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Thread: Building my Work Bench

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Building my Work Bench

    I finally have had time to start working on my workbench. I'm using the FWW design from the Shop and Tools edition from 2 years ago. I'm currently working on the base. I'm using hard maple for the legs, trestles, and rails.

    Here's my question....

    I'm glueing up 3/4 stock to make it to the final deminsions (3"x3" and 3.5"x3.5"). The plan calls for the legs to have tenons on both ends for the feet and trestles and through mortises for the top and bottom rails. My thought was to have the face of the legs facing out front. This would result in the mortises being cut through the glued edges (side to side of the leg) and the tenons would be cut across the edges (front to back of the legs). Is there any reason to worry about having the tenons be a series of glued pieces and the mortises running through a couple of glued pieces?

    Does this make sense???

    Thanks, Mike
    Last edited by Mike Gabbay; 12-05-2006 at 04:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2006
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    ARe you going to use the wedges for the thru trestle tenon? That might effect your glue up. Not sure though

    You could also run a dowel perpendicular thru the M&T thus binding everything together.

    I made this bench and I forget how I oriented the legs, but you should be O.K. doing it your way.

    Joe

  3. #3
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    mike, anytime you glue two boards together the glue joint is stronger than the surrounding wood. so i think you`ll be fine from a structural standpoint...tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
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    Joe - I was going to wedge the tenons. Also the peg would add even more strength and a nice decorative touch.

    Just curious, how heavy is the base once assembled (without the top)? I need something that would be movable up stairs. My basement shop has no walkout. I'm estimating around 60 - 75 pounds.

    Tod - that was my thought....

    Thanks guys! Hopefully I'll have pictures soon.

  5. #5
    Mike

    If you haven't glued up yet, you might consider making the mortises part of the process, e.g. cut shorter pieces and put a waxed "plug" in the glueup which is equal in size to the dimension of the tenon, then you won't have to chop the mortises out of the leg

    Jay

  6. #6
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    I'm currently building a similar bench, but modified the base and am creating a different style. I'm mortising through both sides, and also using 3/4" laminated legs, but my legs are starting out about 4.5" x 4.5" (5 laminates), and I will taper them down to about 3.5" at the top on the 2 outer sides of each leg.

    My stretchers are different since I've modified the plans, and mostly will only be using the top how LonS did it in the plans. But I do plan to assemble and add

    My stretchers are 3 laminates of 3/4", one pair is 4" wide, and the other pair is 3" wide. Both have an arched cutout on the top laminate, in the Arts & Crafts style...kinda sorta...but the 2 underlying laminate pieces are full size, I think it will look ok like that though.

    I have stretchers on the sides also, unlike LonS did on his bench, but I don't have a trestle base. My side stretchers will be arched also, and are 4" side (3 laminates, or 2.25" thick just like the other stretchers.

    Not that it matters, but I'm putting my laminations towards the front, so that when I arch the legs towards the top, the front will have the laminations facing front, but tenons will be going through both directions at the feet, with the side stretches being above the front/lower 4" stretcher.

    Those 4.5" legs are pretty heavy, solid hard maple, as the stretchers are.

    My top will be 2 3/4" aprox thick with a 6" apron, similar to Lon's, but I will use a laminate of 8/4 walnut (2 pieces) for the ends of the top, and another laminate for the twin-screw. I also have 5 pieces of purple heart I was going to laminate in the top, but not sure if I'll use them or not.

    My front apron will be a laminate of hickory, 6" wide, or slightly smaller when I get it laminated and cleaned up. So this will be hickory/walnut on the front for the dovetails.

    I will use a emmert clone on the front, twin-screw on the end. Drawer front will probably be 3/4" air dried walnut.

    I have my legs milled, stretchers milled, and need to mill up the stop runners which will sit under the table, I'm only going to use 3" thick for those, but they will be 5 layers wide to match the legs (5 layers is 4.5").

    Good luck with yours, this is a lot of work to build a bench like this, but I feel it's the foundation to develop good woodworking skills. A woodworking bench is such a useful tool in itself, so often overlooked by many.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gabbay View Post
    Joe - I was going to wedge the tenons. Also the peg would add even more strength and a nice decorative touch.

    Just curious, how heavy is the base once assembled (without the top)? I need something that would be movable up stairs. My basement shop has no walkout. I'm estimating around 60 - 75 pounds.

    Tod - that was my thought....

    Thanks guys! Hopefully I'll have pictures soon.
    Mike: I didn't make the base out of Maple, I used clear pine, ala a Wood Mag recommendation.

    The base is suprisingly light. It is easy to move around. It is a great design.

  8. #8
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    My frankenstein design

    Mike,

    This is my design for my base, you can see how I planned to have a tenon going through both ways, with the side stretcher tenons above the front stretcher tenons.

    I'm planning to do wedge tenons for all of them. Glue lines will face the front.

    This has morphed a couple times, from the original design, and some things have been changed in regard to sizes and/or location of piece, but this is pretty much how it will end up...hopefully!

    There were a couple things that changed due to size of material, I tried to maximize and sacrifice some, like the thickness of the top which you can see was planned for 3", but ended up 2.75" as not to waste too much. Side stretchers were brought down to 4" to utilize some particular wood, and things will move around slightly.

    You can also see how much time has gone by since I first sketched the dovetails when I rennovated a bench in my garage about a year ago. It was intended that I would build my woodworking bench with that bench.

    (linky for plan evolution PDF)


  9. #9
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    Looks good, I like your writing paper!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Alan, I also like your paper -and your plans.
    Cheers, Frank

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