Workbench - PIP
In 2006, I had my dad thin my 20 acre property - my dad is part owner of a family logging business. It is mostly hard maple, beech, yellow birch and some cherry. I always wanted to build a workbench, so this was my opportunity to get some logs.
My brother skids (hauls the logs out of the woods to the decking area), so I had him pick out 14 saw logs (as opposed to veneer logs). I have a friend with a Timber King portable saw mill. For sawing 7 logs, he took the other 7 as payment. I stickered the lumber and let it air dryer for 27 months. This fall, I started to make my bench. The lumber for the bench top was sawn 1 3/4 x 3 1/8. As it turned out, I did not have enough due to some knots and other defects, so i used some 1" lumber to finish the top.
The bench plan comes from the Nov 2005 issue of WOOD. I reveiwed many plans and decided to modify the plan to incorproate a shoulder vise. Matt Seiler helped me with the shoulder vise by recommending a book. I bought the book and was able to modify the plan.
I wanted to start by making the top first. I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue making the bench if the top did not turn out how I planned.
I squared the lumber and glued strips together to make the top as shown in the first picture.
The last picture shows the final glue up of the top. For the this portion, I used no biscuits. Then I planed them flat and jointed the edge. They were very cumbersome to handle. The sections were cut to final length at this point as well. Then I glued them all together to make the top. I did use a few biscuits because the top is very close to being flat.
I then prceeded to square stock and make the legs, rails, feet and stretchers.
Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of some of these steps, so pictures 2 thru 5 shows the base with the bench top sitting on the base.
I made the round nuts with scraps of brass 1" round bar that we had at the paper mill. These are inserted into the stretcher and hold the stretchers to the legs. The stretchers have a 1/2 tennon that fits into the mortise in the leg.
One of the stretchers I have to make again. It split in the long direction. I think one of the round nuts was too tight when I put it in and over night it split. When I tightened the round nut on the other end of this stretcher, it split also, so maybe there is an issue with this piece of wood. There wont be much time involved in making the stretcher. I was surprised by some of the steps: some steps I thought would take a lot of time went fast and others, well, they just went very slow.
Over the next few weeks, I will be mounting a vice at the end of the top and making the shoulder vise.
I will keep you posted! So far, I really like the bench.
Rich (the Yooper)
"To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."
"Common sense is not so common."