solid-door workbench #3: Epic fail - blow-out becomes a calming relief

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Blog entry by ChrisMc45 posted 05-11-2012 08:48 PM 3036 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Making the base of the bench, note pipes in stretchers! Part 3 of solid-door workbench series no next part

So I was ready to “laminate” the top and bottom door-slabs to make the ~3.5” benchtop. Due to the ugly side-view of the slabs, I had figured to add a skirt or perimeter of white oak I had from a previous project, as well as the vise jaw faces.

I clamped the two slabs then drilled 1” holes through the top to about an inch into the bottom, these would allow big pegs to mechanically join the slabs. I glued the pegs proud on the top, then slid the two parts together with about a pint of Gorilla Glue in the middle.

I hammered the pegs until I reached the bottom of the hole in the bottom slab, then many clamps.

The top looked good, right up until I flipped to show what was the show-side of the bench:

Total blow-out of the veneered top, caused by hammering the big 1” pegs too far. Much cussing followed. but as I looked over the damage, I actually realized that the whole thing would still function as a bench just fine. It did not have to look as pretty as Lon Schleining’s or Chris Schwartz’s benches. This was no Roubo-replica, so why fret if the top (was supposed to be bottom of the top, if that makes sense) has big dowels visible? Furthermore, why bother with skirting from furniture-grade lumber, it is just a bench, an assembly surface and workholding aid?

With that relief, I relaxed and went on. I made the vise-faces from leftover Trex, a super-stable and easy to work material. The endvise went easily.

Finally got it done, you can see the result as my wobble-free bench in my project folder.

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290 posts in 3700 days

#1 posted 05-11-2012 10:03 PM

I was looking at my solid core workbench today, its been a year now since I made the top (still have yet to make the bottom half) and I wanted it to be pristine, a thing of beauty in my shop. After a year later, there are some paint marks from some over spray, some glue drops, some gouges from planing, and I sit back and look at it, and I like it even more with all the battle marks, because it still holds up great, and on that top a few great projects were made.

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