Workbench build started

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  • #63015
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    Hi,
    I finally started by workbench and wanted to document my progress on this project.
    I began just after finishing a bookcase in the beginning of Aug. I had the 2X4s stacked for over a month.
    As many here have noted, the wood moves “a lot”. I picked the straightest, un-warped pieces I could find. When I finally started, there was all this twist and bow in all the pieces.
    So the journey began by getting the boards so that I could squeeze them together (as in Paul’s videos).
    The bench will be 60″ X 30″ and right now I’m leaving the legs as long as I can (34.5″ for my 5’5″).
    I plan on 15″ and 4.5″ tops and a 10.5″ well in between.
    I’ve attached a few pics of my current progress.
    I’m gluing up the top in stages as I’m working by myself and want to make sure I can get it all aligned before the glue starts to take a grip.
    I also planed my first leg. Was truly happy with the result. Straight and Square (I amazed myself)!
    Any suggestions are appreciated as I move forward.
    Thanks for looking..
    Marilyn

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #63027
    Greg Merritt
    Participant

    Sounds and looks like your off to a great start. Just take your time and all should come together fine. It’s real tempting to rush towards the end. Fight that urge. Make sure your to keep your tools sharp. When chopping the mortises, pay particular attention to the sounds and to how the chisel is cutting through the wood. Crushing and tearing are common complaints when working with construction grade lumber. Common causes are your chisel is not sharp enough, your trying to take too much wood with each pass or your hitting the chisel too hard.

    Keep us posted.

    http://hillbillydaiku.com

    #63031
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    @gman3555,
    Thanks for the comment on the construction lumber. I’ll probably do some practice mortises on some scrap pieces of construction lumber to get a feel for it before I go chopping into the legs.
    And I’ll remember to sharpen up the tools as I move along.
    As always, your encouragement is appreciated. It keeps us newbies motivated. 🙂
    Marilyn

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #63294
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    This past weekend I finished the other legs. Each leg took me about 1 1/2 hrs to plane straight and to the same size.
    On Monday I glued the separate laminated parts of the main benchtop together. Then I began edge jointing the first apron. It’s ready for gluing. I also did a practice mortise. One thing to remember is to measure from the same side AND END. The edge measurement was correct, but then I measured from the wrong end and ended up with 45 degree angles on the mortise ends. I will practice again. Also noted that edges were cleaner after sharpening chisel…
    Today I began to flatten the bottom of the worktop. So far it’s taken about 2 hours to get it flat. I still need to continue with it as glue is still visible between the last boards due to the round edges.
    I’ve sharpened my plane each day which has made it easier. I tried showing the best edge on top, but forgot about grain orientation, so I planed in both directions to prevent tear out around the knots and moving from board to board.
    Pictures of my progress attached

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #118722
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    It’s been weeks since I posted any updates on my workbench build. I continue to work on it ever so slowly, taking what bit of time I can between home, work and family.
    I’ve spent the majority of the time planing surfaces. I’ve collected about 2 1/2 garbage bags of shavings. Some I’ve already used to make firestarters.

    It became easier to plane once I filled in the knots with CA glue. The overall bench top is now 28.75″ trying to plan out the lumber’s round edges. This a good size I think.

    I also spent time cleaning and sharpening 2 #4’s I picked up: one is a scrub plane, the other is my newly used #4 stanley.

    Next steps: Cut and plane bottom rails and Bearers.

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #118725
    BrianJ
    Participant

    Looks like you are coming along nicely! It is hard to juggle the time between all the commitments, but every bit builds confidence i have found.
    Keep up the good work.
    Brian

    Ontario, Canada

    #119597
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    Thanks @BrianJ..
    This past week I began the mortises. I did 4 on a pair of legs. I’m fairly pleased with the turnout.

    On Tuesday (10/14) I made the first tenon.
    Issues: I used a chunk of 2×4 douglas fir to make a longer length poor man’s router. The chisel was wedged so tight I couldn’t knock it out. Used a 3/8″ bit to make the hole for the 1/2″ chisel. I guess I just don’t have the strength. After about 45 minutes of stressful work I sawed around the chisel and got it out. On 2nd try, I used very soft white pine. Much better to work with.
    Tenon came out pretty good in the end.
    I’ve taken a break from the bench as all that hard pounding aggravated my carpal tunnel.

    Pics of mortises attached.

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #120181
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    This weekend I finished the first Leg H frame. I am quite pleased with the outcome. Tenons are taking me a while as I’m overly cautious, trying not to take off too much at once. They are fitting well and all joints are square.

    Still have to work on next pair of legs and then on the apron dadoes.

    A question: What is the best approach to flattening the tops once the bench can be assembled? Should I flatten the tops without attaching to the aprons and then plane the apron to the top, or should I wait until the aprons are glued to the tops and then plane all together?

    Thanks,
    Marilyn

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #120186
    Dave
    Participant

    It may sound odd but you should focus on the bottom of your bench tops. Use winding sticks to take out any twist, once the bottom face is true and flat then you can attach it to your bench, once everything is attached it is much easier to work on the top face.

    -Canada

    #120187
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    @dave, Hi. I already flattened the bottoms of the bench tops. Reason for the question is that in the assembly video Paul S. says to add a 1/16″ in addition to the bench top thickness when making the dado so you can plane the apron to the bench top. However, in the beginning of the videos he says to plane the tops after glueing to the aprons.
    Wondered which would be best to do..
    I attach a quickie drawing to show what I mean..

    Thanks,
    Marilyn

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #120198
    Dave
    Participant

    I would attach the top and flatten everything at once, this way you can get the apron and bench top square to each other at the same time.

    -Canada

    #120210
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    @Dave,
    Thanks, will do.

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #122081
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    It’s been a long month and a half since I posted an update on my bench build. I’ve been slowly making headway with it. The dadoes on the aprons were probably the hardest for me because of the pain in my hands. I’m glad that part is over.
    Yesterday I began planing the bench top. The top isn’t finished yet, but I’m happy to see it clamped together. Really sturdy.
    Attaching a pic of the progress so far.

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    #122083
    Derek Long
    Participant

    Looking good!

    Derek Long
    Denver, Colorado

    #122118
    Marilyn Moreno
    Participant

    Thanks @delong1974

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

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