This is my first woodworking project that I began when my daughter was first brought home from the hospital. The plan was from a woodworking TV show I saw on PBS one day and said “I can do that”. She is now 7 months old and I still have not had a chance to finish this workbench. I squeeze in time when I can. It is constructed from SYP and 3/4” MDF (3” thick on tabletop), and is a heavy workbench. It doesn’t need much more attention just a few more coats of p...
I have been known to take up a hobby or 37. At 42, on the cusp of 43, and well into the ‘balding’ years, I have decided that, in lieu of a midlife crisis, I would take up woodworking. Don’t get me wrong, a new car and a 27 year old with huge, firm, hands would be wonderful; But I can’t afford the 27 year old, and I am not into cars that much. In the summer of 2009, I went to an arts festival in Des Moines. The gentleman, who won best of show, did so with some amazing etched clay bowls. I a...
I’ve completed the torsion box workbench top! I milled the cherry boards using my jointer and planer and finished with a little hand-planing to remove the mill marks. I attached them using screws, keeping them flush with the top surface. Even so, I had to hand plane the cherry top in some places because it was a little higher than the table top. I counter-sunk and counter-bore the screws, leaving a 3/8” diameter hole. I used a plug cutter to create some plugs from birch...
I put on both skins, the hardboard top and even picked out some rough-sawn cherry to finish the project! I created 3/4” plywood squares to just fit inside of the torsion grid. I placed a row of them in line with my front vice in order to have more depth for potential bench dogs (1/2” MDF + 3/4” Plywood). I also attached a double stack (1.5”) to the bottom skin, where the bench vice lag bolts will attach. This should give plenty of support for those pieces. I...
Today I assembled the internal grid and attached one of the skins. I started by taking off the current workbench top, and leveling the top of the base. The top rests on two aprons that run end-to-end; one at the front and one at the back. I used hardwood shims (from a previous project) to adjust 3 of the legs and level the 2 apron pieces both left-to-right and to each other (front to back). I then placed (2) 2×4s, which had been jointed and planed, on top of the aprons, the sam...
Welcome to yet another workbench project. The first question I have that I haven’t seen a whole lot of discussion on is placement of bench dog holes. I see a lot of benches that put them 2-4 inches from the front of the bench, but wouldn’t a better placement be in the 4-6 inch range, if not more? Placing them 2” in would probably make it easier to work on smaller stock, but placing them 6” back or more should give you more flexibility for larger stock as well, witho...
Today I manged to cut all the parts for the torsion box assembly table top. I am constructing the internal grid out of 1/2” MDF. The space between grid components is 6.5”. The outside of the grid is constructed from 3/4” MDF and is 6’6” by 3’. The skins are 1/2” MDF and a top of 1/8” hardboard. I started by breaking down the MDF using my Festool TS55. I cut a clean edge, and then measured and cut a spacer stick that would be used for...
I am ready to replace the top of my workbench with a dead-flat Torsion box to ease assembly of future projects. I built my current workbench a couple of years ago from plans from Fine Woodworking. The base is made from laminated plywood and is very solid. I filled the inside of the base with 6 drawers which are full and work well. The top is 2 sheets of 3/4 material that has served its purpose, but is far from flat. Part of the problem (non flatness) also stems from the fact that...
Continuing the last blog post. Took the Leg vice face to my table saw (It has a channel that the fence runs in (fits perfect) and placed a dead wood under it and drilled out 1” Spaced holes… (that way cool old cold steel pin, is yep! An old 3/4” Allen wrench!)The holes are for “expanding the jaw” for larger work.. This is it in place with a test fit of the “pin” you can use wood dowels also… or anything I suppose… OK that wor...
I began my woodworking journey a little over two years ago now. My wife and I had just bought our first house together, she had quit her job and became a full time law student and I was looking for something to do that was a little more engaging than television. My previous hobby had been tinkering with cars which I still enjoy, when I can, to this day. But our new home had no garage and we had little money to spare. So I searched my soul and the internet and decided that I would teach my...
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