Workbench #16: Base Complete

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Blog entry by CartersWhittling posted 11-14-2011 02:09 AM 4556 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Base Mortise & Tenons Part 16 of Workbench series Part 17: Completion »

Hello. At this point in time I have the workbench finished, but this post will be about the base. I will make a video going over the completed bench and then post my last blog entry of the bench.

Shortly after the last blog post I bought the last portion of wood I needed for the bench. The first piece I worked on was for the underside of the bench top. I made a piece 4 1/2” wide and about 1 1/2” thick to glue to the back edge of the top to make the edge the same thickness as the end caps.

Then I laid out and cut the mortises for the leg assemblies in this piece.

I also had to drill out two holes to get access to the nuts for the end cap bolts.

I also routed a 1” x1” groove for the sliding deadman.

After this point a started work on the base and the stretchers. The parts for the stretchers are about 2 3/8” thick and about 5 3/4” wide. I cut the tenon cheeks on the bandsaw and the shoulders by hand. I got the distance between the tenons by placing the leg assemblies into the mortises in the bench top and marking the distance between the legs.

I first fitted the short stretcher between the one leg assembly.

Then I mortised the side stretchers into place. The stretchers are flush to the front of the legs and are 5” above the ground.

I then worked on the spacers that go between the top of the legs and the bench top.

Make sure that the spacers sit flat on the bench surface and that they are both parallel to each other.

I also have two holes in the spacer blocks (that I forgot to get pictures of) which accept a dowel in the top of the leg assemblies. The blocks are attached to the top with two bolts each (which I also forgot to get a picture of).

Here you can see the dowels glued into the leg assemblies. These fit into the holes in the spacer blocks. The dowels help keep the base from racking and twisting while doing heavy work on the bench.

In this picture and the one above you can see the pegs in the joints. All the mortise and tenons were draw bored with 3/8” white oak pegs I made using a dowel plate. You can also vaguely see the angled guide that is routed in the front stretcher for the sliding deadman.

The oak pegs for the base joints.

Before I permanently assembled the base in the pictures above, I hand planed all the surfaces on the leg assemblies flush and made sure the front legs were flush with the bench top edge.

After this all I had to do was place the top on the base and make the sliding deadman, the leg vise, and flatten the bench top. As I said earlier, the bench is currently done. Once I make a video I will post the finished bench.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

2 comments so far

View Dave's profile


11434 posts in 3383 days

#1 posted 11-14-2011 03:04 AM

A very detailed blog. I would be proud to own such a bench in my shop. I look forward to see the video of your build.
Great job.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 2938 days

#2 posted 11-24-2011 06:22 AM

Really impressive.

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

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