|Project by HorizontalMike||posted 165 days ago||1209 views||2 times favorited||18 comments|
OK, I’ve gotten a bit behind posting my latest projects, so I am trying to catch up… ;-) I finished this mid-June and it is already late September… I found this in one of my “gifted-to-me” WW books, and at this time I have misplaced which book it was but it is a fairly common and widely used design for more current reproductions.
When I first saw the article/plans, I knew I wanted to build this. When researching a bit more I started to get second thoughts, remembering all of the 1960s “Colonial Maple” knock-offs of the cobbler’s bench design. I almost nixed this project because I didn’t want one of those clunky designs in my house. This brought me a lot of grief thinking about this, though I finally decided to move forward building this thing. I just wanted it to be “different” than my memories of the 1960s examples.
The original plans called for tapered rough handcut legs. Since I had just purchased a lathe 6-months earlier, I nixed that feature and decided to make these legs my “first” longer leg turnings (I had made several 3in knob legs but nothing longer). That part ended up much easier than I had anticipated. I was worried that I would not be able to match all 4-legs with my novice lathe skills. While not identical, I came closer than I thought I could, and from a distance the differences are not noticeable, IMO.
BEFORE – I pencil marked where I wanted my beads and balls and basically winged the first one.
AFTER – After the first I refined where the pencil lines were and repeated the process. Some beads were better than others. I also made the dowel ends a beefier full 1in instead of 3/4in.
Other changes I made included making the top lamination 1 1/4in thick instead of 1in and did the same for the leg spanners. The plans called for the legs to be angled out in two directions and instructed me how to make a hardwood template to accomplish this task. You first drill a pilot hole on your DP in one simple angle. If I remember correctly it was something like 12-13 degrees. Then you align the template over your leg spanner at a rotated 45-degrees to drill your leg dowel holes. This gives you the splayed legs in both directions.
I had been experimenting with antiquing and wanted to show some wear on this bench as well, so I used square cut nails in building the toolbox/nail-cubby area of the bench. Where the grain aligned I also glue-joined the sides. Notice that I was being closely supervised (below).
I modified the sliding lid of the toolbox to be flush instead of recessed and I feel that came out well. I also added full mortise locks to this and the drawer area under the top.
When it came to finishing, I chose to spray Zinnser Clear Shellac over the entire thing and I think that I did a bang-up job on it. THEN, when I went back to the shop to clean my sprayer, my Gray cat decided to jump up on top of the freshly sprayed shellac and leave dirty sandy paw prints all over the top. You can read more about this fiasco HERE.
BEFORE THE CAT TRACKS
AFTER THE CAT TRACKS
As you can see, trying to correct for all the tracks without removing all of the shellac, created a boatload of extra work “French Polishing” the top. That meant thinning the shellac with Denatured Alcohol, and when that did not appear to going well additional alcohol WAS REQUIRED… ;-)
I swear THIS WAS NOT easy to accomplish, even WITH the supervision! Also note that I antiqued the nail heads so that they would stain the surrounding area, for an older look.
Well… after I got everything completed and moved the cobbler’s bench into the house, I found out that this whole thing was a lost cause… 8^(
*ALL I KNOW IS THAT NO HUMAN OWNS THIS COBBLER’S BENCH ! And watch out for those green laser eyes!
-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."