup of the face vise, I was now ready to do it for real. I started by gluing up a couple piece of oak for the main chop. You saw me use my new planer sled to mill the two large faces flat. I used the mockup to locate and cut the 2 main holes for the screws.I used a regular hole saw on my drill press to cut the holes. It was slow going through the hard oak, but I made it through. Next I wanted to dress up and round over the ends of the chop. I layout a small reveal...
So after we've got the bowling alleys. now it’s time to put them to to use (not really ‘now now’ but … you know what I mean). So, I really would like to make this one a keeper, and not have to redo this bench unless I really fancy it in the future with lots of extra time on my hands and nothing better to do with it (hence – not likely it’ll happen), and in order to do that, I figured I’ll make this one as close as I can to the ‘ultimate’...
I found some time and got the vises installed. First the endcap and the front maple edge were dovetailed, the endcap routed to receive the tongue formed on the end of the Douglas fir, and then both glued into place. This was the first time I really cut dovetails by hand, and it was kind of fun. It is surprising how strong the resulting joint is. The endcap was only glued at the corner, and their will be a lag bolt near the back to allow wood movement. There is a story behind the walnut...
OK, lets get started. I will go through the build process in the same order that I built the bench and as a non-working concept of wedge power would have been a deal breaker, the first job was to build a wagon vice or two to make sure they would work. I was fortunate enough to find a small local mill that would sell me some really nice local arbutus (madrone in USA). This is about 50 fbm and I have about ten left over. After milling up some nice 1 7/8” stock and a bit of 3”...
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