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Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench #9: Deadman, Cut Legs, Drill Screw and Holdfast Holes

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Blog entry by Mauricio posted 709 days ago 4732 reads 2 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Splayed Back Legs and Stretcher Part 9 of Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench series Part 10: End Caps and Wagon Vise »

Hello again friends,

I’m made a lot more progress since my last post so I will break it up into a couple of posts.

These are pretty straight forward, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Deadman: BrandonW gave me this piece of Jatoba when we first met, Thanks again Brandon! I decided to use it for my deadman. Here I’m using the Paul Sellers trick for a makeshift end vise, it works ok but I cant wait to have a wagon vise.

Very dense wood but it planes pretty nicely.

Here is the design I think I’m going with. I’m going to finish it after assembly, just wanted to pane it down to see what kind of dimensions I’m working with before routing the groove in the bench top.

I went with a 1” deep groove, 3/4” wide. I think I’m going to have the V” slider/rail either stop 6” short of the left leg for deadman removal or maybe a short rail piece I can screw in place and remove whenever I want to remove the deadman. I’m still working out the details in my head.
Here I’m using my makeshift wooden block router edge guide, I have since purchased a Bosch edge guide which is a nice upgrade.

Next, I cut the legs to length. I was pretty nervous about this, since the back legs are splayed, I couldnt simple cut them to equal lengths. So what I did was shim the legs to have the front legs plum and the top level. And scribe a line from the floor with dividers. This was tricky because the garage floor is not level. So Once I took the bench apart I just went with the longest distance on each leg, A also erred on the side of making the front legs equal length, same on the back legs. Fortunately it worked out, after cutting them the bench was nice and level and the front legs plum.


The height worked out perfectly and there is now wobble at all in the base. I also love the height. I ended up at around 33.5”. I literally could not get more height out the legs because of the back leg splay, it causes you to lose a lot of height. I’m 6’2” so it made me nervous to have it so low. But this is the height of Schwarz’ bench and he is 2” taller than me which was reassuring.

The height works and is nice for planning, It really lets you get your weight over the plane, you just lean on it and it goes!

Next for the Holdfast holes: I love these things! I’ve been using them a lot already, you’ll see in future pictures how I’ve used them for making other bench components.

Then to drill out are the holes for the wooden screws for the vise and parallel guide. The front legs were pretty straight forward, 1.5” for the screw (threads to be tapped later) and 2 1/8” for the parallel guide. It was slow going on my cheap little drill press, these are big holes.

But probably the hairiest part is the angled whole I need for clearance in the back leg. I marked off the location on both sides of the leg so I could meet in the middle as close as possible.

The two holes met in the middle, off by only about 1/8” which was easily chiseled smooth with a gouge and rasp.

This picture shows how the screw will pass through the back leg.

So here is where we leave off:

Actually that pic doesnt have the holdfast holes in the top but you get the idea.

I’ve finished my end caps and wagon vise. I’ll post that blog when I get more time.

Thanks for watching and thanks for your support!

Mauricio

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



35 comments so far

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4136 posts in 1548 days


#1 posted 709 days ago

That looks great, Maurico. I didn’t realize how long that wooden screw was until you posted the side view of the bench.

Also, that jatoba looks very nice; I decided I want it back. Haha. ;-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4500 posts in 889 days


#2 posted 709 days ago

Woo! It’s starting to come together and look like a working bench! It must be a great feeling knowing it’s working out so well!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1251 days


#3 posted 709 days ago

Nice holdfast placement. I was so; excited to see another addition to this blog. It’s been nice to see the thing from the concept stage all the way to almost done.

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1290 days


#4 posted 709 days ago

Loving the wooden screw. You’ve really been busy!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1219 days


#5 posted 709 days ago

Excellent work there sir! The splayed legs are definitely attractive.

How thick is your top and did you drill a “relief” hole on the underside so the holdfast will grip?

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1748 days


#6 posted 709 days ago

Brandon, ha ha ha, sorry you can’t have it back! On that note though, I’m thinking of just putting wax on it as a finish, I’ve been reading a lot lately about oily woods and how finish can make them really dark, might have been on the hand plane thread. I’m gonna try it.

Yeah, the nice thing about making your own wooden screws is you can make them as long as you want. Well see if there are any functional limitations to clamping too far out from the leg.

Thanks Mos, I’m feeling super stoked, especially since I finished the wagon vise last night. I’ll post that soon.

Ryan, thanks for the enthusiasm and support. Can’t wait to see what kind of splayed leg creation you come up with.

Al thanks, that screw is a little chipped so I may end up cutting the hub off and using it as my parallel guide, I just got my new dowels in preparation for giving screw making another go. I got dust collection fittings for my router so I’m hoping that helps.

Scott, thank you sir! The top is mostly 2.5”, the front 4” of it is 3.5”. What’s the relief hole about? I vaguely remember something about that. Do I need them? They seem to be working well now.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14606 posts in 1164 days


#7 posted 709 days ago

What a bench. The screw looks photoshopped on top. It doesn’t look Proportionate, its just to big to be a screw.

Very nice job!

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

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1219 days


#8 posted 709 days ago

If your holdfasts work then you do not need them. Some holdfasts do not grip as the depth of the holes approach 4” and thicker. One way to trick the holdfast is to drill, say, a 1” hole about an inch deep on the back side. Thus the holdfast only “sees” 3” of thickness in a 4” thick top.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1219 days


#9 posted 709 days ago

The second from last photo confuses me. The shadows on the bench top make it look like it is flush with the leg and there is a section cut out toward the front.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1748 days


#10 posted 709 days ago

Thanks Don, maybe its just that the bench is smaller than a lot of the monolithic Roubos your used to seeing. Its only 2” in diameter but I did make the hub pretty beefy.

Scott, I think what might be throwing you off is that the ends still have varnish on them from when the top was a table. I glued on a 4” piece to the bottom and then glued on 3.5” piece to the front, those are unvarnished so they stand out. There is also a rounded corner on that first big lamination because that one was a corner of the table. It will make a little more sense in my next post when I crosscut the ends flush.

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

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1748 days


#11 posted 709 days ago

Scott, I still havent drilled my row of holes for the dogs, those will go into the 3.5” part, I want to use those for holdfast as well so I’ll keep the relief whole in mind if its needed.

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

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4359 posts in 1037 days


#12 posted 709 days ago

So friggin’ awesome Mauricio!

-- ~Tony

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1748 days


#13 posted 709 days ago

Thanks Tony!

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

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1748 days


#14 posted 709 days ago

Scott, by the way thanks again for sending me your workbench plans, they were very helpfull in working out the details of my deadman and wagon vise. Any update on your bench???

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

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4085 posts in 1453 days


#15 posted 709 days ago

It is going great. :)

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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