In the academic world, the term ABD is almost a dreaded one. It stands for "All But Dissertation" and refers to that point in your Ph.D. studies where you’ve done all the coursework and all of the research, have defended your research proposal, and “merely” have to do your dissertation to finish your degree. As for me, I am now officially ABD in regards to my workbench: All But Dovetails. I have glued up 24 out of the 28 boards for my benchtop. I now need to cut the dovet...
My 2×4 Burrill “white fir” lumber has been drying in the basement: all of it for a week, some of it for 2+. I bought a moisture meter to measure the wood moisture and see much of it in the 5-8% range and some of it 10%. Comparing to other scraps in the basement that seem to have that same range, so I’m guessing that’s good—I should probably cut a few pieces to check inside better, though. Anyway, most of the boards are still quite straight but a few have dev...
If you want to see the version with all the pictures, please click here. I got up with the sun today to get a head start on bench before the munchkins got up. First order of business was to unclamp the 2nd half that I glued up last night. Then, after a quick run with the plane to smooth out the mating faces, I glued up the two halves. It’s now one massive slab of wood where a little over a week ago, it was just a collection of 16 2×4s. This thing is gratifyingly heavy as well. ...
I recently found out that the husband of a woman in our church runs a timber export business. I inquired about possibly getting my workbench lumber from him and she told me to fax her the specs of what I want (she does admin or accounting or something). So tomorrow morning I’m going out with her to the lumberyard to check out the wood and to get an estimate. Could it be that I’ll walk out of there with a few hundred pounds of tropical hardwood? Or maybe I’ll put it in the...
(click on the pic for a full-size view) So here’s the bench mostly as I see it. My apologies for the faintness, but I think you get the idea. I forgot to put the crochet on there, so that would naturally be on the front left of the benchtop. You’ll also notice that I have no vises on the bench. I’m not entirely convinced that the bench needs them, although I do plan on making a removable twin-screw vise à la Moxon (not pictured). I had planned on installing a wagon vis...
Well, yesterday was almost a wash. The day started strong. I got everything setup to rip the bench side tool well wall to size. Then I decided to kill a few electrons and use the circular saw to get the job done quickly. Simple enough right? Well the saw decided to go walking about halfway through the cut for some reason and basically made that piece of cherry unusable. That almost has me sworn off of power tools for all but the hardest tasks. With power tools when things go south it ha...
Today it’s back to the glueup phase of my build. I’ve glued up half of the boards for each leg and done the short stretcher mortises for each. Now it’s time to glue the other half of the boards on, and voids in the glueup will create the mortises for the long stretchers. Here’s the first layer just after clamping, with a closeup: Then I glued an identical layer onto that one (both pieces), and voila, a mortise for the long stretcher. The last two boards clos...
After finishing the base assembly, I put a couple of coats of Arm-R-Seal on the underside of the top and the base. I then started laying out my vise locations. I have two identical cast-iron Columbian vises. In a perfect world, I would mortise at least the face vise into the side of the bench top, but after looking at that the other day, I decided it would be too much work. I didn’t want to start chopping the thing up without a clear plan for how I’d bury the somewhat irregular...
NOTE All of my photos have been migrated to a new provider, and the links in my posts are likely out of date. You can find the photos here. I actually began this project around 6-9 months ago, when I got into woodworking, and I did some of the original work then. It is surprising how far I’ve come in what I know to do, and not do, since then. I had a leftover benchtop that I picked up basically free from family friends. It was not pretty! It had a fairly thick finish on ...
Had about 3 hours in the shop Saturday to shape the chop. The basic shaping is done, just need to fair out a couple sections, sand and finish. Started out by drawing some curves. It may not be obvious, but there are two curves on each side. You’ll see why shortly…. I laid out the inner curve on a piece of scrap MDF, which I’ll be using as a template. Cut that out on the bandsaw Try to do this in one smooth motion. Once it was cut out, I sand the bandsaw mar...
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