LumberJocks

Making workbench legs out of 2x3's

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by notdan posted 10-06-2014 02:48 AM 1565 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View notdan's profile

notdan

22 posts in 848 days


10-06-2014 02:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench

I came across some white oak 2×3s (1 1/2×2 1/2) for cheap and I’m building a work bench out of them. I’m going to make the top as well as the legs and stretchers out of these. I’m planning on making each leg out of 4 boards. They will be about 31 inches tall, 5” wide, and 3” thick (minus a bit lost from planing but they are pretty straight as is).

1) Will 3×5” legs be sturdy enough? I’ve seen 3 1/2, 4, and 5” thick recommended but thinking oak should be plenty sturdy at 3×5? This would make for a 1” thick tenon and 1” shoulders. Does that work ok? I think I have enough wood to make the legs out of 6 boards (4.5×5), but that would be a lot of gluing and planing (using a hand plane for all of this…)
2) Would it be better to edge glue 2 boards together, then glue the faces to the other 2 edge glued boards? Or would it be better to face glue 2, then glue the edges to the other 2 faces?

As always, I appreciate the advice.


5 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1061 posts in 1995 days


#1 posted 10-06-2014 03:09 AM

1) 3×5 oak is plenty sturdy. Can’t answer your question about the tenon thickness without more info – what style of bench and/or what is the planned joinery?

2) I’d face glue first. Easier to get a 3” wide surface flat enough for glueing than it is a 5” wide surface.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View notdan's profile

notdan

22 posts in 848 days


#2 posted 10-06-2014 03:22 AM

Building something almost exactly like this:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3082/2636118709_478f20c6b3.jpg?v=0
http://lumberjocks.com/kem/blog/5155

Will be 6’ long top, about 32” tall total. Tenon in the leg going into mortise under the bench.

Also had another question… most people’s stretchers are about 4-5” tall. Does it need to be that? Could I have a 2 1/2 inch stretcher or if that is too thin? Would edge gluing 2 of them together work better?

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1061 posts in 1995 days


#3 posted 10-06-2014 04:36 PM

A 1” tenon for that application is fine.

The taller stretcher helps with anti-racking. A 1” wide x 2 1/2” tall stretcher would certainly hold the base together, but not be large enough help much with racking. I’d go with the glued-up stretcher.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View notdan's profile

notdan

22 posts in 848 days


#4 posted 10-07-2014 12:33 AM

Thanks Mark! I appreciate the help. 1 more question… if the stretcher is 1 1/2 thick and I made a tenon out of it into the legs, would I do 1/2” shoulders and 1/2” tenon? Is that sufficient?

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1061 posts in 1995 days


#5 posted 10-07-2014 03:30 AM

Yes, that’s the way to do it. The glue surface is the same regardless of the tenon thickness. So you want to ensure there is enough thickness in the walls of the mortise as well as the tenon. If you follow the 1/3 rule, you make the tenon thickness the same as the mortise wall thickness as well as leave a decent amount of shoulder area to help with resisting racking.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com