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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After nearly a year (I think I started December 2012), my woodworking workbench is nearly complete:



This is a horrible photo, of course. I have very poor lighting in my workshop at the moment. But you can see the base (legs, stretchers, and rails) has been glued to the top and I'm just waiting for the glue to dry. I'm also filling gaps with glue.

Construction: It's southern yellow pine, btw. This has been my first serious woodworking project, so I wanted to take it easy on the material cost. In retrospect, I think that was a good decision. However, I'd prefer a bench made from a hardwood, for sure.

Last steps: Hand plane the top again, removing a year's gunk and dirt (I've been using it all this time as a functional workbench - just up on sawhorses), then coat with oil, and finally wax.

Oh, here's a pic of the feet. These things are super cool. They're casters, so the whole 500lb thing (not really sure how much it weighs) just floats around my workshop like it's on ice. But you don't want it moving when you're working, so it has these cool leveling feet that you can raise up to make it stationary and level. Super cool.



I'd say 80% of the work for this bench was accomplished using hand tools. Hand planes, dovetail, rip cut, and cross cut hand saws, hand brace and bits, and hand chisels. One side effect to using hand tools and being completely inexperienced with them is that each piece in the project is unique. The legs, for instance, are all different dimensions (width and thickness, not height) because it took maddeningly differing numbers of passes to get everything square and straight. This doesn't bother me too much, but it is a little weird how everything ends up fitting together. I do think it adds a lot of character to the final piece though.

Nearing the end of the project, I decided I really didn't want to spend the time cutting all of the remaining mortise and tenon joints by hand, so I bought a Festool Domino XL. It's OK. My dyslexia screwed me over a few times and I confused my left and right. You can see one of my mistakes in the photo above because there are domino holes showing in the side of the leg. But overall, I like the domino. I think it really dumbs down the whole joinery thing. I did cut the mortise and tenon joints for attaching the base to the top by hand. So there's that.

I used the largest dominos (14mm) for all the joinery. Time will tell if they hold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You bet. I bought the casters from Amazon after doing a metric crap ton of research: WoodRiver Machine Leveling Caster Plate Mounted 4 Pack - Amazon.com

Definitely not the only way to go, but it seems to be a good decision so far. I might have chosen differently if my basement didn't leak every now and then. I wanted something not wood in contact with the concrete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just checked and I spent at least 246 hours on this project. That's just what I recorded. I got a little lazy with the time logging at the end.

Now, the really interesting statistic would be how much money I spent during the project. Haha. I bought a lot of tools because this was my "learn as I go" project.
 

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I just checked and I spent at least 246 hours on this project. That's just what I recorded. I got a little lazy with the time logging at the end.

Now, the really interesting statistic would be how much money I spent during the project. Haha. I bought a lot of tools because this was my "learn as I go" project.

That's one of the really nice things about these types of projects - buying all the tools you need or even think you might need to complete the project.:laughing:
 
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