I’ve been playing in SketchUp, trying to design the ultimate-workbench-from-a-kitchen-coutertop.
This is more or less an arbitrary challenge, because I could probably glue a second countertop over the first one (after buying more than two clamps) and make a decent Roubo bench for a third of the price of the Festool drill… hmm.
This is one of the first designs, strongly inspired by Kenneth Woodruff's knock down bench.
For reference, all stock is 38mm (1.5in) thick. The rectangle on the floor represents the beech countertop I’ll be cutting the parts from; the top uses the whole 65cm width, leaving room for 4 legs, 4 aprons, 2 stretchers, and 2 rails below the top (or 2 short stretchers). However, I don’t need a 65cm deep top, the legs are not flush, and the workbench is only just above 1m long. Given that I will work with handtools mostly, and rely on clamps and dog holes for workholding rather than a vise… meh.
This narrower split-top design allows for a quite longer top (~1.5m), reclaims stock for wider legs, and should simplify accounting for wood movement in the top while keeping it flush on both faces. So, much better, à mon avis. But. Now I have this problem:
I intend the top, red apron, and green rail to make one solid piece, and the legs to be removable (very occasionally, not for nightly storage). I’m not confident enough to attempt 8cm deep through mortises by hand, and I want to preserve as much of the leg section as possible, for rigidity. My current plan is to half-lap the leg and glue a piece to the apron to close the mortise, but the rail position interferes, and I don’t really trust the soundness of the simple solutions I come up with, leaving me with unrealistically crazy japanese joints…So, I need advice from you experimented guys.
- how much glue surface would you use on each side of a half-lap, to make it into a solid mortise?
- how would you attach the lower green rails to the legs? (should be undoable and keep the face flush)
- any suggestion, opinion?