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Workbench Challenge

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Blog series by shipwright updated 12-08-2013 01:42 AM 9 parts 24524 reads 152 comments total

Part 1: Best bang for the buck

11-19-2013 08:38 PM by shipwright | 36 comments »

I have just arrived back in Az for the winter and have decided I need a good workbench. The one I have at home in Canada is great but it’s too big for my little carport shop here so I have redesigned it a little and am going to take it on as a challenge to build the”best bang for the buck”workbench. It is really a challenge for myself but if anyone wants to take it up and give me a run for it you are absolutely welcome. With luck the outcome will be a cheap, easy to build...

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Part 2: Getting Started and the Plans

11-22-2013 08:11 PM by shipwright | 16 comments »

I know that I said I would post the Sketchup at the end of the build but after some thought I have decided to post it now even though there may be some changes made during the build. I think it will make the blog easier to follow. If anyone wants to look for mistakes (proof read) feel free, I’d like this to be glitch free when it’s done. I will format the rest of this blog as building instructions and will try to do it to suit beginning woodworkers so please bear with me if you...

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Part 3: Ripping the Pieces Without a Tablesaw

11-24-2013 01:09 AM by shipwright | 6 comments »

Warning, entry level instructions. Additional note Of course if you have a table saw, ..... use it and disregard this segment. When I left off I had dry fitted the dog hole logs so next up before we start all the ripping we should glue them up. First of course you have to cut off the pieces P from the ends of the short dog hole strips M and N.The best way to make sure the holes line up is to put some dowels or whatever in a couple of the holes while you glue and screw them. I happened t...

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Part 4: Fitting "from the work" and cutting the notches

11-27-2013 05:22 AM by shipwright | 10 comments »

While I have given quite accurate dimensions in the plans, I would never recommend that you take any measurements as the final word in getting good fits. I always fit “from the work” using the measurements as a guide. I will explain this as we get into this segment. To begin the half-lapping of the bench top framing, lay out the long pieces and clamp them as a unit. Then mark the half-lap notches on them. Mark one side of the notch from the dimensions but mark the second with ...

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Part 5: Assembling the Top

11-27-2013 11:17 PM by shipwright | 9 comments »

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 t...

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Part 6: Assembling the Legs

11-29-2013 12:38 AM by shipwright | 17 comments »

This one will be quite long but mostly photos because I want to make the process as simple to follow as I can. To start off here are two ways to assemble the legs: For the vice side I assembled the four sections first and then slipped the resulting finger joints together. Before this can be done there is one more operation to do and that is the cutting of the two rebates that will form the hole for he lower leg vice brace. Do these the same way as you cut the notches in the top framing ...

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Part 7: Gluing up all those dry fits.

11-30-2013 01:04 AM by shipwright | 16 comments »

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 w...

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Part 8: Lipstick and Vices

12-05-2013 01:39 AM by shipwright | 19 comments »

OK, time to put some lipstick on the pig. She may not be much but we can still tart her up a little. But before we get into applying some color and finish however there is one thing that I said I would clear up later. It involves cleaning up the jig saw lines where the wagon vice hole was cut on the top. Because it was cut from the bottom we can’t be sure the top will be pretty. I suggested cutting a little inside the line and we’d clean it up later. This is the same jig we used f...

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Part 9: Final Accounting and a Few Details

12-08-2013 01:42 AM by shipwright | 23 comments »

At the outset of this project I challenged myself to make this a “best bang for the buck” build. This doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest possible bench but rather the best balance of utility and cost. I also said I would account for costs without counting on finding good deals or using “found ” materials from around the shop. The cost shown here should reflect what a novice woodworker should expect to pay at Home Depot or the like. So let’s see how I ...

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