Projects #7: John White FWW Workbench - Clamping/Accessory Well

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Jeff posted 08-04-2007 02:03 AM 5915 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: John White FWW Workbench - Dimensions Part 7 of Projects series Part 8: John White FWW Workbench - Finished Top »

Last week I finished drilling many holes for the sides of the well. These included the holes for the clamping bars as well as the pilot holes and countersinks for the confirmat screws. This took a bit of time because of all the measuring and trial and error positioning to ensure I didn’t make any major mistakes since the FWW plans were subject to interpretation and my sketchup plans (last entry) were a little inaccurate regarding the size of the clamping bars. It paid off though.

For those planning to build the bench, I highly recommend using a drill press to drill all the large-diameter holes. It may just be me but I can seldom drill a straight hole… I used a Forstner bit for the clamp bar holes and Confirmat screw pilot holes. The unthreaded portion of the Confirmats are only about 1/2 inch and has a larger flat head so they needed deep countersink holes for the 1 3/8 inch side of the well. These were all done with the drill press since all I had to do was set the fence and move the board.

drilling the holes in the well sides

Holes drilled and well side clamped to the back part of the table (the salvaged door piece).
finished clamp and pilot holes

The seam you see is because I forgot to measure twice… It’s the edge of a 45 deg scarf joint I decided to use rather than a butt joint.
front view of well holes

The front well side was not as involved. I only had to drill 7/8 inch holes for the bar clamp pipe. Since the well side and the front rail were both Fir, I just used deck screws as called for in the plan. These were placed every 6 inches. Note to those building the bench. This is a good time to cut some MDF for the well covers. I cut my to 10 inches as called for in the design. I cut two 8×10 inch pieces and one 10×20 inch piece. I set the smaller pieces on the supports above the legs and the longer one above the center support. This allows you to make sure your placement of the front well/rail assembly is more accurate in case you are a little off somewhere. I placed the front assembly on he supports, against the MDF and clamped the assembly from the bottom. At this point, I secured the rail to the supports. Another note. When you cut the MDF, cut them about 1/64 inch long (10 1/64). This is so that once you have secured the assembly, you can work the MDF out of the well and trim that extra 1/64 off and there will be a snug fit in the well but it can still slide back and forth or be removed. Sorry, didn’t grab a pic of that process. I can mimic it if anyone needs me to though.

Here are some final shots showing the progress (less the supports for the clamps that extend the length of the well).

the top mostly done

And here is a closeup of a clamp bar that will support one end of the planing beam.

planing beam support cloeup

Thanks for taking a look and as always, suggestions and critique are appreciated.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

7 comments so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5344 days

#1 posted 08-04-2007 02:08 AM

Lookin’ good. Jeff!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5277 days

#2 posted 08-04-2007 04:46 AM

Nice work Jeff – must be satisfying!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5681 days

#3 posted 08-04-2007 05:06 AM

Nice jeff. I saw the article, now I’ll have to go back and review it again to see how you conformed.

And yes FWW plans leave a lot to interperation. I think they want you to purchase the full plans and not build anything from the magazine. (Unless you build it to your own specs)

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5378 days

#4 posted 08-04-2007 05:24 AM

Great Jeff. This looks like it will work very well.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5373 days

#5 posted 08-04-2007 05:40 AM

Terrific work Jeff!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5592 days

#6 posted 08-04-2007 05:42 AM

Are you planning to put the extra board on the planing beam like the original and the hook on the bench? It is looking good.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5374 days

#7 posted 08-04-2007 02:57 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback. It is satisfying to almost be done and have it usable. I just wish I didn’t have so many other things to do today so I could finish it up. Sunday will be a good day though.

Os, yes the planing beam will have all the original features plus the additional support to keep the tall or long workpieces from moving around at the bottom (mentioned only in the video). The hook will also be installed except at the opposite end since I’m a lefty.

Karson, there are links in my original post about the bench if you need a quick reference.

Chip, good to have you back!

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics