Had a rough for for a couple months will little time in the shop. Some for obvious reasons, the rest mostly due to work. I know my voice has been out there in the forums, but the majority of the posts are done from my work computer as adverse to the home computer.
I finished flattening the top of the bench and added dog holes for the hold fasts and the bench dogs. The top has been especially challenging due to the space in my shop. I don’t like working in tight spaces. I have about a 20×15 space to work, much of it occupied by stationaries and lumber. Hard to believe that five years ago all I had was a miter saw and a drill.
I like moments when I feel like I am half way intelligent when it comes to a process. The dog holes I was concerned about. The bench top is slightly over three inches thick and I didn’t want the holes to come out quicker. When I first started woodworking, I had the illusion that I could drill a straight hole by “dead reckoning.” What I learned shortly thereafter is that my dead reckoner came disassembled and apparently has to be built up by years of experience. Getting there. Plan B was to take a strip of 2×4 and drill three 3/4 inch holes in it. I think took a forstner bit and put it in a handdrill and used the 2×4 as a guide. This bought me another inch and a half. With about 2 and a half inches to guide me, I took a longer auger bit and finished it up. The result was a series of holes straight enough to use for the dogs and the fasts.
I didn’t want a bench made out of swiss cheese. So the holes were limited to 9 on each side of the bench with a series of 6 on the left and right side. Spaced out by the holes I made in the 2×4. I may have to add more, maybe not, going to see how this works for me. All I have to do now is just add the holes to the legs and mount the wood vise, The vise will cover up a couple of the holes from underneath but the low profile dogs I have will sit fully in the holes without obstruction. I will drill the leg dogs by following the same process as the top, so that I can mount a board on its side to hand plane the edge. No aprons surrounding the top as I want to be able to clamp around all areas of the bench without obstruction. I have come to the conclusion that my best option for utilizing my rough lumber is to hand plane the edge and the face and finish off with a thickness planer. My shop just can’t afford the space of a full fledged jointer.
So, there you are, bench as is. Crude but effective, kind of like me :)
Question for fellow jocks – When flattening, I could not help but get tear out since I varied the grain direction of the top. I had to do a fair amount of sanding while attempting to not lose the consistency of the surface. My guess is that many flatten with planes and then use a high quality belt sander that has a true level surface to finish the job. Am I correct on this? Or do some of you have a planing tip to help eliminate that tear out?
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.