Now that I have my base built, it is time to start on the top of the workbench. To do so, I decided to go with a glue-up of 2×4s cut in half. In the end my top should be 48” long and about 30” wide. Here are some initial pieces to show you the scale:
To build the pieces, I cut a douglas fir 2×4 in half, then hand-planed it to remove the rounded corners. I used my number 5 jack plane to remove material and my number 6 to smooth it out. I occasionally used my number 3 to smooth out any rough features. As you can imagine this produced a lot o shavings. It was also one hell of an upper-body workout!
After I got them all cut and planed, it was time to start gluing them together. I know some people have done this all at once, but I didn’t trust myself to get them straight and level. So I decided to glue it up piece by piece.
I had to go out and buy more clamps to do all of this. The Medium-duty jorgensens (with the larger pads) seem to do nicely. The small ones I have noticed tend to mark the wood too much.
Once I had the top glued up in 2-board pieces, it was time to start gluing those together as well. In this one you can see the cuts I made to fit the front vise in. I’ll talk more about that later.
Now the big question for me is about strength. I have been thinking about running two threaded metal rods through the top (against the board lay out) and then bolting it all tightly together. I wonder if that would increase the strength of it. I would hate to be working on something have the boards split apart…
Next up, more about the top and the vices!
-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts