Covid Workbench

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    I started a bench about the same time that we started shutting things down in Florida, so about four months ago.
    I fitted the wellboard this weekend, so only some screws, vise fitting and the finish left to do.

    It’s taken an inordinate amount of time, but lots of learning — edge and saw sharpening (amazon spear & jackson), restoration of router, plough and rebate planes (all eBay purchases), first ever mortises, tenons, dados, ploughed grooves, rebates. Biggest test of sawing straight and square to date — a 5 foot rip cut on the well board that went just fine.

    I encourage anybody to do this project even if its your first. The huge joints are intimidating but very forgiving. It’s a workbench and even with many, many mistakes, it turned out extremely solid because the design is so sound. Compared to the harbor freight bench I was using, it’s a totally different animal. The harbor freight is probably pretty comparable in stability to the workmate, and it was cheap, so I don’t complain about it. Got me started.

    The hardest thing was the tongue and groove for the wellboard. Ploughing a five foot groove using a tool for the first time was quite the learning experience. It’s quite ugly — looks like it was chewed by a beaver. But it holds fine. The rebating plane was no problem at all, but that’s probably because the wood was completely clear pine. Anyway, great project.

    Philipp Klinkhardt

    Nice to read that others had the same idea! We have almost no shutdown in Sweden but most people stay at home anyway.
    I started my workbench in October and finished the basic parts (without any drawers or additional wellboard) last weekend.
    My main challange was the straightness of the mortiseholes. I also had the same issue you had with the grove. Going against the grain I had quite a bit och tear out around the edges. All in a it was a great project. I learned a lot and realised that being able to read the grain is quite important.

    What is you first projece on you new workbench going to be?

    Sorry for my poor English.

    Benoît Van Noten

    I have used a square block of wood as a guide to make the mortises perpendicular to the leg faces.
    Without it, for the first mortise, working from the two faces, the two half mortises didn’t meet aligned in the middle. The workbench is nevertheless rock solid.

    look for:

    The Paul Sellers Mortise & Tenon Technique


    I’ve made two dovetail boxes (one with one per side one with two a la the shaker candle box), one sliding lid dovetail box, and I’m just finishing the keepsake box (just recessed the hinges last night. I bought wood to do the “How to Make a Table” side table yesterday — which is going to be a printer stand. I’m sort of following this plan:
    I’m hoping to replace my cheap, wire closet fixtures with nice wall brackets and shelves. So far the skills won’t justify putting anything in the house!

    Cheers! Jon.

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