Workbench Challenge #5: Assembling the Top

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 11-27-2013 11:17 PM 4404 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Fitting "from the work" and cutting the notches Part 5 of Workbench Challenge series Part 6: Assembling the Legs »

OK, I’m back from golfing and still have some photos left from yesterday. When I left off we had the inner framework of the top dry fitted. Now we can move on to the top and bottom sheeting of the torsion box.
Screw the top sheet in position, forcing the frame into square if necessary. Turn it over and then use a forstner or speedbore bit to mark the dog holes in it using the holes in the framework as a guide..

Next, mark the area where the wagon vice will go.

Then flip the whole thing over and screw the bottom on.

After removing the top repeat the marking of the holes and wagon vice location on the bottom sheet.

Now you can remove the framing and finish the holes in the top and bottom sheets.

I like to feel for the tip of the bit coming through and stop the hole. Then I finish it from the top for a cleaner hole with less chip out. If you don’t feel good about doing that, don’t. Just have a piece of scrap underneath the hole to minimize tearout.

I finished the holes with a little corner round because it is plywood and loves to splinter. If it were solid wood I wouldn’t do it.

That’s it for the top for now. We will get back to it after the legs are assembled. With a little luck that will happen tomorrow.

Thanks for looking in.


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

9 comments so far

View gbear's profile


513 posts in 4156 days

#1 posted 11-27-2013 11:34 PM

Nice job…I wish I would have had this kind of tutorial when I built my first bench…or even knew about torsion boxes!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View SPalm's profile


5321 posts in 3939 days

#2 posted 11-27-2013 11:36 PM

Nice. Love the technique with the hole drilling.

I think you should glue the top and bottom to the torsion frame. And glue it to all the members including those middle strips. But maybe you need to get back inside for now, I don’t know, I guess you will for the wagon vise.

Looking really good though,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 4090 days

#3 posted 11-28-2013 12:12 AM

Glad to see you back in Arizona. Need to plan a trip to hang with you and bask in your brilliance.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10156 posts in 4109 days

#4 posted 11-28-2013 12:26 AM

I think he's going to hold off with the glue until everything is done, vise / vice & all…
... then make with the glue… but, make it possible to service the vise (in the future, if req’d).

Just a Guess… will probably be wrong… BUT, I agree, things should eventually be glued…
... but if Paul doesn’t glue, he will have a good reason for it… :)

Looking good so far…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20781 posts in 3162 days

#5 posted 11-28-2013 12:58 AM

Nice sturdy top. Paul. I do the same thing with Forstner bits every time. It prevents tear out big time!!
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View NormG's profile


6208 posts in 3060 days

#6 posted 11-28-2013 02:20 AM

Lot of good work done here

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18316 posts in 3732 days

#7 posted 11-28-2013 03:08 AM

Nice job and interesting design.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View shipwright's profile


8006 posts in 2855 days

#8 posted 11-28-2013 03:38 AM

Steve , the bottom of the torsion box will have to be fastened to the legs first for rigidity. Then all the parts will glue up nice and strong.

.......... be patient. All will be revealed.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3391 days

#9 posted 11-28-2013 09:50 AM

Good methodical approach Paul. It will be interesting to see how the legs and top go together.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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