Well, the weekend was productive.
Saturday, I got the leg units for my workbench made and the cross beams cut to length. They were easy to put together and get glued up. Just a lot of handsaw and chisel work. Kerfs every 3/8 in or so and then chop out the waste and trim level with a chisel. Glued them up and filled some knots with epoxy. The only thing left is to mortise the legs for the crossbeams and make the tenons on the crossbeams. I will probably just cut the tenons on the band saw and be done with it. Should take a grand total of maybe 15 -20 minutes for setup and marking and another 5 to actually cut them. I am only going to take about 3/8 in off each cheek to form the tenons. Not your most sophisticated joinery. Once I get those made I will be able to mark up and cut the mortises. I have not decided yet if I will pin the mortises with dowels or just go straight glue. The pins would probably be overkill.
Sunday was the day to make up the top. A while back, I had a water leak in the ceiling of my garage a while back and I had to tear out some sheet rock to fix it and have had a ragged hole left to remind me. It’s on my to do list, but pretty far down. A few months ago, I picked up a HF knock-off multi-tool that was on sale for like $30 or so to clean up the edge of the hole and cut the sheet rock for a patch. Well, it has been sitting in the box since I had bought it and I thought about it when I went to cut the clearance for my vise. I was seriously impressed. I had no idea that they were so viscous. I put the straight plunge blade on it and used it to cut out the corners for the cut outs on the second and third layer of ply. It just sinks in and leaves a nice clean cut. This really changes the game for making the mortises for the cross beams. I was planning on using my Sawzall but this is so much more civilized. Nope, it never even crossed my mind to chop 1×3 inch through mortises through 4×4 mushy cedar beams by hand. I do have a big frame saw with a thin blade that I could have used to saw out the waste out on order but it seems to be taking its sweet time getting here.
After cutting out the vise clearance, I glued up the top. Out comes my bucket-o-clamps and my bowl of deck screws. Clamps all around and deck screws in the middle. After 3 hours in clamps, I take them all off and take out the deck screws. Well, most of them. 4 will be a permanent fixture in there somewhere. I lost the head on them when I put them in. I really need to back off the torque setting on the driver. Oh well. Now with the top all glued up, it is a serious chunk of wood. With it up on saw horses, I was not able to put any noticeable bend in it. Nice and solid. With the edge banding glued on, it’s not going anywhere.
After that, I put on the last layer of hardboard for the surface and cut out the edge pieces for the top. I was going to run over to the store to pick up an edge trimming bit for the router but I realized that it would take longer to get dressed and go pick it up than it would just to trim it off by hand. A few minutes with the block plane and everything was nice and even. I also decided that one of the the next projects on the list will be to make a stand for the miter box. A couple of the miters are a bit off on the length as I got used to the setup. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a bit of filler but a better workstation will help that a lot. Once I had the edging cut, I took off the hardboard and glued and screwed the edging to the ply. The hardboard will float. Maybe. I might tack it in place with a bit of hot glue or counter sunk screws on the corners.
So, as it stands, the punch list for finishing the bench:
Fit the cross beams
Finish cutting out for fitting the vise
Glue feet on the legs
Chamfer or roundover edges
Lag screw the top to the legs
Sand and finish
Attach the vise
Drill the starter set of dog holes
-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/