Beginner - building a workbench - Page 4 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #61 of 86 Old 11-22-2019, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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@woodnthings, yes, that is the technique I am using (the bevel edge chisel version of it). Just given how fast it seems like Paul is able to do this, I feel it's simply a matter of practice more than anything.
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post #62 of 86 Old 11-22-2019, 06:20 PM
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When sawing the tenons, have you tried creating a knife wall? Itíll guide your saw as you start your cut.


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post #63 of 86 Old 11-22-2019, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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I have created a knife wall, but perhaps not deep enough? I'll try again on the next one. But it's going to be a little while. I'm taking advice from earlier in the thread and building the benchtop + installing the vise before proceeding with any more mortise and tenon work. Having a more stable +higher platform is just going to make my life a whole lot easier.
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post #64 of 86 Old 11-23-2019, 09:08 AM
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Good idea. Sometimes it's helpful to take a break from something you are getting too focused on. At least for me it is. Sometimes when i take a break from it and later on return, I seem to be better at it than I was when i left it last.
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post #65 of 86 Old 11-23-2019, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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The real break is going to come because we are heading back to my folks for Thanksgiving. So I'll see y'all on here next Saturday!
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post #66 of 86 Old 11-23-2019, 11:54 AM
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Happy Holiday and safe travels

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post #67 of 86 Old 11-23-2019, 11:23 PM
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What type of saw are you using? A rip blade really is a help cutting tenon faces — less wandering.
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post #68 of 86 Old 12-04-2019, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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All right then eh chaps? Back from Thanksgiving! I hope yours were great. Mine was somewhat cursed, but despite that I'm thankful to have been able to spend time with the folks and the grandparents.

In terms of building this workbench, I decided to take advice and glue up the top in two separate passes. A good thing too because I scarcely had enough glue to laminate the first five boards. Even with what I had, there are one or two joints that have slight gaps, which I'm not a fan of.

For the remaining four boards to be laminated, I erred on the side of too much glue. I also had the benefit of a plastic putty spreader and a foam roller, which helped me get the glue spread out much faster. The glue up came together much better than the first. And so. Now the benchtop is all one solid piece. Tomorrow it will be set and I can begin preparing it to use as a work surface.

My todo list is as follows:

1. Flip the bench over, clamp it up to the workmates, and plane it flat.
2. Glue the vise face to the left front of the bench (as you face it). This will be a 2x4 piece of wood that will be flush with the face of the bench and extend to where the left front leg will meet the benchtop.
3. Install the vise. Install temporary fins/keels that will clamp into the workmates near the middle of the bench.
4. Flip the vise back over and plane down the top to roughly flat.
5. Use the vise and the benchtop to build the tool well. Maybe this would be a good time to drill dog holes as well.
6. Glue up the tool well to the benchtop.
7. Use the vise, benchtop, and finished tool well to finish building the legs.


In between somewhere I may take the time to fashion some longer winding sticks and a stop block for my plane blades and chisels. But I could easily picture having a working vise by Sunday, which means there's a chance of getting this thing done before the Christmas holiday starts. That would be quite a thing, if I could manage it.
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Last edited by jags217; 12-04-2019 at 01:34 AM.
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post #69 of 86 Old 12-04-2019, 01:30 PM
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Ha! Pretty amazing how the glue-up can so quickly get squirrelly, isn’t it?

Don’t sweat the gaps; instead remember that if it all goes according to plan, you will be regularly beating on your bench, you will scar it, gouge it, mistakenly spill all manner of substances on it, and generally give it a somewhat harsh life. This “road wear” will reward you with a lot of help, great projects, and hopefully fun. You aren’t giving it to your grandmother as a mantelpiece, it’s not intended to win beauty contests either.
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post #70 of 86 Old 12-05-2019, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Whew! After planing, the gaps don't look so bad. The bench top/bottom is done.

This side took me all night, from about 7pm until 11:30pm with a half hour break. There was a lot of material to remove, because two boards were bowed down and the rest were straight. So most of the surface was 1/16" high, and had to be taken down. I collected a great huge bag of plane shavings. But I think I'll be happy to work on the result! And I'll be happy to spend less time on the other side tomorrow.

I may spend just a little more time planing this side, as it seems that on some parts the benchtop is about 1/32" out of flat across its depth. I don't have a long enough straight edge to test the whole width, but it is flat according to my jointer plane and my ~3ft straight edge. I checked for twist locally by wiggling the straight edge, but I haven't checked for twist along the entire length yet. One of the sides is out of square with this top. My plan is to set it on its side tomorrow and use the flattened top as a reference surface. Then I'll plane down the side that is out of square.

One thing I'm not 100% sure on is whether I have the stamina to actually thickness this thing. What if it's tilted? I would probably die of exhaustion if I had to take 1/8" off of half of the other side. Well what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Unless it maims you or cripples you. Let's not think on this possibility shall we?

I also got to practice my sawing some more by sawing off the tailings of the bench. I watched one or two youtube videos and you know what? It turns out it's not that hard to saw square if you just pay attention and be careful. What do you know. I hope my next tenons show the benefits of this insight.

Here are some pictures from today's efforts.
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post #71 of 86 Old 12-05-2019, 08:23 AM
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This is where the toothed blade for your low angle plane would help speed things up flattening the top. Makes the plane act more like a scrub plane for faster wood removal.
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post #72 of 86 Old 12-05-2019, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I watched a couple YouTube videos of some guys using that toothed iron and it looks freakin awesome. I'm going to order it when I get home.
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post #73 of 86 Old 12-06-2019, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
This is where the toothed blade for your low angle plane would help speed things up flattening the top. Makes the plane act more like a scrub plane for faster wood removal.
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Originally Posted by jags217 View Post
Yeah, I watched a couple YouTube videos of some guys using that toothed iron and it looks freakin awesome. I'm going to order it when I get home.
Yes the toothed blade is good for that exercise, i have one, but it still doesn’t match a scrub plane. A few years ago I was lucky enough to buy an unused Lie-Niesen for cheap, didn’t think I would ever need it, then sold it off. A year or so later I needed it to scrub off a bunch of material on a big chunk of salvaged wood and was dismayed by the fiscal penalty for my poor choice to sell that plane, so I instead spent a lot less on the toothed blade.

The scrub is lighter, narrower, and free from tedious set up resets — this makes it handle very quickly, the open mouth does not clog, and the curved blade easily chows through the wood, including knots. They are incredibly efficient at their task, especially on stock too wide for a bandsaw or planer. For someone like me who does a lot of trim and molding work, it excels at easing the back side of the stock, which is essential to get it to lay flat; a router is a very poor and laborious substitute. This easing task is what will lead me to replace that missing scrub plane.
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post #74 of 86 Old 12-07-2019, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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I made my first dumbass mistake tonight.

The vise I bought wants the jaw to be 2 1/2" + epsilon taller than the bench. Unfortunately, my 2x6 offcuts are just a smidge too short to serve that purpose (they have 2" of height in excess of the 3.5" bench). So I decided to extend the offcut by gluing on some extra material. This will be the bottom of the vise where we bore through and attach the vise.

Beginner - building a workbench-img_20191206_222439.jpg

Also, I need a 2 1/2" apron, so that's what this is.

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Uh, oops. I'm right-handed. Screw-up accomplished. I glued another offcut to the other side and all is well. Things will look symmetrical at least.

Beginner - building a workbench-img_20191206_222428.jpg

My intention is to pare all of this stuff so that it's got a little curve on the bottom and looks nice.

It's my intention to bore the holes and finish the vise tomorrow. After that, I, uh, sort of have a workbench? We still need the tool well and the legs but the main functional surface is there.
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post #75 of 86 Old 12-07-2019, 12:21 PM
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It’s coming together nicely! I missed which wood you’re using, poplar?

With that whole surfacing exercise, you learned something important: It is much easier to get all the sticks properly edge jointed in small batches to an acceptable flatness on what will be the top surface and then do the glue up. The key is then, using a reference surface (a cheap hollow core door is your friend here), to glue up with the top surface face down against the reference surface. This implies the underside of the slab can be left a bit wild, other than where critical connections occur, but those are far more limited in scope and can be addressed after it becomes a slab.

You’ll still have to do some surfacing after the glue-up, but you’ll likely not have to remove that 1/16” to bring the bulk of the slab down to meet your low spots. Given this is going in your workshop and not the dining room, one last cheat I would personally consider for that issue might be to simply fill the low spots or gaps with clear epoxy and fair it smooth, because once you put your bench to proper use, there’s a good chance you’ll need to do that down the road to fix a divot or misplaced holdfast hole.

Last edited by Scurvy; 12-07-2019 at 12:24 PM.
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post #76 of 86 Old 12-07-2019, 12:30 PM
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Oh yeah, one last thing, the low spot thing is why itís a good idea to do a pre-glue fit-up, using clamps in this case to preview your work, and have a chance to make corrections ďbefore the glue sets.Ē. That is a critical step for more complicated assemblies.
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post #77 of 86 Old 12-08-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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I made a template for the holes I needed to bore for the vise. I started the process of boring one hole and quickly came to the realization that

1. I might need a new drill battery.
2. I would love to have a drill press!

My battery ran out before I even finished boring the first hole. Now, I think part of the problem is technique. I think I let the forstner bit get jammed with waste. That was causing it to not cut and ended up wasting a lot of battery. I think I also was using too high of a speed. I hope I didn't ruin the bit but I don't really know how to tell.

(The above was written last night.)

And now: I finished boring the other guide rod holes and screw hole on the jaw. It looks solid (IMO).

I do still have something of an intention to taper the bottom, but I feel my resolve weakening a little bit. I really want to have this thing done so I can start working on other stuff! Maybe I can take it off after the bench is built and do it then.
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post #78 of 86 Old 12-08-2019, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Vise holes all bored. Phew! Only after doing this work did I read how to use a Forstner bit. Supposedly about 3/4", a drill press is highly recommended. Well the jags model drill press got the job done, although I probably came close to burning out the motor of my drill. The battery gave out for a second time when I was almost punched through on the last bore hole, so I chiseled away the remainder of the waste.

For anyone whose curious, yesterday and today are the first two times this battery has been used to its full capacity in more than ten years of owning this drill. Something about that makes me feel a little badass.

With the jaw clamped up and in position with the top of the jaw 1/16" above the top of the bench, I tightened the vise closed then marked all the screw positions. Tomorrow, when my new drill arrives and/or my old drill's battery recharges, I'll drill holes for the screws and finally attach the vise. So excited!
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Last edited by jags217; 12-09-2019 at 12:36 AM.
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post #79 of 86 Old 12-09-2019, 11:45 AM
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WOW!
You certainly have come a long way. Building furniture should not really be challenging to you.
Can't wait to see the final bench in action.

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post #80 of 86 Old 12-09-2019, 02:39 PM
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@jags217

On every ones profile, including yours, there is a photo album.
Would be nice if you put this build (a shorter version, of course) in your first photo album.

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