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Forum topic by bpwoods posted 03-17-2016 11:39 PM 759 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bpwoods

4 posts in 263 days


03-17-2016 11:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple joining

Currently I started designing a workbench from all the pictures and articles I have read on the subject. I have access to some maple so plan to make the top from it. I am going to cut the maple into strips 54” long, 1 3/8” wide and 2 1/2” thick. The top will be 28” wide by 54” Long. I am going to glue them together in groups of 3 strips to make sure I can control everything.

First Question: I do not have a biscuit cutter to help connect the strips. Can I use a maple or oak dowel Run through each strip? Will wood movement in the dowel cause issues?

Second Question: Is there any advantage to having square or round holes for bench dogs? Any advantage to having both and if so would they alternate or be in parallel with each other?

Thanks in advance!!

-- Bill, Texas


15 replies so far

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 949 days


#1 posted 03-17-2016 11:52 PM

Biscuits are only for alignment. They don’t really add to the strength of the top.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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shampeon

1713 posts in 1646 days


#2 posted 03-18-2016 12:06 AM

Yeah, no need for biscuits. Make some cauls to help with alignment if you’re worried.

I don’t think there’s any advantage in having both square and round holes. Choose one, so you can use any dog in any hole. I think round holes are better, because a) the dog can rotate to accommodate any shape or angle of work b) the holes are easier to make c) the dogs are easier to make (just a dowel and some cuts with a handsaw) and d) you can use holdfasts and other bench holders in round holes.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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benchbuilder

265 posts in 1913 days


#3 posted 03-18-2016 12:35 AM

Hi bp, for the top, just a good glue, tb3 would be good, no dowls or rods or biscuits. Use clamping claws and lots of clamps on both sides. Just dont over tighten the clamps and cause glue starved joints. For the length, if you want it 54” cut you lumber to 60”, so you can trim it to length when done. As for dog holes, what ever you like, no real advantage, they hold work and square or round will work. For the top tickness. Go as thick as possibble. Just my thoughts,

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bondogaposis

4027 posts in 1814 days


#4 posted 03-18-2016 01:21 AM

I think round holes are a lot easier to put in and they double as holdfast holes. I haven’t seen any disadvantages.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Combo Prof

2379 posts in 740 days


#5 posted 03-18-2016 01:35 AM

I would make it a bit thicker then 2 1/2 and then after glue up hand plane it flat. trying to keep it if you can at least 2 1/2 inches thick when finished. Actually 3 or 4 inches think would be better.

Commercially I think there are more products available for round 3/4” holes then square holes, for example Veritas® Wonder Dog® & Wonder Pup®

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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bpwoods

4 posts in 263 days


#6 posted 03-21-2016 01:38 PM

Update: I was able to glue up the top this weekend. Per all of your suggestions, just glue no biscuits or rods. Final thickness is 3 3/4”, 28” wide and 59 1/2” long. I wanted the final length at 54 but think I will leave the extra length for now. Dog holes are round. I have to say, thanks to your suggestions it looks great! Only thing is it weights a ton!! Going to start working on the legs and stretchers next weekend! Thanks everyone!

-- Bill, Texas

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Combo Prof

2379 posts in 740 days


#7 posted 03-21-2016 01:54 PM

You will be happy that it is longer. I was going to make mine 60 inches and was talked into making it longer, Its 102” by 24”, It means I can have stuff on one end while I am working on the other. Its great. But your shop geometry is different then mine and my length has sacrificed being able to get around one of the ends easily although I can roll out a cabinet if necessary.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2434 days


#8 posted 03-22-2016 02:09 AM

Now you have the top, are you going for Roubo style legs.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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bpwoods

4 posts in 263 days


#9 posted 03-22-2016 10:57 AM

I have drawn it up as 3 1/2” square. with a length of 31 1/4” tall for an overall bench height of 35”. So I think Roubo legs are thicker right? I am in a small space so the weight will come from the tool stored underneath. Like Combo Prof it will be on wheels. The underneath area will be more cabinets then drawers to store tools like the planer, jointer, grinder, drill, sanders, etc. So do these measurements make these shaker legs or are they still considered Roubo legs?

-- Bill, Texas

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Combo Prof

2379 posts in 740 days


#10 posted 03-22-2016 02:07 PM

^ My bench is not on wheels, but an adjacent cabinet is. Maybe you have me confused with someone else.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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JBrow

818 posts in 383 days


#11 posted 03-23-2016 01:45 PM

bpwoods,

Since you seem to suggest that you will end with a wheel-around workbench, I thought I would comment about casters, in case you have not given this component much thought. I suggest paying close attention to the load rating of the casters you use. Casters with a high weight load rating tend to have larger diameter wheels. Larger diameter wheels, of course, means the length of the legs must be dimensioned accordingly if you are trying to end up with a bench at a specific height.

Before I knew better, I grabbed some caster from the home center, thinking they would be good enough. Not so. I destroyed the first set due to the weight of the bench, items stored underneath, and stacks of rough lumber that sometimes are placed on the bench. The current set has some flat spots, so it does not roll around smoothly. One of these days when I get a roundtoit, I will cut down the legs and install a set of high load rated castors. Not a job to which I look forward.

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bpwoods

4 posts in 263 days


#12 posted 03-23-2016 11:04 PM

Sorry Combo Prof I miss read your note. I saw the wheels on the cabinet and some how put them on the bench! I had some long work days last week!

JBrow thanks for your note. I had that same experience with my current rolling cart/work bench. This time I am going to try the wheels that are installed on the side of the legs and fold up are down with a foot peddle. Do you have any knowledge of those types of wheel mechanisms? Currently the cart I use moves to much when using hand tools even with the wheels locked. This bench is being made of maple for the top and red oak for everything else so compared to my plywood cart it is going to weigh a lot more. I am hoping it will be heavy enough not to move very much when working on it. Because I am in a small space I need the wheels to get it out from the wall into the work area, my wives have of the garage!

-- Bill, Texas

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Combo Prof

2379 posts in 740 days


#13 posted 03-24-2016 12:11 AM

I thought thats what you must have done. I done the same often enough.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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JBrow

818 posts in 383 days


#14 posted 03-24-2016 03:41 AM

bpwoods,

I have a little experience with two styles of retracting casters, but not on the workbench, nor with the specific design you are considering. The only issue I could see with the lever action design you described is being able to reach the levers and apply enough force from what could be an awkward position to engage the casters.

In case you have not seen it, there is a recent review on LJ regarding Woodriver side mounted retracting castors. It is found at:

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/7298

I am aware of two designs of retracting castors. One is where the caster is forced down to engage the floor and in so doing the workbench is raised and made mobile. This design sounds like the one you are planning. A caster is attached to each of the 4 legs on the stand of my Craftsman jointer. Metal levers protruding from the sides of the casters are depressed and the casters are force down to contact the floor making the machine mobile. It works fine, although sometimes the raised legs catch the typical concrete garage floor when moving the machine. Another ¼” additional rise would solve this problem.

The second design is only a reasonable alternative if a better workbench lifting mechanism can be incorporated; and do not know what that could be, but I will mention this second design anyway. This design would be where the casters are in contact with the floor until a lifting mechanism (turning knobbed lifting bolts) is engaged to lift the workbench (and hence lift the casters attached to the workbench) making it stationary. This is the style used on the ShopFox mobile base on which my bandsaw sets. I am able to engage the lifting bolts and the bandsaw stays put (and lower the base to make the saw mobile), but I avoid moving the saw whenever I can.

I am not sure any of this helps, but it’s all I got.

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Combo Prof

2379 posts in 740 days


#15 posted 03-24-2016 03:59 AM

See The Easiest Way to Make Your Bench Mobile -

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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