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Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench

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Blog series by Mauricio updated 521 days ago 21 parts 89717 reads 649 comments total

Part 1: Top&Legs Jointed, Starting to layout the Wooden Screws.

882 days ago by Mauricio | 11 comments »

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...

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Part 2: Guide Block for the Wooden Screw Tap

881 days ago by Mauricio | 9 comments »

Hello LJ’s, As noted in the previous post I’m halfway through the milling of my lumber. I’ve set that aside for the weekend when I can run my machines without waking the kids. For now I’m starting to work on the wooden screw for my leg vise. First I thought I would post some of my sketches for my wooden screw plans. Maybe they will be helpful for someone else. Sorry, not as pretty as Mads sketches… Here is what I got done last night. I had already glued...

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Part 3: Tap for Wooden Nut

868 days ago by Mauricio | 21 comments »

Hello again, On the last blog I made the guide block that guides the tap. Here I’ve made the tap and cut my first nut last night! I’m very excited about this accomplishment, this is really the most challenging part of the build and I think cutting the screw to fit will be pretty straight forward. If you’re like me, you like looking at pictures more than reading so here are some pics showing the process I followed with a brief explanation. Laid out thread pitch on paper (2...

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Part 4: Wooden Screw

852 days ago by Mauricio | 28 comments »

Hello again my friends, I finally got some time to work more on my wooden screw. So here is what I’ve done. First the layout, same pitch as the tap, I also lay out the groove for the external garter. Then saw to the line. I also used a set of dividers to score a center line between the kerfs. Next I use a pencil and my fingers as a fence and mark out a quarter inch chamfer around the tip. I sit on my freshly finished saw bench and use my “Leg Vise” to hold the ...

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Part 5: Building the Top w/ a Spot for the Wagon Vise

831 days ago by Mauricio | 21 comments »

I put my wooden screw build on hold for a minute. While I ordered the router bit I needed to build the thread cutting jig I made some progress on the top. Here is a quick review from previous blogs of how I got to this point: The raw materials:Started with a green table I got for free from a cabinet shop. Very cupped due to the piths in the slabs. Cut out the piths. I ended up with the good parts which were all quarter sawn, about 2.5” Red Oak. The knots will be hidden on th...

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Part 6: Wooden Screw #2

800 days ago by Mauricio | 43 comments »

I think most of you have seen a lot of these pics on other thread but I’ll post them here for the Blog with more detail. As you know last time I tried to carve my screw by hand, it worked but was slow going. So I built the router jig but have been having trouble dialing it in perfectly. Here is the router jig I made. As you can see its a loose fit which is why I got a lot of chipping in the tips of the thread, I was cutting to deep. This is what happened when I fed my hand car...

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Part 7: Finishing the top and M&T on Front Legs.

769 days ago by Mauricio | 28 comments »

Hello friends. After more failure with the wooden screws I decided to order some dust collection attachments for the router and order some more maple dowels. While I waited for those to come in I worked on the top and legs. Here is a quick pictorial tour of my progress. Flattened the top. This is the first real workout for the #7! Worked great. Square edges, stool as board jack. First real workout for the #5 to. I love it, it really gets the work done fast! I decided a 2.5” to...

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Part 8: Splayed Back Legs and Stretcher

750 days ago by Mauricio | 44 comments »

Hello Friends, I’m long overdue for an update so there are a lot of pictures. I’ve made quite a bit of progress but the ending is not so happy I’m afraid, after reassembling the parts last night I discovered an error I will have to fix. The great thing about woodworking is that almost anything is fixable, it’s just frustrating. You’ll see what I mean at the end. As usual, I’ll let the pictures do most of the explaining: Cut the shoulders on the angled te...

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Part 9: Deadman, Cut Legs, Drill Screw and Holdfast Holes

716 days ago by Mauricio | 35 comments »

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...

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Part 10: End Caps and Wagon Vise

716 days ago by Mauricio | 23 comments »

Back again friends, Ok, the next step is the make a wagon vise out of this screw I got from Lee Valley. Thanks to PurpLev for the inspiration on his blog:http://lumberjocks.com/PurpLev/blog/17919 First I jointed one side of the boards for the end caps then ran it through the thickens planner, etc… Next since the wood in the wagon vise recess had warped since being cut I had to trim some wood off using my #78, #92, and a chisel. I even used the front bullnose portion of the 78...

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Part 11: 2nd End Cap and Dog Holes

713 days ago by Mauricio | 32 comments »

Here is a short update of just my work last night. Laid out and drilled my row of dog holes 3” apart. Sorry, galoot index is Zero on this one. I used a ¾” spade bit to make the wholes. Let me just say that I think spade bits are underrated. If you don’t need to make a flat bottom hole or drill overlapping holes I like them better than Forstner bits. The spade bit leaves a pretty clean entry whole and cut pretty fast with a lot less effort IMHO. Drilled out for the second end C...

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Part 12: The Deadman

695 days ago by Mauricio | 35 comments »

Hello LJ Buddies, Here is my most recent progress. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. I previously milled the grove on the underside of the bench. I cut a rabet 3/4” in from the front and glued on a 3/4” tenon. This was cut by hand. First had to perfect the fit. Laid out the design with a wax pencil. Bandsawed the curve then cleaned up with a spokeshave. After drilling the holes and cleaned the Jatoba with Acetone and glued on the tenon an...

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Part 13: The Tool Well

672 days ago by Mauricio | 39 comments »

Here is my latest progress. This blog is too damn long, I need to remember to do these more often and break them up. Sorry about that. Mostly pictures though. Questions and Comments are welcome! THE WELL BACK:Trying to “Steam Bend” the tool well back straight. Notice the dowle I used to get the clamp as far out of the way as possible. Hit it with the heat gun Got it straight enough to joint one side and run through the planner without losing too much thickness This...

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Part 14: Wooden Screw - Another attempt

650 days ago by Mauricio | 61 comments »

It didnt turn out well, still licking my wounds. Here is briefly what happened… Made a new jigAfter one test screw, I successfuly made one that had reasonable little chipping, I was happy with it.I actually cut the hub off a reject screw and reused it on this one. Tapped the leg Tried the screw, but it binds up after a little bit. I kept tapping the threads deeper and deeper hoping it would fit but it wasn’t the diameter of the hole, it was the thread pitch, and since the...

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Part 15: Wooden Screws - The Last Word

617 days ago by Mauricio | 39 comments »

Ok you are probably as tired of hearing about wooden screws as I am of trying to make them. This will be brief. New method picked up on this blog. Pretty self-explanatory. This method has much less room for error than my previous method. Basically, a lead “screw” I laid out and cut by hand attached to my blank via a coupler I made. I made it octagonal so it looks like a nut. The lead screw uses the same “false nut” the tap uses to advance the whole thing at th...

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Part 16: Leg Vise Part 1

585 days ago by Mauricio | 25 comments »

Welcome back to my blog series folks. Thanks for following along on this long journey of mine. It’s hard to believe I started cutting up the parts for my top in January. It’s taken me almost a year. However there were some detours taken along with way on other project. I’m in the home stretch now! I needed a hub for the screw. One of the luxuries of making your own screws is that you can make the hub out of any wood you want. I went with some QSWO I had left from my stretchers. I think ...

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Part 17: Leg Vise Part 2

558 days ago by Mauricio | 31 comments »

Welcome back folks. Progress has been slow but steady. I’m in the home stretch now. I need to finish up this leg vise, then the lower shelf and I’ll be ready for final assembly. A while back BrandonW gave me a Jatoba board. Its the same stuff I’m using on my deadman. Its beautiful dense wood and I’ve been milking every last scrap of it. I used the below scrap as my garter even though it is the checked end of the board. I ended up having to use a lot of superglue ...

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Part 18: The Shelf

557 days ago by Mauricio | 22 comments »

I’m surprised at how much progress I’ve made since the last blog, especially since this part was pretty hand tool intensive. The following is the process I went through the make the lower shelf. I had a bunch of rough sawn Red Oak that was perfect to use up on the shelf. I’m done making furniture out of Red Oak so I really wanted to burn through it all with this bench build. So I got a nice workout two days ago with the wooden Fore, Scrub, and Stanley #5. I got these boards fl...

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Part 19: Drawbore Assembly

548 days ago by Mauricio | 27 comments »

Hello again folks. Here I am in the home stretch. I say that but I know there are still a bunch of details left. I decided to go with drawbored Mortise and Tenons with no glue. The splayed legs on this bench make it incredibly stable as is so it’s not necessary at all. I also won’t have to worry about glue not curing well in the cold weather. The idea of not watching the clock during glue up is pretty nice to, especially on an assembly his size. The hole stress free thing is true in the...

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Part 20: Final Top Prep and Tool Tray Assembly

542 days ago by Mauricio | 42 comments »

Ok folks we have some momentum going here and have made some real progress lately. We’re getting close to the end. So the idea is, flatten the top, glue and bolt on the tool tray, then plane to tray to be coplanar with the top. First I chamfer the dog holes, I do this again after flattening. I figure I want to avoid spelching when planning the top by chamfering them beforehand. I’m not ashamed to say I used a routah (Norm accent) Patched a couple of holes from when this top wa...

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Part 21: The Finish

521 days ago by Mauricio | 33 comments »

Hello again friends. Ok I know this bench build has been a little anticlimactic because you have seen the bench put together a million times. But this should be my final post on this bench build… maybe… I got the finish applied, added leather to the vices, and put a hand wheel on the wagon vise. After testing out the finish on scraps I decided to go with 1-1-1 (MS, Poly, BLO) on most of the bench. I sanded it into the top with 220 grit sandpaper to fill the pores some. J...

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