solid-door workbench #2: Making the base of the bench, note pipes in stretchers!

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Blog entry by ChrisMc45 posted 04-22-2012 10:57 PM 15303 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: the top with solid-core doors Part 2 of solid-door workbench series Part 3: Epic fail - blow-out becomes a calming relief »

Putting together the underpinnings of the bench, I used some of the ideas from C. Schwartz on Roubo bench, mostly about mass. I did not do true through-the-top timber framing, but did use drawboring on the end assemblies because they are permanent. Stretchers length might change in the future. I chose not to whittle my pegs from stock, but used dowels and a belt sander:

To pull the whole end-assemblies together, I used my biggest drift. Schwartz had a good article on putting shop-made handles on, I just used as-is:

To attach the long stretchers, I used round-end tenons into drill-only mortices. I then used long bolts to pull the stretchers tight to the legs. Normally people make these like bed-bolts, going to a nut squeezing washer onto a flat-faced hole.

However, I wanted to try something I read about in timberframe construction journals, to replace the washers with a piece of big-diameter pipe. Those Boilermakers at Purdue (Dr. Eckelman and grad students) had some good research and this is certainly “small timber”.

Hey, the frame stands up, and is rigid, and has no flex. Had some grief on the non-wood-core door, the round-ended tenons, the drill-press holes not acting well as guides on the stretcher holes…...standard project stuff. perfection is not an attainable goal. Trying to get closer can be.

3 comments so far

View Julian's profile


1620 posts in 3705 days

#1 posted 04-23-2012 03:22 PM

Using the pipe is a great idea and it looks good too.

-- Julian

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3669 days

#2 posted 04-23-2012 07:05 PM

I love the pipe…that is a great way of distributing the stress load when doing this joint (it’s pretty easy to compress the wood to failure if you are not careful…one oops on my parts speaking there).

I assume the two stretcher section is at the back of the bench, if so that is not a bad idea either as far as ridgidity is concerned. Nicley done.

And finally The Engineer….my personal favorite.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View PurpLev's profile


8648 posts in 4663 days

#3 posted 04-27-2012 04:38 PM

looks good, and like you say – perfection is only a guideline. as long as it’s solid, that’s all that matters.

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

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