solid-door workbench #1: the top with solid-core doors

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Blog entry by ChrisMc45 posted 04-15-2012 12:47 PM 9910 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of solid-door workbench series Part 2: Making the base of the bench, note pipes in stretchers! »

So I got a monster solid-WOOD-core door from when they tore down the bowling alley on Redstone Arsenal. I now wish I had scored a few more, but that is hindsight. (PLEASE don’t even mention the actual alleys, you can read about that kind of heartache or learning experience “here on LJ:”

We had big solid-core doors on offices at work. Long-story-short, I found a distributor who discarded many doors per quarter and was happy to give them away, details “HERE

I rearranged my shop (took 1/2 day) to allow infeed/outfeed of 7’x3’ “boards”

I was expecting solid-WOOD-core. Maybe OSB is technically “wood” or at least a wood product….Not quite what I was hoping for.

In the photo, the top piece is the cross-section of the Bowling-Alley door (now my lumber-rack base, another post another time) while the bottom pieces are the other freebie doors. Okay, I am imagining “skirt” parts surrounding the workbench top, lots of benches do that (but not Roubo, they aim super-thick. Hmmm…)

I like Chris Schwartz’s editorial style and hand-tool evangelism, but I did not have any 24/4 lumber around for legs. I did have several true-4×4 (16/4) pieces of cypress left over from my deck. They made legs. I did lay-out, chamfer on leg bottom with router, all mortises with a Forstner bit, figuring to make round-edged tenons later.

1)—-don’t just go for biggest square-possible dimension on each leg, make them uniform even if they are not as thick as possible. When the legs are different thicknesses, it makes problems (many fussy calculations and different shoulder set-ups) later on stretchers… :)
2)—-rounded tenons might work in some applications….maybe next time I will not be lazy and only put shoulders on 3 sides of tenon.

Later fail, rounded tenons out of true:

2 comments so far

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3443 days

#1 posted 04-27-2012 12:05 AM

I really like the pile of oak you have air drying – I’m thinking you need this bench to make the next bench out of “real” wood,, right?

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View PurpLev's profile


8650 posts in 4664 days

#2 posted 04-27-2012 04:39 PM

ha! but why not go for the bowling alley ?!? sorry… I couldn’t resist ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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