This is part 1 of my blog on how I built my workbench. The bench is now complete but i’ll be adding the steps i used to build it and lots of photos here so others may benefit from what I learned in the process. Happy Reading!
I constructed the base using 8/4 Sugar Maple. I had agonized a bit over the wood selection and considered soft-maple, white ash and even douglas fir as possibilities. I chose sugar maple for its durability as I wanted this to be the uber-workbench and I could get the lumber at a decent price from our local lumber store.
I started by jointing and planing the stock to 1 3/4” thick, jointing the edge and ripping to width in preparation for glue-up.
I then spread glue on the parts using a 1/16” grooved putty knife as recommended in the construction notes and glued up the 4 legs.
After drying time of about 24 hrs, I surfaced the leg stock to final dimensions using my planer and jointer. I had purchased new infinity tools high-speed steel replacement blades for my planer and these worked great as compared to the Dewalt OEM blades. I oriented the grain pith in as I liked this orientation and it appeared to be the proper method based on my web-searching.
I then used a combination of my table saw to cut the shoulders on the end-tenons and my band saw to cut the cheeks to complete the tenons. This combination worked well for me as I felt the dado would have had a hard time removing this much material in one pass.
I then made the mortises using my hollow chisel mortiser and vacuum setup. I used a 1/2 japanese steel chisel from Lee Valley instead of the stock chisels and it did a wonderful job. I cleaned up the mortises using my mortise chisels and mallet to finish the job.
The stretchers followed a similar processing using the table saw for the shoulder cuts, and the bandsaw for the cheeks. I used the fence and a stop block behind the blade to control the cheek cuts. I then completed the job using a borrowed Rabbet block plane to clean up the tenons (Thanks Rich!). I’ll be picking up one of my own sometime soon as this is a great tool!