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Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench #1: Top&Legs Jointed, Starting to layout the Wooden Screws.

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Blog entry by Mauricio posted 02-29-2012 03:52 PM 4307 reads 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench series Part 2: Guide Block for the Wooden Screw Tap »

A while black I posed a forum topic asking for folks advise on how to use this piece of wood for a workbench.

A cabinet maker I bought my band saw from gave it to me for free. It was made from two slabs from a green oak tree so it cupped pretty bad. It had been used as a table for a restaurant.

After assimilating everyone’s advice I decided I would cut out the piths, re-glue the top and use it to make a French workbench like Roy Underhill does in one of his shows. I love the splayed legs and I like the idea of a tool tray to keep things from rolling off of the bench. I have actually found a few antique examples of this bench online, here are some pictures I’ll be using for inspiration.

Here is what my Sketch Up drawings look like so far.

My top wont be large, about 68” or so once its done but that is pretty close to the dimensions of the examples above. It will be about 2.5” thick and it will be about 16” wide (core), 24” wide with the tool tray. It will also work well for the space I have.
I’ve already cut up the top, removed the pith, jointed by hand one face and one edge of each of the 4 pieces so they are now ready to be fed through the thickness planer for the other sides.
The nice thing about pithy wood is that the wood on either side is quarter sawn. So, I will have a lot of nice quarter sawn flecks in my top!

I also had a bunch of red oak I wanted to burn through for the legs and stretchers so this is a great opportunity to do that. They were all 4/4 so it has taken a lot of jointing and glue up to prepare them which was not fun since I don’t have a jointer.

Unless you count my new #6 which has been indispensible on this project. Its been a lot of fun to joint these big pieces of wood by hand. I’m having fun and getting a little workout.

WOODEN SCREWS!: I’m going to be carving my own wooden screws for a leg vise and wagon vise. I’m following the instructions from Carters blog. The only exception is that I’m planning on carving the screw by hand rather than using a router. It seems very doable from everything I’ve read and I won’t have the hassle of making a jig and buying a router bit. Also, I don’t have a lathe, I had to buy my dowels, so I cant afford the trial and error of setting up the jig. I may make the router jig down the road if I buy a lathe and start making more screws.

I bought my dowels from these guys. I’m pretty satisfied with them. Luckily the 1 1/2” dowel I’m using for my tap fits just right in the whole made by my spade bit.
The dowel for the screw is 2” in diameter.


I satarted on some of the layout of he tap last night.

So that’s all I have for now. Next I’ll be working on feeding my leg and top pieces through the planer when the kids are awake and working on the screw when they are asleep.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll stay tuned for the rest of the build.

Mauricio

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch



11 comments so far

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4139 posts in 1638 days


#1 posted 02-29-2012 03:56 PM

Excellent progress, Mauricio! We’ve all been waiting for you to start this blog series! Best of luck on the remaining build. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Brit's profile

Brit

5220 posts in 1529 days


#2 posted 02-29-2012 04:07 PM

All the 6’s in the world say YEAH!

Wow! Looking forward to this one Mauricio. I love the fact that you take risks, throw caution to the wind and push yourself to do new things.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15228 posts in 1254 days


#3 posted 02-29-2012 04:09 PM

it should be a pretty nice bench when you’re done. I’ll be following.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4831 posts in 1127 days


#4 posted 02-29-2012 04:12 PM

Good job Mauricio. I really like your choice in bench style. Hand carved wood screw … that is going to be great to see. Thanks for posting.

-- ~Tony

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1341 days


#5 posted 02-29-2012 04:46 PM

I am really looking forward to this thing going together. I think the tool well is going to work out very well for you since you carve.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10038 posts in 1305 days


#6 posted 02-29-2012 05:13 PM

^Ditto to ALL OF THE ABOVE! Looking fabulous!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6841 posts in 1838 days


#7 posted 02-29-2012 05:18 PM

Thanks for the encouragement you guys!

Brandon, I hope mine turns out as nice as yours.

Andy, thanks for the comments and I love my #6, I now understand why the blade that came with it was almost all used up.

Don, I’ve been thinking about what you said before about aprons, I’m thinking of beefing up the front edge of the top with a 5” strip of oak, more for the visual thickness than anything. We’ll see how it looks as it starts to come together.

Anthony, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of cutting my own screws for a long time, I’ve read and seen enough to know it is very doable, I’m looking forward to it.

Ryan, thanks, I know your not fond trays but I think your right about the carving tools. Getting a nick out of a carving gouge is a lot of work. Also I’m thinking the tray can be covered pretty easily with a plank when needed. This bench will be at planning height so I will need to make a bench top bench with a twin screw for dovetailing and carving.

The think I liked about Roy Underhill’s approach is that he uses what he has. Roubo could get massive slabs of wood for a gigantic bench. Roy had a 3” thick by 12” wide piece of maple so thats what he made his bench out of. That really inspired me to say, hey, these are the materials I have, what can I make with it, and here we are!

Thanks again guys. I hope to have more on the tap and screw next… Maybe I’ll do a video showing the thread carving process, I haven’t seen that anywhere online, hopefully my learning’s will help demystify the process.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View hhhopks's profile

hhhopks

564 posts in 1064 days


#8 posted 02-29-2012 06:19 PM

I like to see how you make the screw and nut.
It should be challenging.

Thanks for the blog.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1311 posts in 1065 days


#9 posted 03-01-2012 03:26 AM


MAURICIO:
CUANDO FABRIQUES LA BENCH VISE, PUEDES CRUZARLE CON UN ENSAMBLE UNA TABLA EN SU EXTREMO SUPERIOR PARA SUJETAR MEJOR LAS PIEZAS!!!!!
YO LO HICE Y ME DIÓ UN RESULTADO MARAVILLOSO ;-D
SUERTE AMIGO :-)

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1311 posts in 1065 days


#10 posted 03-01-2012 03:34 AM

MAURICIO
WHEN YOU BUILDING THE BENCH VISE , YOU CROSS WITH A ASSEMBLY A TABLE TOP END TO HOLD YOUR BEST PARTS!!
I DID AND GAVE ME A WONDERFUL RESULT;-D
LUCK FRIEND :-)

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6841 posts in 1838 days


#11 posted 03-01-2012 02:15 PM

Kova, esta excelente su idea. Lo que me preocupa de eso es que si sujetas una pieza muy lejos del tornillo le causara mucho estres. Y mas porque mi tornillo sera de madera

Kova, that is an excellent idea. What worries me is that if I clamp a work piece to far away from the screw it would cause to much stress on the screw. Especially since my screw will be made of wood.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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