Well, after following Paul’s workbench series religiously and with considerable envy, I decided to make a start on my own today. I live in mid-Wales so I definitely picked the worst weekend ever to start what with the extreme snow we’ve had, but I simply couldn’t wait any longer and it’s a great project for when you can’t do much else!
The snow also had the effect of severely limiting my timber choices from my local merchant as deliveries have been difficult. As such, I’ve had to modify Paul’s plans to suit the sizes I could get hold of. However, the plans that Paul provided perfectly lend themselves to modification and scaling, much appreciated! The one annoying timber set-back to result from this was not being able to get pieces wide enough to make the full apron height from one piece. I managed to get 6 inch wide pieces, however, so I’m going to dowel and glue two together and hopefully the dowels will add enough extra strength to the glue to enable them to function properly as clamps for the bench-top without shearing at the glue line. (EDIT: does anyone with more experience have any thoughts on this? Are the dowels necessary or would a good glue joint be sufficient? I know that if I do dowel it I need to be careful where I place them so that I can cut the leg recesses without exposing them)
I bought planed-all-round timber, too, as I didn’t want to spend forever planing and squaring sawn material and this has already made things a lot easier. I got the bench-top lengths planed to my liking very quickly, just removing the minute machine-scuff marks and leaving a lovely mirror surface. I’ve just finished glueing them up in the last 10 minutes or so, but I was a bit of a drip and forgot to get extra wood glue when I picked the timber up so I’ve had to leave one length off and I’ll glue that to the rest in the morning (typically I realised I didn’t have enough glue after the shops closed!). I also only own 4 clamps of any decent size so I spaced them well and made sure that any slight bow to the lengths was central so that the clamp pressure in the middle was enough to close the gaps. Fingers crossed this was enough!
I’ll crack on with the legs and rails tomorrow and hopefully I can get them all done in a day. Updates and pictures will of course follow!
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