My First Blog - My First Workbench #4: The Top

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Blog entry by manilaboy posted 05-17-2008 02:15 AM 1312 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The Stretchers Part 4 of My First Blog - My First Workbench series Part 5: The Top - Part2 »

Hi Everyone,

Time to pick up where we left off. Finished with the legs and stretchers. Time to build the top. Nothing similar to any bench I’ve seen posted on LJ so far. Doubled up 3/4” marine plywood on rabbets cut on 2” X 6” hand cut box jointed aprons. It won’t win any beauty contest but cost effectivity wise and practicality wise, it is hard too beat. Plus it gave me the practice that I need and a big confidence boost that I really can do it. And I think GaryK is also getting his TAGALOG/PILIPINO sharpened as well by commenting in it. I appreciate it very much Gary.

The 2×6 had a bow of about 1/4”. I trimmed close to the lay out line with a portable power planer…


Straightened it out with a router. The router’s base rode on the straight edge of a 1/4” X 24” X 96” sheet of fiber cement board. Did the same on the other length of 2 X 6. Then with the router’s edge guide riding the just cleaned up edge, straightened the opposing edge of the workpiece.

I then put one over the other, let the router’s edge ride the edge of the workpiece on top like so…


...and made several passes to rout the rabbets. I did not see this split when I bought the 2 X 6’s. Fixed it up with dowels. Free beer to the first one who could say what I use for dowels.


Cut the workpieces to the desired lengths and then laid out the lines for the box joints.



I exercised great caution when I made these cuts. Made sure that they are on the waste side. A real bummer to make it on the wrong side. I used a coping saw to cut most of the waste out. Cleaned them up with a chisel.



The very trying part was fitting the joints. Nibbled on the tight parts with a chisel, smoothed it out with a piece of sandpaper then test fit. These went on till I find the fit acceptable to my taste. Final tweaking came when all the joints are dry fitted. By the way, the rabbets really tried my patience. I failed to take into consideration the depth of the rabbets. I have to repeat and cut each end of the joint 3/8” longer. I ended up with top 3/4” shorter and 3/4” narrower than I originally intended it to be.


I’ve made mitered box joints for 2 door jambs and a window sash by hand but this I got to say is the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far. And it is by far the most rewarding…

Antayin ang susunod na kabanata…. ;-)

-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

6 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3668 days

#1 posted 05-17-2008 02:57 AM

Very nice work, cant wait to see it finish.

View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3794 days

#2 posted 05-17-2008 03:27 AM

Looks like chop sticks. I’ll be right over, I’m thirsty.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3984 days

#3 posted 05-17-2008 03:35 AM

Looking forward to seeing your next installment.

Talaga aabangan ko ang susunod na kabanata.

Hi Manilaboy. Ako ang maybahay nya. Di nya kaya tanggapin ang credit ng pagta tagalog nya kaya sabi nya aminin ko na lang ako ang nagpo-post in tagalog :-)

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#4 posted 05-17-2008 04:09 AM

It looks like you are doing a good job so far.

I am looking forward to the next update.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3930 days

#5 posted 05-17-2008 02:00 PM




I’ve an ice cold San Miguel beer waiting for you. Come on over!


Nice try! I know somebody’s working behind you. Hehehe.

Taga-saan po sila?

Hi Scott,

Thanks again.

-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3644 days

#6 posted 09-03-2009 12:22 AM

are those chopsticks?!?

nice work

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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