21 August 2013 at 3:15 pm #16848
So, my first ‘major’ project will be building a workbench for use at my apartment. Last night, I bought the 6 best boards I could find at the local Lowes (not saying much, unless you really like knots for some reason), and got to work planing and laminating them.
It turned out fairly well and flat (at most 1/16″ out of plane), though one of the boards on the back ended up shifting about 1/4″ out of plane (Sorry it’s kind of hard to see in the picture, that is the raised side). I am wondering if I can glue a wedge onto it at the low spot in the top and plane that so I don’t have to take off a ton of wood on the adjacent boards to get the bench level. I’m not super-worried about it on the bottom, as I intend to attach an apron to it and I can square off the apron bottom easily enough in the future.
Anyways, I’ll see how all the glue held on Saturday when I can take off the clamps. The wood I bought was still a bit damp, despite my best efforts, so hopefully the whole thing doesn’t end up bowing/twisting/cupping on me over the week.
-Tim Anderson, UT, USA21 August 2013 at 9:57 pm #16871Mark ArmstrongParticipant
Fingers crossed for you
Even if it dose twist a little will give you practise with plane to true up again.
Dagenham, Essex, England21 August 2013 at 10:49 pm #16876
Given how sore I am today, I think I could use the practice even if it’s not twisted. Gotta build up those planing muscles.
-Tim Anderson, UT, USA22 August 2013 at 12:57 am #16878
The crazed look on your face in the first photo speaks volumes. 😉
I am almost certain you have thought of this, but why can’t you use the bottom as the top instead so you only have to even out that back board?
I bought most of my boards for my sharpening bench at Lowes. Spent about two hours sifting through a pallet of wood to find 14 boards that were straight and virtually knot free. UGH. I also sliced my finger open on a ragged staple when looking for some pine boards there. You would think I would learn from my bloody mistake and bring gloves from then on, but I never do.
-Scott Los Angeles22 August 2013 at 5:34 am #16879
I wish I could just use the bottom as the top, but I concentrated most of the knots on the bottom side, and the board in question twisted such that on the top it’s high and the bottom it’s low, so it’d be the same problem on both. But I’m sure I’ll get it all worked out. This board is to be the very back of the bench, so I’m not too worried about it, as the other surfaces are all mostly parallel and I can probably fill it in.
As for the crazed look, that’s a combination of joy at finally being able to start on a real project and overheating, as the shop gets almost no air circulation from the big swamp cooler we use there. I wish I had more time to get this all done, but I’ll keep going when I can manage and hopefully start making some of the furniture I want before too much longer. Just gotta keep telling myself that I’ve got plenty of time to get it all done and be more patient.
Thanks for the encouragement!
-Tim Anderson, UT, USA22 August 2013 at 5:51 am #16880
I like the look of your shop space. Looks roomy and well lit…unlike mine which is dark and spatially challenged. I did add some lights recently, so the shadows are smaller now…
-Scott Los Angeles28 August 2013 at 3:57 am #17159
Haven’t been able to work on the bench tops too much this week, but I have them mostly planed (still a good deal of twist to remove). It seems like the wood is twisting more after I plane it, so I guess I’ll just wait a week or two before I try to plane it all square for assembly. Not sure what else I can do.
I’m also posting a plan I drew up showing the overall size/shape of the bench. My plan is to get a 6″ Milwaukee vise from here: http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/TL/item/MS-HVISE/Milwaukee_Small_Woodworking_Vise_-_Made_in_USA
I am also planning to use a combination of holdfasts and a Veritas bench dog in place of a tail vise. I should be able to plane and glue up the legs and aprons and well boards over the next week while I wait for the tops to finish twisting on me so I can move onto joinery and putting it all together.
-Tim Anderson, UT, USA28 August 2013 at 6:43 am #17169Mark ArmstrongParticipant
If you can lay your board flat posibbly put some weight on them. Do not stand on end.
DIY stores stand there timber on end and it takes a long time to sort through to find straight lumber.
Good timber yards lay stock flat.
Dagenham, Essex, England28 August 2013 at 6:48 pm #17196
I will rearrange a bit and put the wood down flat when I get home tonight. Thanks for the tip. 🙂
-Tim Anderson, UT, USA29 August 2013 at 7:43 pm #17247
With some patience you may be able to buy a used 7″ Morgan 10A vise for about the same amount as that lightweight 6″ one. May be a good deal sturdier. A vintage Wilton, Yost, or Columbian vise may also serve quite well. I recently bought an old 10″ Morgan 20A vise and a 10″ Morgan 200A vise for $55 each.
-Scott Los Angeles3 September 2013 at 5:00 am #17366
Made some good progress today. Got the first A-frame set of two legs all built with mortises and tenons. They are sloppy, some of the joints have a lot of gaps I plan to fill with wedges and glue later, but the whole thing is square and solid, so I’m sure it will make a fine workbench. Chiseling away in a shop with no AC takes a lot out of you, but I just have one more set of legs, the apron dadoes and it’ll be time for assembly and use. All the laminating is done except for attaching the aprons to the benchtop pieces, which should be pretty easy to do.
I am super excited to keep practicing and getting better. My mortises were already looking better from just the four I made, and I’m hoping the next set of legs will have less gaps and be cleaner in general.
The pics show all the laminated pieces (not all totally planed or cut square yet, but I’m getting there), the finished set of legs just before glue-up, and my first mortise ever. I’m amazed I have been able to do all this in such a short time. Thanks again to Paul and everyone else who makes this site such a great resource for learning real woodworking.
-Tim Anderson, UT, USA3 September 2013 at 5:57 am #17372
-Scott Los Angeles11 September 2013 at 2:17 pm #18617
Got a chance to work for a couple more hours last night, and cut three of the remaining four mortises. I’m feeling like I actually know what I’m doing now. The heavier mallet I used this time made the work much easier. Just gotta keep at it until it’s done and in my apartment.
-Tim Anderson, UT, USA
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