Issue with 21st Century Workbench

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 01-03-2011 12:08 AM 3294 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2938 days

01-03-2011 12:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: 21st century workbench advice mistake

I am ~70% complete on my first major project, the 21st Century Workbench, and have discovered my first ”major” mistake. I have made plenty of smaller mistakes and worked around them but this one I feel I should ask for some advice going forward. Looking for advice from those who have ”actually built” one of these critters and has the actual DVD plans to refer to.

MY MISTAKE: I have the inner legs and stretchers assembled (glued, clamped, and set). I made the mistake of putting the lower stretchers 3 1/4” higher on the legs than the plans call for. Here are the legs prior to glue-up, showing the location of the lower leg mortise. This puts them in the vicinity of the lower rail wedged dovetail. The stretcher’s mortise and tenon joint would open up directly into the relieved dovetail slot of/on the outer leg half that gets glued to the inner legs. This goes times 4 as each leg component is the same.

1. How much of an issue is this?

2. Should I move the lower rail lower/higher? If so, by how much?

3. The stretcher tenon end is actually ~1/16” inset on each leg since I left the legs as thick as possible. Since this portion won’t get the additional butt joint glue-up, can/should I just ignore the stretcher location and install the lower rails in the location called for in the plans? ...Remembering that the cleats for the lower shelf run off of these rails.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

3 replies so far

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3424 days

#1 posted 01-03-2011 03:05 PM

Hi Mike,

I think you’ll be okay leaving the long rail where it belongs in the plans. There is a lot of structure in the legs, rails and stretchers, and I don’t think you have weakened anything, as long as the joints are strong. If you raise the long rail it will be difficult to access the shelf, and if you lower it, the short rails will keep you from reaching in on the ends of the shelves.

Bob Lang

-- Bob Lang,

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2938 days

#2 posted 01-03-2011 04:51 PM

Thanks Bob, will do.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3847 days

#3 posted 01-03-2011 07:36 PM

How cool is that HorizontalMike you got a response from the designer himself…thanks Bob for your bench and adding to this community of woodworkers….BC

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