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, ...
I began working on the mortises in the top and had a complete relapse in talent. The first one was horrible. I used a drill guide I bought from Sears in hopes of everything being perpendicular and cleaner. Boy was I partially wrong. The first one came out horrible, but cleaned up so,so. I’m so glad this wasn’t one of the mortises in the base. I started trying to use a 1-1/2” fostner bit but eventually downsized to a 1-3/8” and chose to clean them up with a chisel. I was having a hard time sta...
To see the post with pictures, please click here. I got back to work shaping the chop for my leg vise today. I have had one too many instances of thinking, “mam, this would be a lot easier if I had that vise done…” on various projects in the last fee weeks. Right! Time to get to work! I spent about 45 minutes paring away the side today trying to match the bevel and shap of the first side I did a while ago. I think it came out pretty good… And here it is ...
To join the legs to the top, I’m going to use blind tenons. I didn’t quite have enough lumber to do the full through dovetail tenons – my leg blanks are about 1” short! C’est la vie. I’d glued up the blanks months ago and left them rough. So I start by foursquaring them. Joint two adjoining faces, plane the other two. Kept at the planer until all four legs were surfaced on all sides, resulting in them being 5 11/16” square. Next step was to trim...
These are all helpful objects that cost next to nothing to build. The more precise, the better they are. Mine are hardly precise. Most work in concert with the bench or are part of it. Starting from the beginning. Crosscutting or ripping on a sawbench. Here I have an extension shop bent. I got this idea from the Close Grain blog and plan from Tom Fidgen’s Made by Hand book. Crosscutting using a bench hook. Simple bench hook. I raise the planing stop to support th...
So, the top needed skirts, obviously, so time to laminate again. This time, I used 3 pieces of 1×8 black walnut. This gave me a skirt that is 2 1/4” thick, and 6 3/4” wide – after cleaning up the edges. I glued up enough blanks for the front skirt, two end skirts, and chops for both vises. I did not get very many pictures of this process, as I had plenty of lamination pics earlier….I will say that these skirts were BEEFY! And heavy. So, now I had to figure...
Have you ever started a project, given yourself a budget and a time frame… and then well… you go over budget… and you need that new tool… oh and you got busy, or had to redo something… and well… If you haven’t; welcome to woodworking. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your first project and many more to come. At the start of 2009 I decided I wanted to build a new workbench. I was taking on a new job so I decided 12 months would be a good time fr...
Got up fairly early this mornin. After a few cups of coffee and a shower I went out to the shop. I had cut, routed some roundovers, and stained/finished the drawer fronts yesterday. Was waiting for electrical inspector to stop by and give the thumbs up on my new service connection on the house (he didn’t show up till 4:30pm though said he would be there in the morning) I am all good on that, now I just gotta take the paperwork to utility company and coordinate a switch. Left bank...
To cut the mortises for the leg tenons, I went back to the masking tape. Laid some strips down, and lined up the first leg to be flush with the front of the bench. This leg will ultimately be the leg vise. I had deliberated left some extra space between two of the dog holes to ensure the leg would fit. It was easy to knife the outer faces of the tenons, but the inner faces are a bit harder. Because I know the tenons are dead straight, I simply knifed about 1” in on both ends. Afte...
I’m sure there are those of you interested in how much this thing weighs and (more importantly) how much it cost to build. A quick volume estimate puts the total amount of wood at ~5 cubic feet. Considering an average specific gravity of about 0.60 (range for SYP is 0.54 – 0.65, and the hickory is more than that), the weight is: (5 cu. ft.)(62.4 lbs/cu. ft.)(0.60) = 187 lbs So, the wood alone is about 190 lbs. Factor in the weight of the vise hardware and the many metal...
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