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Southern Yellow Pine Work Surface (workbench)

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Blog series by ruddhess updated 03-31-2015 02:18 AM 23 parts 32823 reads 23 comments total

Part 1: My first "benchtop"

02-13-2015 02:20 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Beginning to make a Japanese style planing beam/board. 6 boards from Lowe’s – 2 X 10 X 12’s cut in half and staked up on my old sawhorses. I used a 1 X 2 “select” pine as a straight edge – screwed to the 2X with drywall screws as a guide for my circular saw. Set the depth to leave a wafer thin “bridge” on the very bottom so I didn’t cut into the board below. Worked very well. (Bit of a “mis-start” on the first board....

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Part 2: Drilling holes for bolts and all-threads

02-15-2015 05:21 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Using some 3-1/2” bolts to glue up two boards at a time. It is easier to keep everything square and straight this way. Also there’s no rush just gluing two boards together. The holes are 5/8” so that when I get ready to glue up the 6 sets of paired laminations, I can use the 3/8’ threaded rod – hopefully the holes line up well enough.

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Part 3: Glueing up pairs of boards and then glueing up quads

02-17-2015 02:44 AM by ruddhess | 2 comments »

This is the first two boards glued together the night before this picture. I have taken the bolts out and everything looks solid. Time will tell. This first one was probably the worst for glue coverage as I was in a hurry – it has been too long since I glued boards together. I keep thinking that if I didn’t hurry, the glue would set up and I’d have to do everything over again. But I think it will still be OK. I used plenty of glue on both sides and the only part I’...

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Part 4: Glue Curing Box

02-17-2015 09:19 PM by ruddhess | 5 comments »

Here is what I did yesterday: made a long box to keep the wood and glue warm while curing. Everything I needed was laying close at hand – literally! I had four old closet doors that I used as shelves a long time ago that were standing in the corner. I had used a couple of them as a flat work place to start gluing up the boards for my slab. I found 8 little metal angle braces with screws that I had bought a while back and never used. It is 78” long (my 72” boards fit j...

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Part 5: Getting Close to Full Width

02-22-2015 02:53 PM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

I ended up gluing inside my apartment where it was warmer. Ice and snowoutside. It is wide enough now that it won’t fit inside the glue box anyway. All 12 boards glued up. I think that I will add 2 more to make it 21” wide. Finally got a decent picture of all 14 boards glued up. Now to find help carrying it down to the garage when the weather turns nicer. It weighs over a hundred pounds. Not bad.

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Part 6: Reinforcing my old sawhorses

03-04-2015 06:15 PM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

I’m adding some reinforcement to my old sawhorses. I want to set my workbench top on these for a while and I don’t want them to wobble or collapse. I’m just using some old 3/8” T1-11 siding that I had from a long time ago. Some small “A” frame gussets attached with drywall screws. And with what was left of the siding, some 6-5/8” wide stretchers/stringers. Line it up flush on the right, and whack the left side off. I’m using my ...

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Part 7: Remainder of yellow pine lumber for workbench

03-04-2015 06:38 PM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Here is the remainder of the yellow pine that I need for my workbench. I had decided to give this thing legs and a skirt (hmm, sounds bad I know – hey maybe it’s a Scottish bench? LOL). The 2 X 12 was for the skirts on the front and the back, and the 2 X 8’s were for leg stretchers. I had 6 pieces of center ripped 2 X 10’s left over from making the top that I could use to make the legs. Still deciding whether to make a regular workbench or stay with my original plan of...

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Part 8: Beginning Cuts on Saw Bench/Saw Horses

03-06-2015 01:18 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Cheap tools (except for the Starrett combination square – left over from my metal fabrication days) are getting the job done for now. My saw cuts are getting better. Fairly square – they need to be since I haven’t dug out my jack plane and my block plane needs sharpening, and I don’t have a solid place to hold anything down yet. I’m using my Swiss Army knife to mark my cut-lines and putting a shallow kerf line on three (or sometimes four) sides befo...

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Part 9: Cutting more boards for the saw bench style saw horses

03-12-2015 02:15 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

All the boards are cut now and lined up. A couple of the uprights and the top boards standing up on the work area. Marked them to keep track. Beautiful end grain!

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Part 10: Dovetail Saga - Dovetail Number One

03-12-2015 02:33 AM by ruddhess | 2 comments »

Beginning dove tail number one. This is how I clamp it up to work on the end cuts. More saw cuts to remove waste between the pins. It doesn’t want to fit yet. Got start whittling it down – just now wants to fit together. About 1/3 of the way. Almost there! Finally! Not too bad for first dovetail ever.

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Part 11: Dovetail Saga - Dovetail Number Two

03-13-2015 01:01 AM by ruddhess | 4 comments »

Went a little past the mark on the tails on this one. Yikes! Looks a little bit jagged on the back side – that’s the side it’s more difficult to keep an eye on. Uh oh! Big mistake – back to the lumber yard to fetch more wood to fix this mistake. Just a teeny bit discouraging.

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Part 12: Dovetail Saga - Dovetail Number Three

03-13-2015 01:10 AM by ruddhess | 2 comments »

Tails of dovetail number three. Middle is humped up, but at least it’s not cut past the mark like the ends are. Starting to look sloppy. I’m not sure if I was getting tired or what here. Good picture though – the camera decided to focus on the boxes and stuff in the background. Dovetail number three I think – Whoa! Little bit of a gap there dude! And the view from the end – Wow, too much space in between the parts. I know what happened though. The first ...

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Part 13: Dovetail Saga - Dovetail Number Four

03-13-2015 01:25 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Pic of the tails (I’ve miss designated some of the other pictures in DT 2 & 3 I think – calling them tails when they were actually pins – doh!) on the second top piece. More tails – this piece really has a lot of resin in the knots – smells good, but gums up my saw a lot. The resin makes the wood almost translucent. Had to trim a shave off the pins to make it fit right. That’s a sliver for sure – all done with an old Stanley back saw &...

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Part 14: Transition from Dovetails to Rabbet Joints

03-13-2015 01:44 AM by ruddhess | 2 comments »

If thy dovetail offend thee, cut it off! I decided to not use these dovetails that I have been practicing on. I read on two different articles that you should practice on scrap wood and not on your project (which is what I have been doing). Plus, I want the joints to reflect a similar quality/skill level as the rest of the project. So, I am “ditching” these dovetail pieces and transitioning to rabbet joints (not as strong, not as “flashy”, but adequate) with oak dow...

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Part 15: Rabbet Joints - Well Underway

03-13-2015 02:57 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Cutting dados for stretchers. I finally sharpened my new Kobalt 5/8” chisel and I am taking my time removing the waste. Also being real careful not to cut below the mark on depth. All cut for one side of one horse and laying on the work surface (uprights are on the wrong side – it fit much better with them switched to the correct side (reversed). Stretchers fit nicely. Gaps aren’t too big or wide. Good for saw bench/saw horse. And it stands up on it’...

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Part 16: Oak Dowels in Screw Holes

03-14-2015 01:14 AM by ruddhess | 3 comments »

From my “bunk bed” screws holding the rails on while the glue dries overnight, to 5/16” oak dowels glued in enlarged holes. Here are four more pins for the next rail. Gluing up the top rail now using new HF 1/2” pipe clamps. At first I didn’t think they were going to work. The back clamp wanted to slide badly. But after I took some Coleman stove fuel to the pipes to remove much of that gummy, waxy finish they worked brilliantly. They are a little bit heavy,...

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Part 17: Putting On The Feet

03-16-2015 04:58 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Here I am cutting out a chunk of wood from one side of the “feet” boards. It’s so much easier to chip out waste if there are smaller wafers standing. This reminds me somehow of piano keys. One side almost done. Just a little more fitting and then glue and dowel pins. Have to trim a bit on this one side of one of the upright posts to get the two boards to close together at the back. Fuzzy picture from the front. And the ‘feet’ for the right sid...

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Part 18: Gluing Up The Feet

03-17-2015 04:36 AM by ruddhess | 3 comments »

Here is a shot of the upright posts in their “sandwich” mortises. Left side: C-clamps do the job. Right side: Pittsburgh bar clamps and one C-clamp. Almost complete. Front and back upright assemblies are skewed by about 3/16”. It’s beautiful wood though! And the top rails are dead even in height.

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Part 19: Saw Bench/Saw Horse No. 2 - Layout & Beginning Cuts

03-19-2015 10:49 PM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Straight cuts done fairly quickly, cleanly, and accurately now – becoming second nature. Needed to to shave off a bit more than I wanted to deal with using a chisel, so I am using my mitre/back saw to dissect this “whisper” of a shaving. Thinnest sliver I’ve ever re-sawn before. Oops! Almost messed up! Got be careful with layout & marking. More marks – I’ve gone to marking waste with an “X” even when it’s so obvious, just i...

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Part 20: Moving Workbench Slab

03-21-2015 01:49 PM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Some photos of my workbench slab after getting a friend from work to help me move it from my upstairs apartment living room into my garage. (Well, actually, he just heaved it up on his shoulder and carried it for me. I’m SO out of shape! Thanks dude! I did make him a good deal on one of my 75” walnut slabs though, so it worked out well.) I have a lot of work to do in getting this top surface flat and relatively smooth. Airplane runway view. You sure can tell where I DIDN&...

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Part 21: Finishing Up Saw Bench/Saw Horse No. 2

03-23-2015 02:39 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

Making up a bunch of oak dowel pegs. I use my old Delta belt/disc sander to clean-up the splinters and chamfer the ends of the dowels. Those oak splinters are a big pain! Oak dowels come in all colors! I keep the sets together and use them on the same joints as much as possible. Second upright on Saw Bench/Saw Horse No. 2 was out of square by 1/4” (diagonal measurements) – after removing the 48” pipe clamps, this is the resulting diagonal measurements: I c...

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Part 22: Almost Finished!

03-27-2015 12:59 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

This is what it looks like all put together. Still have to do a bit of flattening to the top side. It started out almost perfectly flat. But a couple three boards had warped so there were a couple of low spots. I’ve removed about 1/4” so far, leaving only two spots untouched by the planer – one about three or four square inches and another just a bit bigger. I’ve been taking several 45° angle passes across the entire surface.

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Part 23: Workbench Modifications & Additions

03-31-2015 02:18 AM by ruddhess | 0 comments »

I made about 10 half inch deep cuts to remove most of the waste wood for the groove. My white pine 1X2 saw guide and clamps. Here is the 1-1/2” wide by 1/2” deep groove the length of the top board. I can’t believe how good it looks! I made and used my “poor man’s router” that Paul Sellers talks about in one of his videos. It is a poor man’s router made poorly by me. But it worked well enough to get the bottom of the groove flat. I’ll ha...

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