LumberJocks

V8 Degree wedge powered workbench #3: Building the Plywood Bench Top

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by shipwright posted 689 days ago 6258 reads 12 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Building the Wagon Vises. Part 3 of V8 Degree wedge powered workbench series Part 4: Fitting the top edges and ends »

NOTE: Most of this page can be avoided if you want to just drill your dog holes in the layered plywood. The inserts are the “Cadillac version”.

Part of the plan for this bench from the start was that is was to use interlaid layers of plywood to make a solid monolithic structure that was absolutely rigid without using any fancy or difficult joinery. Another part was to hide and protect the edge plywood wherever possible for looks, strength and utility. The resulting strategy was to make “dog hole inserts” and lock them into the plywood layers. In order to do this without having to individually cut out 80 separate square holes with a jig saw I set up the first of the inter-lay assemblies.

This photo shows two stacks of 3/4” PW that represent the two halves of the bench top. Each stack is divided into two widths at a distance in from the outer edge equal to the distance in of either the inside or the outside of the square dog holes. This will become clearer as we go on. Each half top will be made up of two layers from each stack.

The pieces clamped up here represent the wider pieces from the stack on the left above and the narrower pieces from the stack on the right. Set up like this we can cut all the square dog holes with a skilsaw in very short time. (note: yes I know it’s a Porter Cable but it’s like xerox… right?)

Step #1) Lay out the dog holes on the top and front of the stack.

Step #2) Set the depth of the skilsaw and make several cuts.

Step #3) Clean it out roughly with a chisel.

Step#4) When you get to about here…..

... go back to the skilsaw and work slowly through the rebate with a sideways motion left to right and back to “plane” out the bottom.

When they’re all done it should look like this. Wasn’t that easier than cutting 80 square holes with a jigsaw?

Now we can inter-lay the pieces for the two half tops like this. The stack on the left is left loose to illustrate the inter-lay better. In each layer the dog hole is entirely cut in one side.

I made up the dog hole inserts in a long piece and then chopped them off. It’s a quick way to get it done.

Cutting the last two rebates.

Next the bottom layer is made up. It is 1/4” bigger all around to fit in a rebate in the edge and end boards.
It also has cutouts in it to locate the tops of the legs and a hole for one of the leg members to lock in at the leg vise corner.

At this point we’re ready for glue-up. If you’re sure everything is perfectly fitted you can install the dog hole inserts and vises and glue them in as you go. I purposely made my vise holes a little sloppy and epoxied them in later for the very best possible grip and fit. The dog holes fit very snugly but I opted to pull them out after glue-up and re-set them later. I was keeping my options open. If I did it again I’d leave them in. Assembly here was liquid hide glue (Old Brown Glue) and air staples but 1 1/2” nails would work just fine.

And here we have two very solid, very flat 12” x 72” half bench tops, ready to go.

Sorry this was so long to get so little done but I wanted to be as clear as possible. The work doesn’t take as long as the describing. :-)

Next up: fitting the top frame joints and assembling the top.

Thanks for dropping in.

Questions, comments and critiques are always welcome.

Paul

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/



16 comments so far

View gbear's profile

gbear

389 posts in 2697 days


#1 posted 689 days ago

Your techniques are great…experience is such a wonderful teacher!
Thanks

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2001 posts in 1431 days


#2 posted 689 days ago

> follows the series with interest <

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View rance's profile

rance

4125 posts in 1758 days


#3 posted 689 days ago

Paul, This certainly is a fascinating build. It reminds me of the woodgears bandmill. Clever with the stop blocks for planing with the Skil saw. I actually have my dad’s old 6” ‘Skil’ saw. It’s seen a LOT of use. It is all metal, and is heavy.

I assume you used the LHG due to the longer ‘Open Time’.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View crashn's profile

crashn

518 posts in 1063 days


#4 posted 689 days ago

Not a long post at all, fly’s by when reading it, and very nicely done. I am always amazed at your craftsmanship, you have a gift that I certainly envy!

Cheers,
crashn

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2650 days


#5 posted 689 days ago

It’s really nice & FUN watching your “poetry in motion”!

Great job!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1466 posts in 870 days


#6 posted 689 days ago

Paul,

The adrenaline is starting to flow, and visions of ‘sugar plums’ are dancing in the distance.

I’m going to repalce my old stand by work bench, this winter, and was all but decided to build the ‘New Fangled Workbench’, because of it’s simplicity and practicality.

I’ve been wrestling with your latest contributions, the Wedge Vices, and they just negate the entire concept of the New Fangled Workbench, so in order to utilize the Wedge Vises, I’m going to build the entire ‘Shipwright’ Bench.

P.M. me with a location to forward a monitery donation / contribution (even if only to your favorite Charity) for the use of this design.

Regards – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4840 posts in 1396 days


#7 posted 689 days ago

Thanks Len.
I get my reward when someone makes use of my ideas.
That’s all the payment I could ever ask for.
But If you do build it keep me posted and ask any time you run into a snag.
I’ll be here.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10551 posts in 1288 days


#8 posted 689 days ago

Not only are you a great craftsman, but a world class thinker. The technique for doing the dog holes was simply brilliant. Not sure I could ‘plane’ with my skilsaw though. I don’t even need a new bench but I’m following along to try to learn more skills.Thanks for posting this.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1477 posts in 2059 days


#9 posted 689 days ago

Your work here is extremely good and the documentation the same. Way to go Paul. Dissecting down the bench into readily available materials. Not everyone has access to nice 4×4 or bigger solid stock. I understand the skil saw planing technique. All this time I thought I was cheating or lazy.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12898 posts in 1273 days


#10 posted 689 days ago

Ingenious!!! Innovative!!! Inspiring!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1749 days


#11 posted 689 days ago

Wow this is so different than any bench I’ve ever seen. I’m learning a lot watching your blog.

I wish I had known and bought stock in whatever glue you used. I bet you’ve used a couple of gallons at least!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4840 posts in 1396 days


#12 posted 689 days ago

Mauricio, Actually I only used the one bottle of Old Brown Glue for this glue-up and about a pound or two of granulated Milligan and Higgins 192 lb hide glue for everything else except the epoxy parts.

I used it to lock in the wagon vices and to glue down the thin hardwood top and those used about a pint of combined components.
The thing is that with this type of joint there is so much surface area that if you have enough glue to keep the parts from moving on each other the fastenings will never be stressed and they will do the holding. That said I got a lot more than “just enough” glue in the joints.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Roger's profile

Roger

14098 posts in 1402 days


#13 posted 688 days ago

Not long at all Paul. Appreciate every aspect of what you do

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4738 posts in 1440 days


#14 posted 688 days ago

Paul,

Your blog is direct and informative. You make it look simple. Helps me think “I can do it. You should have a workshop for potential woodworkers in your area?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12898 posts in 1273 days


#15 posted 688 days ago

Learning tons from your blog. It is not too short, it is not too long, it is just right, shipwright that is!!!

Sign me up for the “Potential Woodworker Workshop”. I’ve been told that I have alot of potential!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase