It has been some time since I have updated my blog on my progress. The bench is coming along nicely. I began working on the table top and am learning a lot as I progress.
The top requires a lot of work. I don’t see myself building another bench for a long time. I am glad that I thought about what I would need before ever beginning. Since I started my bench, I have seen other’s benches on this site that look great. It has made me think about a wish list for the next bench, but that will not happen for a long time. If anything, I will just add to the bench I am building.
I took advice on here regarding gluing up the top. I checked my last “table” for flatness and found that it was bowing under the weight of half the bench top. So, I opted for gluing the top vertically with parallel clamps. I spent a weekend gluing each piece and weighting 45 minutes before gluing on a second piece. After every third piece of wood, I would leave it alone for 4 hours before adding more wood. It seemed to work well, but it is work!.
Here is the top in clamps after the last board was glued and clamped in place.
I flattened the bottom using a foreplane and jointer plane. I apparently had created a trapezoid with one of the pieces for the top. Thank goodness I added a 1/4” to the thickness of the top in case something like this happened. I then cut the four large mortises in the bottom. I caught myself before I permanently attached the base and cut the back mortises wider to accommodate for movement. Only time will tell if I did this correctly.
I attached the base to the top and flattened the top using the drawbore method. The top ended up almost exactly 3” thick. You can imagine how much work it was to take it from 3 1/4” to 3” with handplanes. Next, I will drill the holes for the bench dogs and attach the end vise. I still haven’t decided what to do about a face vise, but at least I will be able to finally use the bench.
I did finally use hardware on the bench. I used screws to attach some cleats around the inside of the stretchers on the base. I plan to add some planking for additional storage as I am working out of a two car garage that I share with my wife’s car.
-- A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. ~Benjamin Franklin