My Ultimate Workbench Build #8: Side panels and rails...

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Blog entry by RS Woodworks posted 08-11-2011 05:02 AM 10913 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Trials and tribulations in sliding dovetail end caps... Part 8 of My Ultimate Workbench Build series no next part

Hey all! It’s been a bit since I posted my last progress on this workbench, but thats not to say I haven’t been working on it. Since the last time, I managed to do some more work on the legs to get them ready to accept the rails and panels for the sides of the bench. Remember those Douglas Fir posts that I posted I think in my first blog? Well I resawed a couple of those to use for the panels, really nice wood!

The posts were thick enough to get 3 full 1” boards out of them, but not 4. So for these 1” thick panels, I used two bookmatched sets each. Gives it an interesting look I think. Once the panels were glued up, I sanded them flat and cut a rabbet at the bottom to fit in the rails. The legs themselves will act as the stiles.

Here are the rails cut with the groove to accept the panel. I cut the tennon on the ends. On the top rails, I cut another groove that will help hold it to the top with table top clips, one of the few metal components that will be on this bench. I put a nice roundover profile, not only because it looks nice but because less dust / shavings will settle on the lower rail that way.

And here are the matching grooves and mortises on the inside of the legs to accept the panel and rails.

On the bottom of the leg on the right (this is the one that will have the leg vise) you see the large notch I cut to house the lower sliding guide for the vise. We’ll see more about that later.

Here are the side panels assembled with the legs. At this point everything is just dry fit together. I will be gluing and drawboring all the peices together, except skipping the glue where it will cause issues with wood movement of course.

The last thing I did was to cut a bevel on the bottom of each leg, around all four edges. Given it’s heft, this bench won’t be moving much, but when it does, I don’t want to have wood splitting out on the bottom of the legs…. This prevents that, and gives it a nice visual touch too.

Well thats about all for now. I’d love to hear your comments, questions and critiques!
See ya next time!!

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

7 comments so far

View Chris's profile


31 posts in 4180 days

#1 posted 08-11-2011 10:40 AM

Hi Ryan, your bench is coming along beautifully and I’ve enjoyed your attention to detail and your explanation to those of us who aren’t at the level to undertake such a project yet. I look forward to seeing the next blog entry. Take care


-- May the Lord bless you and keep you

View steviep's profile


233 posts in 3984 days

#2 posted 08-11-2011 04:40 PM

looks great Ryan! Thanks for keeping us updated.

-- StevieP ~ Micheal Tompkins - you were not here on earth long but left a giant mark on us. RIP Brother

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 4030 days

#3 posted 08-11-2011 04:42 PM

Wow, this is really nice work. That DF really looks nice and you selected nice pieces. You’ve made some really nice cuts along the way. I’m guessing you have a quality dado stack. Very clean work.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Murdock's profile


169 posts in 3821 days

#4 posted 08-11-2011 04:59 PM

This is looking great, I really enjoy looking at what others are doing with there workbenches as I am getting ready to build my own, hope to cut the first board this weekend in fact. Nothing of this caliber planned though, great work.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17678 posts in 3955 days

#5 posted 08-11-2011 05:39 PM

I love the roundover. Doug fir looking great, too. Nice work, great approach. If the bench finishes as nice as it’s going so far, you’ll love it. Heck, you’ll love it anyway! Congrats on the progress.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View ergeek's profile


7 posts in 3859 days

#6 posted 08-22-2011 12:21 PM

Hi Ryan,
Very nice pieces of fir for the panels. Looking forward to your vice installs.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4377 days

#7 posted 08-23-2011 06:59 PM

Cool !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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