DePaul: lol it would seem that you have to be an Apple user to view my creations the right way round. I think it’s coz I’m left handed and tend to use my iPad “the wrong way round”.
Greg: I know exactly what you mean. This bench will hopefully see me out and be inherited by one of my children in the fullness of time. It’s curious that at the moment, my daughter is the one who’s interested in what dad does in the workshop. My son has little interest at all.
I stole a couple of hours in the workshop yesterday evening (much healthier than just sitting in front of the TV).
By the end of the weekend, I’d glued the rear apron to the smaller worktop so I de-clamped the work last night and assessed things – not too shabby at all. Oh, who am I trying to kid? I was ruddy chuffed.
I planed down the extra 1/16″ of the apron that was sticking up and levelled it to the worktop. I was pleased that I am starting to really feel in control when I hand plane now and I knew the worktop was perfectly square with the apron before I even offered up the square to check it. I’ve slightly rounded over the two ends of the top just in case I ever knock them and have taken off the arrises. The worktop surface is very smooth so I’ve given it a light sanding with 240 grit; I don’t want my work sliding about on the top.
I’ve also started doing what my Dad used to call ‘the twiddly bits’. I’ve added a bit of decoration to one of the legs using the same method as the Wallclock. You can’t see it very well in the photo but it looks quite nice – trust me 😉 . I’ve also started to plan out ideas for bench storage but I’m going to use the bench ‘as is’ for a month or two and see how it impacts the way I work before I start anything.
I want to have all four legs decorated by the weekend and then on Saturday, I’m off to buy the timber for the well boards. I’ll also be buying some coach bolts to replace the coach screws I’m currently using. I know there’s nothing wrong with the screws but I’d prefer a bolt that goes all the way through that I can adjust if needed. My bench will be going up against a wall so it will also mean I’ll be able to tighten the bolts without having to drag the bench out into the room.
I have spent a busy weekend getting my bench more or less finished as far as the construction goes.
I went to B&Q yesterday and got hold of the timber for the tool well and some nice 5″ long Coach Bolts. Before I forget, if anyone goes to B&Q looking for the same timber that Paul shows in his blog, the labels have now changed and are no longer the red type in Pauls photos but are now instead a pale green.
Yesterday was spent laminating the well board together and gluing the worktop to its apron. I also fitted the coach bolts.
Today’s tasks involved planing down the surface of the well board and planing the surface of the worktop (as well as bringing the top of the apron level with the work surface). Again, I felt that the worktop surface would benefit from a light sanding. I couldn’t resist installing the bench into its proper home so I have also had to dismantle my DIY Router Table (I never used it as such and it was shockingly made anyway). The bench is now installed and it really does look the part.
Jobs still to do:
Fine tune the fit of the aprons to the legs.
Fit both vises.
Decide on a finish – I’m thinking of either Danish Oil or BLO at the moment.
One photo of my old bench and two of my new on.
I’m pretty please with the new bench. I’ll post photos of the actual finished product one the vises are installed. If anyone has any ideas regarding a finish, please do jot a line or two here. Thanks
I stole a couple of hours down the workshop tonight. I fine tuned the fit of the front apron/Worktop and it now lies completely flat and square on the legs. I have also managed to start fitting the front vise. It still needs a bit of fine tuning as it’s a tad off level but the bulk of the work is done. I think I’ll take the opportunity to clean the main screw and degrease it before I finally fit it.
A little bit more work done:
The vise is now properly fitted. It’s very slightly wonky – the right end is just under 1/16″ lower than the left. I know I can cure that when I add the jaw liners but I’m still disappointed that I couldn’t get it spot on. I am going to reuse the existing front liner but will be making a new rear one.
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