- 6 March 2017 at 2:18 am #309814
You’re making great progress both on the bench and your education.
While I’m still very much a rookie, the conclusion of my workbench brought more satisfaction from what I learned than from the physical object.
I’m not sure if a workbench is ever complete, but surely the education never is.
Best regards and have a great week.
Rick G6 March 2017 at 8:51 pm #309840
I wanted the short boards out of the way – the ones for the rails. It went quite wrong, I planed like an idiot (given, that I know better, how to check a board with straight edge and winding sticks). I think, about 5 mm (almost 1/4″) of the thickness is wasted. Also, the strategy, that I mentioned in my last post, didn’t help.
I have tried the other plane body, and it is weird. I think, it really has to be flattened all the way. Perhaps I can borrow a flat iron plate from the company I work for. It is been heavily abused as an anvil, but perhaps the surface is still good enough. I will check it tomorrow. It is good quality cast iron, 1″ thick and was originally made to be the base of a measuring device.
In order to calm down a bit, I have checked prices on workbenches in Germany. A “professional” one, made from beech, approx. 2200 x 850x 890 mm, costs 1275 Euro, an “amateur” version, wood not mentioned, 1800 x 650 x 860 costs 917 Euro. This is about as much, as I have invested in woodworking so far. My bench will be around 200+, + for the vise, which hasn’t arrived yet, so I am not sure, if it is just bad luck or a total loss.
Dieter7 March 2017 at 9:49 pm #309878
The iron plate is definitely flatter than my tile, so I will bring my plane and some sandpaper to work tomorrow.
When I checked the blade of my “regular” plane today, it was not as sharp as it could be. This might be one reason for my failure yesterday. However, I blame my temper and not enough sleeping more – I would have checked for sharpness otherwise.
Nothing accomplished on the work-bench today, I have planed some small boards for another project though.
Dieter8 March 2017 at 9:39 pm #309943
Today, I have picked up the second half of the bench top again. Four of the logs are joined fairly well now, I had some trouble with the joint between log four and five, but it is close to acceptable now. I hope, I can glue it together this weekend.
I also got my second plane sole to almost flat now, doing it on the metal plate was a very good idea! I think, it will take another 20 minutes and another yard of sandpaper.
Dieter10 March 2017 at 7:46 pm #310020
The second half of the benchtop is glued up now. I think, it was better than the first one, glue squeezing out all along the joints this time. Again, I will have “fun” planing the surfaces, because I didn’t take care of the bents of the logs towards bottom and top. I think, it will be just as fast, even faster, to flatten them together. The ends are fairly even on the other side, which you cannot see.
So I have two days – weekend – to take care of the last rails for the leg frames, and perhaps even for the aprons.
Dieter11 March 2017 at 7:59 pm #310036
No pictures, so you don’t need to believe me…
However, I planed the underside of the second slab and I got the width flat. Over the length, it is rising for 60 cm, then going down again to the other side. I save that for tomorrow, because I am exhausted. It took about 2 hours of planing, rests and sharpening not included, I had to sharpen twice and need to sharpen again for tomorrow’s job. I plane the side that you can see on the first and third image. Tomorrow, I also want to square the sides and see, if the other slab is square enough.
I need to make a rag-in-a-can-with-oil, because I don’t like to use oil out of a bottle when I am near wood. Or perhaps try a candle for lubrication.
PS: I need to find a vice. The one I bought on ebay never arrived. Luckily, I am getting my money back through the ebay system. I hope, they can get that guy. Perhaps he is not even a scammer but too stupid and lazy to get things right. Anyway, this is bad, because good used vises are hard to find in Germany. The one I had bought, was from UK.
12 March 2017 at 2:51 pm #310052
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Hugo Notti.
Your progress is terrific on all fronts. Good work.
I recently did the rag in a can and it’s great. An old t-shirt Is the rag and the cotton fabric seems to hold and wick the oil well.
I’m sorry to hear about your vice. Hopefully you can find one soon.
Rick G12 March 2017 at 7:41 pm #310094
Hi Rick! Guess what, I made a rag-in-a-can today. Silly me, I was looking for a slightly larger can and a suitable rag, while a nice can was always on my bench, holding pencils, compass, knifes and other stuff. Now, that stuff is in a glass, which is even nicer, because I have quite a few very short pencils.
The large surface of the second slab is finished now. I also roughly squared one side, maybe close to good enough. I checked, how the finished bench-top will look like – both halves and the well board in the middle. This will become a nice bench and it seems, that the size of the legs is just right. I’ll take a photo, when the well board and joining faces are finished.
I suppose, I have to do the aprons now and then start making the leg frames. The aprons will be as hard as the bench-tops, as I already found out. I hope, laminating the legs will be easier. They are pine, pre-planed and have fewer knots. However, they aren’t straight, so they need squaring etc. The rails should be easy, I finished four with ease, and I have enough stock to discard the bad one. The rest might go into a terrific nightmare: I want to build a wooden RC sailing boat model with real planks, bulkheads etc. The attached pictures show a model, that I want to copy. It has real planks, you can even see the small nails, but the surface can’t be saved, too much epoxy and filler. I got that boat on a flea market a while ago originally only wanted to refresh the paint…
Dieter13 March 2017 at 11:06 pm #310141
Only a quick update today. I have started joining the leg halves. Two pairs done. As expected, this was easier than working on spruce and I only got very small tearout on two spots. However, there were again some nasty areas that were hard to get to. I think, Paul Sellers calls these “ships”, because the grain forms ship-like shapes. In the center of these areas, there are no visible lines and is pretty hard to cut. On the other hand, these are the most crisp surfaces on the wood.
The aprons do scare me a bit. The boards are visibly twisted and cupped. I hope they are flexible enough to be pulled into shape, where appropriate. I have to think about it, because the aprons form the connection between the legs and the bench-top. Hmmm, the legs come in pairs, fairly strongly connected to each other. Perhaps, that is the main basis for squareness… That was not the thinking, just a hopefully inspiring thought to get started.
If anyone has a link to good blueprints for wooden rc model yachts, please let me know. The idea to build one helps me to work on the workbench, since it should be built on that bench next winter. The ship I have gives me an idea, how to make my own design, but I have zero experience in boat building, so I should learn a bit first.
PS: I’ll eventually pick up on all side projects mentioned here, but probably elsewhere and I have no idea, when that will be.14 March 2017 at 9:29 pm #310184
I could post pictures of two clamped legs and another pair of logs ready for glue up, but in a way, that’s boring (and I want to play minecraft for a while). Well, I did glue two legs and I got the third one ready, can’t glue it though, because I have no clamps left. perhaps I’ll have the last one done tomorrow night, then I can glue up both of them.
I think, I get a feeling for flattening surfaces now. It wasn’t clear to me, how to attack a wide hump properly. Now I found, that starting at the top and widening the strokes as far as they cut, is quite effective. I have developed this over the weekend, while flattening the second bench top underside. There are still situations, where I feel blind and clueless, but measuring carefully, perhaps even taking a rest and come back later, are good strategies then. I sometimes have a temper and that’s bad moments for problems, I need to drop all tools then and do something, where I can’t do damage 😉 .
I think, I will make a picture documentation of the joinery for the leg frames next. It will start with a photo of all parts… The aprons can wait, they are the last big challenge, I hope. Cutting mortises and tenons seems to be fairly easy for me, provided, that the involved faces are squared, parallel and so on. That is, why I am so concerned about planing, because, it seems to be the very base to all quality in woodworking.
Dieter15 March 2017 at 8:08 pm #310202
I am too tired to do anything tonight (except writing here). But I took off the clamps and I am happy with the glueing of the first two legs.
Next is my “favorite” job – squaring the sides of the legs. In order to make the frames, it should be sufficient to work on two sides, the ones facing each other in the frame and the ones towards the second leg frame. In the end, I have to get the outside face parallel to the inside face, to get it seated in the housing in the apron. The last face doesn’t really matter at all. With that in mind, I will start the job, and perhaps still do all four faces. The endgrain faces can wait until final assembly.
Dieter16 March 2017 at 9:11 pm #310230
I only flattened one side of a glued leg, started yesterday, finished today. To my standards and considering my skills, the result is very good, I think, I have a tolerance of 0.5 mm, perhaps even less, that is 2/100 of an inch.
Now, I need to get serious about the measurements:
On the legs, I started with two pieces of 120 x 60 mm (nominal). The width accross the lamination is 113 mm now, so there is a loss of 7 mm, caused by planing one side and perhaps shrinkage. The other width is 114 mm, with two sides planed, so I suppose, the wood has shrunk less in this direction. Assuming, that there won’t be any further shrinkage, I think, I can get a final cross section of 110 x 110 mm.
The bench tops were originally 6 logs, each 80 x 60 mm. The final cross section after lamination and planing one of the large faces is 310 x 65 mm, so I lost 50 mm on the width and 15 mm on the thickness. I still have to plane the top-side, so I expect a thickness of 60 mm, which is a little less than I wanted, but good enough.
Both measurements are important for the final layout of the leg frames.
Dieter19 March 2017 at 1:02 am #310285
Your boat project sounds like fun. Too bad I haven’t a plan source for you. The hull you have looks like a kit that I believe is/was put out by a Dumas Models.
Your bench seems to be coming right along. Try not to let the pressure to complete become oppressive.
Not to be a barer of bad news, but I don’t think the aprons can be twisted. A little bow will straighten out while clamped to the top for gluing. Mild cupping shouldn’t affect the connection of the apron to anything. And worse cupping should be at least partly corrected by removing any twist.
OTOH having twist in the finished apron will pose a challenge for fitting square and plumb legs. I don’t think that wedge in rabbit is an effective way to counter-act the twist. The twisted apron will fight both the legs and benchtop as you bring everything together. The tension this creates may reveal itself in strange ways.
So take the time to plane out the twist – it will be time well spent.
Best regards for a great week and continued progress.
Rick G19 March 2017 at 2:41 pm #310306
Thanks for your support, Rick! At the moment, I am stuck, I cannot join the third pair of legs. Winding sticks tell me, that they are straight, I have spent a lot of time identifying high spots, the surfaces should be flat. However, they don’t line up. As I learned in Geometry, flat surfaces are all equal, but it looks like I can prove that to be wrong… This would be a bad moment to start the aprons, so I stopped working altogether. After writing this, I will turn bloodthirsty and kill some virtual monsters, that really deserve it 😀
PS: I think, I will sand, scrape and chisel the surface of my boat as flat and even as possible, give it a thick transparent paint job and then take care of the mast, rigging and the remote control components. I have found some very informative websites about wooden model sailing boats and according to those, it seems easier to build a new one from scratch.20 March 2017 at 7:53 pm #310339
These logs are like boiling wood or a half inflated air mattress! If I flatten one area, another one comes up. And there are high spots that I can’t get to, and I cannot figure out, what is in the way. I also cannot get full length shavings on either board, which of course tells me, that they are far from flat. My vision is not that bad, all my straight edges tell the other ones, that they are straight… Should I give up? Yes, for tonight. I have a lot of other jobs to do on this workbench, so I will do these first.
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