|Project by Skip Mathews||posted 07-01-2014 07:26 PM||2303 views||2 times favorited||29 comments|
I am posting this as an artistic woodworking project and hopefully it is not considered tool gloating :) This was a really big challenge for my skills as a woodworker and took me fifteen months to build. All the wood is salvaged and the two wood screws are antiques.
On a trip to Hannibal Missouri I saw a woodworking bench in an antique shop. I was impressed by the massive size and strength of the bench, and it’s age. I have needed a sturdy workbench for some time now, so I decided, after doing some research, to build a bench that would last several lifetimes.
The top is 24-inch by 96-inch and 4-inches thick, the base is 60-inches wide, the center section of the top is mortised into the end board with a 1×1-inch tenon, then the front edge is glued on and connected at the corner with a big single dovetail, the four main timbers for the top are glued with hide glue. You can see the iron glue pot in the picture showing tools
I included one picture of all the tools used to build the bench. Part of the project was researching, finding and restoring the old tools, and lots and lots of sharpening. The old plane irons are laminated tapered forged steel and hold a razor edge for a long time. Very easy to use.
This box vise was a real puzzle to build. The design I used is my own version of what I learned researching online. There are many excellent craftspeople with examples of their work online, and their generous information helped me figure out how build my bench.
The base is assemble using through tenon draw-joints with hand made pegs. The holes for the pegs are drilled so they are offset a small amount, so when you drive the peg in it draws the joint tighter. I didn’t need to use glue in the joints. I cut the mortises with a half-inch mortise chisel, and cut the tenons with a back-saw. I made the pegs by driving a split piece of wood through a hole in a metal plate.
-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"