Workbench #4: This might just happen...

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Blog entry by Philip posted 11-20-2013 04:45 AM 1887 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: A workbench is never done... Part 4 of Workbench series Part 5: So many tenons! »

So we continue with the bench progress…Making all the parts from the butcherblock table has it’s set backs, but I can live with that.

Here we have the router plate cut out that has now been modified to accept my jig-saw. For those of you not following along (since this saga is years-long and in no logical order) this bench is full of purist woodworking NO-NO’s.

Here I am trying to drill a very large hole in end grain and tap it to accept equally large hand threaded dowels, that was a work out…

The next photo shows the threads for the vises being dyed black…I just didn’t like the way the poplar looked, and figured this would be a good “ebonizing” experiment.

These next photos show my trying to duplicate a jig I saw using a router to make dowels for my vise handles. That was a failure, and I ended up rounding them with a sanding attachment on my angle grinder.

I installed the vise threads and used a spokeshave to carve the ends round and sanded them smooth.

Here we have the base pieces that still need to have the 50 year old finish removed…

Holy cow! I thought that building stuff yourself would be cheap. NOT always the case. My thought was to buy brass plumbing fittings and use them as end caps for the vise handles. I would sand them to a nice shine. Well, each fitting was over 4 bucks, I needed 8….we were looking at around upwards of $50 for tiny hardware. I ended up settling for these PEX fittings, works for me.

The last photo is a good intro into the next segment: using the home made tablesaw to cut shoulders on the tenons that will be made to assemble the base…using the failure routing jig as a stop- yep.

-- I never finish anyth

5 comments so far

View Frank Gearson's profile

Frank Gearson

5 posts in 3126 days

#1 posted 11-20-2013 08:34 AM

Looks like an impressvie undertaking, I’ve always wanted to make my own bench but never got around to it.


View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3360 days

#2 posted 11-20-2013 09:50 AM

It is a little nostalgic watching your blog here Phillip. It reminds me of my earlier struggle to get my first shop going and making router tables, etc. in an economical way. This is a great way to learn a lot and also to realize the value of ingenuity and trial and error, plus the joy that comes when things work out the way you envisioned. It looks to me that things are going your way on this bench build so far, so kudos for your good work and interesting blog.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View robscastle's profile


5102 posts in 2230 days

#3 posted 11-20-2013 10:13 AM


That’s one mean sized bench, no bounce or movement there!

What is the ebonising medium!

-- Regards Rob

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2565 days

#4 posted 11-21-2013 01:00 AM

I love the trial and error, makes you look like a wizard to other people the next time you try it.

The ebonizing is a dye from sherwin williams, trying to come up with a mix to get the best of both worlds- penetrating stain and dye. The girl working there gave me a funny look and probably just mixed whatever. I had read a Flexnar book on finishing and was experimenting…

-- I never finish anyth

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3115 days

#5 posted 12-08-2013 09:52 PM

So cool to see you work there, even I almost got nervous about the colour project!
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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