I thought I would just catch up on some pics of my progress so far. In the back of my mind, I am hoping to build a workbench that will last for 100 years—something solid and substantial. At the same time, I am doing it on a grad school budget. So those two things are mostly incompatible but we will see how close we get. This is my first time building a project with hardwood and the first workbench I have ever built. I am building it for my father for a belated Christmas gift (I couldn...
Decided to make a workbench for my father for a belated Christmas and birthday gift. (Working on it in the evenings after my brain is fried from writing). The space he has available is small, so I am going to scale it down to be roughly 20” x 60” or a bit longer. Based off of a lot of different elements of a lot of benches. See my note collection here.
Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench #1: Top&Legs Jointed, Starting to layout the Wooden Screws.
A while black I posed a forum topic asking for folks advise on how to use this piece of wood for a workbench. A cabinet maker I bought my band saw from gave it to me for free. It was made from two slabs from a green oak tree so it cupped pretty bad. It had been used as a table for a restaurant. After assimilating everyone’s advice I decided I would cut out the piths, re-glue the top and use it to make a French workbench like Roy Underhill does in one of his shows. I love the splayed...
Fitted the legs into the mortise and tenon and I was happy with 3 of the 4. The one mortise I got a little carried away with and there’s a little gap in the through mortise, but the sucker is tight and not moving, so I’m going to fill it with a sliver of Douglas Dir to fill it, but other than that, I was fairly pleased with the results for my first mortises of that scale. It’s so sturdy the way it is, it almost doesn’t need stretchers.
Although I’m rather anxious to make progress on the acoustic guitar project, the recent departure of a close family friend caused me to shift gears briefly to build them a going away present. During the glue-up process, I was frustrated by the lack of suitable bench space. My old glue up table was a $50 IKEA pine piece that bit the dust some time ago…and I hadn’t yet gotten around to replacing it. From the start of the shop design process I had envisioned a mobile assembly/w...
These posts haven’t been exactly chronological. For example, in the last entry, (about finishing the underside of the top) some of the stuff I did prior to finishing the legs and stretchers, and some of it I did after. But for the sake of giving better flow to this blog, I thought I’d lump stuff together in logical parts. I digress. My drawbore pin arrived from Lee Valley recently, so I was able to finally connect all these mortis and tenon joints. As I had previously menti...
Since I couldn’t start drawboring the stretchers and legs together, I thought I’d spend my wait time finishing all the work on the underside of the bench. First, I had to make sure the underside of the top was reasonably flat. Prior to doing the final glue-up of the top, I had two 12” wide sections, each of which was run through my planer. So I knew those two sections were identical in thickness and were very flat. And I used my jointer to joint the mating edge of each s...
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...
So far so good, there are no surprises. No cracks or breaks. As you recall from my previous blog post the vise will not turn. There is no sense of restoring the vise if you can get to move. So this blog is about getting the screw to turn.I searched for woodworking Columbian vise information. There don’t seem to be much. What I have found so far are mostly pictures and mounting information, but not the details that I am after. Hopefully I am correct in my selection of words in describin...
I had thought that I previously finished the legs (except for mortising for the stretchers). However, after visualizing how the top would mate to the legs, I realized I needed to adjust the tenons on the two legs on the left of the bench. I’m going to be putting the left legs flush with the left edge of the top. I don’t want to be able to see the tenons from the side of the top when the project is complete. Using the table saw, I notched the tenons on the top of the legs so th...
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