New bench underway

Mike Gabbay

Herndon VA
I've been sloooowly working on my new bench. It is modeled after the FWW Tools and Shop edition from a couple of years ago.

Over the past several weekends I've been gluing things up. Based on a recommendation from Alan Turner (thanks again Alan!) I used West System epoxy. The issue with this assembly for me was getting enough open time for the glue to assemble and drive the wedges in place. The epoxy worked great.

Yesterday I was able to get the base sanded and ready for a finish. I've been thinking about using a combination of thinner, varnish, and BLO.

This week I get to start on planing the Bally Block top that I picked up a few years ago. It has a slight cup of about 1/64". Then I can start with the aprons.

Ultimately, I will build a cabinet underneath for my planes and hand tools.

Thanks for looking.....


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Mike, that base looks really really great. :thumb: :thumb: But I don't know about that Bally top being 1/64" off level. What a disaster, but I would be willing to take such a piece of junk off your hands. :rofl:

It sounds like and also looks like you will have a bench to be proud of when you are finished.:) :wave: Keep the pictures coming.
Very nice, I'd love to have the space for something like that, and the skills to build it.

I have to agree with Ken 1/64" off...........the SHAME!!!

:rofl::rofl: :thumb:

I'm sure you will get it sorted in no time.

And another vote to keep the pics coming! :D
Smart move using West System Epoxy-----you will never have a joint glue failure with that stuff. Only problem is the clamp time but worth the wait if it is going to be something that needs to hold up for years and years under stress. I built a eleven foot dingy with West System that was used exclusively in salt water and stored outside for about 14 years and then surived Hurricane Charlie (cat 4 direct hit). It was thrown over two houses and when I found it all joints were still intact. Drug it up and down the street hauling roof tile to an empty lot. Incredible stuff.
Good job Mike.

I'm thinking about making a new bench as well, but I am hesitating about fitting a tail vise on it or not. What about yours? Are you going to fit one on it, or some sort of variation?.

Moreover, how many of you think that the short part of the "L" shape of a tail vise should or shouldn't be used to clamp pieces? If it shouldn't why making it instead of a straight single piece.
Hey guys - thanks for the nice feedback.

Allen - the West System is great stuff. I use to use it when I sailed for fairing keels. I'm not sure how you could glue up this base with yellow glue and still have enough open time. I guess you would need 2 or 3 people to assist.

Now the hard part is going to get the Bally Block top on top of the base. That thing weighs a TON! :eek: Time to enlist the help of a neighbor.
Your bench is coming along nicely, Mike. The base looks very solid and stable. I’m looking forward to your updates on the bench’s progress.