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Workbench Challenge #7: Gluing up all those dry fits.

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 241 days ago 1823 reads 8 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Assembling the Legs Part 7 of Workbench Challenge series Part 8: Lipstick and Vices »

Here we go with another photo heavy blog segment. I’ve explained the reason for all the detail before so let’s just get into today’s work.

With the leg assemblies all glued up, the next job is to tie them together into a rigid, rack free unit. This involves parts AC, AD, and AE in the plans. Start by marking the width of the lower stretcher cover from the work. This will be close to the dimension in the plans but almost certainly won’t be exact so mark it from the work.

Next take a measurement from the work for the overall length with the stretchers (AE) in place.

Mark and cut the appropriate notches for the posts and dry assemble with #8×2” screws. Remember that the plywood won’t split if you drill for them. Check that the stretchers are a tight fit between the leg bases. This is the critical fit that makes the bench rigid.

Repeat the process for the top, again insuring that the stretchers are tight between the top leg beams.

Mark the spot where the stretcher cover meets the leg …..

... and corner round the edges except that bit in way of the leg.

Spread the stretchers with glue, locate the screws in their old holes and assemble the stretcher box unit.

Check one more time that the fit is still tight and glue the unit in place.

When you have repeated the process for the top box, you should have a rigid little unit that looks like this.

Now get out the bottom of the torsion box top and let’s cut the wagon vice hole. This involves drawing a hole only 2 1/4” wide centered inside the traced line that we made when we had it assembled. When you have multiple lines, always put ticks on the one you want to cut.

I chose to cut the sides of this hole by hinging the skilsaw down into the line as it gives a cleaner, straighter cut than the jig saw. If you aren’t comfortable with this don’t do it. Use the jig saw.

You have to use the jig saw for the ends anyway. When making cuts like this with a jig saw you might want to cut a little inside the line and clean it up later with a router and a guide. Jig saw blades like to wander on the bottom side of the cut. I’ll cover this later.

Now, with the outer frame screwed and glued together and the long dog hole log installed, spread glue and screw down the bottom. (shown upside down of course)

This is a photo taken later, when I was assembling the top but I’m inserting it here to illustrate a point that you should always consider when building with plywood that isn’t flat. You can make it work for you. I should have mentioned this before but it’s something I do without even thinking about it, like checking for grain direction. In the case of these pieces, I laid them out so that the cup was up. That means that when you screw down the edges, the center is under pressure …. self clamping! There is no need to put screws in the dog strip area. Of course you can if you want or if the cup is the other way.

Next, glue up and install the short dog hole log and clamp in place. The holdfast is just there for alignment, not holding anything.

Then add parts “P” and “U” working quickly.

Now add the cross members and clamp everything. (Love those $2 clamps)

Now, just to be accurate, replace the top in it’s screw holes and re-trace the wagon vice hole. It is very important that this be as accurate as possible. When removed, as you can see, it is a bit off it’s old marks.

To avoid confusion, I made tack holes at the corners of the good line and then sanded the lines off. I then redrew only the good line and worked from it to lay out the actual hole to be cut.

Now you can glue the bottom / framing unit down to the leg assembly with lots of 2” screws. The critical alignment is that the first dog hole on the left should line up with the center of the leg vice and that the plywood box should be flush with the front of the leg vice leg.

With the hole cut out of the top sheet with a jig saw (slightly inside the lines), you can go ahead and glue the top in place and clean up the edges. I had planned to make the facing boards out of hardwood but since there was plywood left over, I cut them out of it and dry assembled them.

So there you have it, two sheets of plywood put to good use. I still have some scraps left over.

There’s nothing left but vices and lipstick and we’ll get to that tomorrow.

Thanks for looking in.

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 2701 days


#1 posted 241 days ago

Vices and lipstick….sounds like the making of a good mystery book!!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

2959 posts in 1269 days


#2 posted 241 days ago

That went together real nice, good planning I would say!
Looks like a chip of the big block.

-- Kiefer 松

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7622 posts in 2654 days


#3 posted 241 days ago

That is one so COOL little bench!

A wonderful design… Very well planned…

Very well built…

Thank you for doing such a wonderful job on it…

Now, you going to cover it with some of that expensive veneer? (LOL… kidding)...
... cheap veneer?

-- 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 TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)

TopamaxSurvivor

14604 posts in 2277 days


#4 posted 241 days ago

Definitely a great little bench.

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

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6806 posts in 1905 days


#5 posted 241 days ago

i really like gloss red…:)

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Philip's profile

Philip

1079 posts in 1140 days


#6 posted 241 days ago

Fantastic Paul, even after building my hardwood bench (which took far too long!) Seeing this make me want to build a second one in a weekend just to have it!

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

560 posts in 614 days


#7 posted 241 days ago

I want one! Would be easy to box in the bottom and fill with ballast. Beach perhaps?
I’m pretty sure I have hoarded enough screws to build a few of these…...I like buying screws;)
Ooohh! Christmas presents!

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View stefang's profile

stefang

12592 posts in 1936 days


#8 posted 240 days ago

I like this bench so much that I am tempted to build a longer version to replace my cabinet maker’s bench. I might do that eventually, but meanwhile I’ve learned a lot more than I knew before about working with plywood from a real pro. Thanks Paul, You are contributing a lot to LJ with your wonderful blogs. I will keep this in my favorites for future reference.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4759 posts in 2484 days


#9 posted 240 days ago

Very nice Paul.
Very very well done. Lots of good ideas in there and a compact sturdy little bench.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

503 posts in 637 days


#10 posted 240 days ago

What a great bench. It’s amazing that it’s built of (relatively) cheap material but is as sturdy and useful as a more expensive bench. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

View justoneofme's profile

justoneofme

616 posts in 1082 days


#11 posted 240 days ago

That’s a terrific looking little bench Paul … very cute! I like the 24 hour lipstick … it hangs in there when others have quit! Kinda like you Paul :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1108 posts in 2016 days


#12 posted 240 days ago

Its almost hard to believe that bench was built from two sheets of plywood. Very nice blog Paul I’m sure this will be built again from a number of people who need a small sturdy bench.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4843 posts in 1400 days


#13 posted 240 days ago

Thanks everyone.

Joe, No veneer this time. I have to keep it basic.

Philip, Don’t count on a weekend. That’s what I thought. I must have 30 hrs in this thing.

Paul, It doesn’t have to be small. The concept expands very well.

Thanks again

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

View HuckD's profile

HuckD

205 posts in 316 days


#14 posted 239 days ago

Paul, that looks great. It would probably support a truck! Thanks for the blog.

-- Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5315 posts in 2679 days


#15 posted 239 days ago

great series—-as always Paul!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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