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Work bench

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Project by woodenwarrior posted 727 days ago 3032 views 11 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well here it is, my first project posting on LJ. I built this bench a thousand times in my head while deployed to Afghanistan last year. It took the better part of two months working 1-2 hours a day in the shop (well garage actually, but “the shop” sounds more like I know what I’m doing) to build and it came out exactly as I had envisioned it. The trestle base is oak with a 2 1/2 in. laminated maple top. I mounted a Wood River front vise and bit the bullet and purchased a Veritas twin screw vise for its superior functionality.

The base is all pinned mortise and tenon joinery that should withstand a nuclear strike if need be (you don’t know…it could happen). The oak I used I’ve had on my wood rack for awhile. It wasn’t quite good enough for furniture but I wasn’t about to get rid of it. Using it for the base also gave me an excuse with my wife to buy more wood..bonus. The base went together easily and was a joy to build, unlike the maple top…more on that.

I’ll set the stage: My wife left for a week with my daughter to visit her family in Maine which gave me unfettered access to “the shop” after work and for one gloriously long weekend without any husband/fatherly responsibilities. This was the perfect opportunity to build the top. I had purchased the maple from my local lumber mill…well… the only lumber mill within a few hundred miles to be honest. It was a great price but I could only get 4/4 sawn lumber. “No problem”, I said, “That many laminations will be easy”, I said….yeah..not so much.

After machining all of the strips 3 in. wide and 6’6” long, I set about playing “beat the clock” trying to glue-up and keep mostly even, 11 strips at a time so that they would fit through the planer. Working like a one-armed wallpaper hanger (and with many fine cuss words thrown in) I finally got three sets glued up and ready to be planed. Let’s just say that trying to maneuver a bulky 6ft, 75 lb mass of wood through a planer will test the patience of a saint.

After much scraping and sanding,I had one 30 in wide flat laminated top. The apron is 6 3/4 in wide 2 in thick laminated maple. The blind dovetails connecting them were a challenge but a good learning experience nonetheless. The vise faces are 3 in thick laminated maple. The thumbnail profile will have to come later as I only have a 6 in depth of cut on my bandsaw and buying a riser block and new blade just for that wouldn’t pass the wife test. At this point is was just a matter of assembling it all, which went together without too many curses or yells of frustration. a little more hand planing, scraping and finish sanding, two coats of Danish oil, a finish coat of thinned shellac and I now have work bench that should last me until I meet the grave. I am very happy with it. Its stable and not so embellished that I would shed tears the first time I ding it. Next will be a hand tool cabinet to fill the space between the trestles…after I build the blanket chest my wife wants (she made me write this ;) )

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda





17 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15452 posts in 1471 days


#1 posted 727 days ago

This workbench looks great and it seems strong and solid and should serve you well.

helluvawreck
https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4760 posts in 1181 days


#2 posted 727 days ago

That’s an awesome workbench WoodenWarrior, may you make many great
projects with that nice workbench.

View Gumnut's profile

Gumnut

95 posts in 762 days


#3 posted 727 days ago

I am very jealous of your bench, great job though.
I understand your dilema with the family life balance thing but I find that with the making of projects that improve over time the wife get’s happier because she gets to apreciate good quality furniture and you build up the tools and skills slowly. key word is balance!
Well done.

-- Peter, member of the Fine Woodwork Association http://www.fwwa.org.au/index.htm

View Gator's profile

Gator

376 posts in 2281 days


#4 posted 727 days ago

Nice solid looking bench.
I am sure you will enjoy just sitting at it, let alone working on it. A good bench is still on my shop “bucket list”

Gator

-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1488 posts in 1032 days


#5 posted 727 days ago

You have built a solid foundation for your journey in woodworking – well done!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View BenI's profile

BenI

323 posts in 783 days


#6 posted 727 days ago

That’s a really nice looking workbench, great job. I would love to make a bench like this.

Thanks for your service by the way.

-- Ben from IL

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1016 posts in 891 days


#7 posted 727 days ago

Great looking bench, nice job!

-- John, BC, Canada

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

736 posts in 1590 days


#8 posted 727 days ago

I have literally felt your pain on the top glue up in the last week. I will be flattening my work bench top tomorrow and have one or two small gaps in the glue up (between the three sections). Oh well, it is what it is. By the way, yours looks quite nice, a much nicer top than mine.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Tokolosi's profile

Tokolosi

654 posts in 960 days


#9 posted 726 days ago

Beautifull bench. Now you need to take a hammer and give it a couple of good whacks. At random. Then spill something on it. Because you know its going to happen. May as well get it over with. Just kidding. That bench is something to be envious of.

Thank you for your service.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View AKSteve's profile

AKSteve

434 posts in 908 days


#10 posted 726 days ago

Seriously nice bench, Excellent job!

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14847 posts in 1793 days


#11 posted 726 days ago

First off Welcome back and glad your ( I assume ) return was a safe one… I read a quote today on here I think you would agree with as I seved as well.

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including his/her life”.

Great job on the bench and some quality shop time,,,,,,,its a real beauty!!! Now get back to the honey do list Mr! LOL

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

3908 posts in 1056 days


#12 posted 726 days ago

Welcome back first sergeant and thank you. I’ve been putting off building a good bench for some time. I’ve bought and read several books on the subject. I built a sizable tool chest so now I guess now I should follow your lead, stop reading, and start working A beautiful bench that you can be proud to pass on to your children.
kevin costa

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View woodenwarrior's profile

woodenwarrior

131 posts in 799 days


#13 posted 724 days ago

@Ripthorn ,
I had a couple of very small gaps in my glue up as well, in addition to one or two unavoidable small knot inclusions. A little five minute epoxy with some sanding sawdust mixed in and spread in the gaps filled the bill nicely. Scrape and sand it down and the gaps will disappear. I would love to see your bench when you complete it.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View sheetzy's profile

sheetzy

80 posts in 764 days


#14 posted 722 days ago

Very nice bench. I’m in the middle of putting together my final wood shop. This is 28’ x 32’ two story. Can’t wait to get it done to start building benches and get started on the new kitchen. again…..NICE. sheetzy

-- Sheetzy

View toolmantim's profile

toolmantim

22 posts in 627 days


#15 posted 584 days ago

Real nice look’in bench. Definitely on my list of projects as soon as I make a little room in my shop. Enjoy !

-- " My favorite Place in Life, The Shop "

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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