Moravian Workbench Build #2: Bench Top

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Blog entry by ElroyD posted 05-23-2018 03:53 PM 1258 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting Started Part 2 of Moravian Workbench Build series Part 3: All the Reasons Why »

Those who read the first entry in my Moravian Workbench Build may recall that I had been working in our laundry room till the weather warmed up enough outside. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Winter had a hard time letting go of the northeast this year, and I was eventually forced out of my small laundry room workspace. I didn’t want to stop work on the bench though, so I retreated to our very dark, very dusty, very musty, very in need of repair basement where I began work on my benchtop.

Pieces for the top are construction grade 2×4s that were salvaged from an auto repair shop that had gone out of business. Originally they had been used to hold up wall racks and shelving. Not the best lumber in the world, but it was dry and free.

I made an attempt at truing up my lumber and gluing it together to form a roughly 13” wide, 7+ feet long top about 3” thick. I’m not great a truing lumber yet, so I finally gave in and just laminated all the 2×4s together, which I decided I’d flatten all in one go once they were bonded together.

Since I’m still stealing time away from other things in 10 to 15 minute increments, work on assembling the top went slowly. The plus side to this is that the weather finally warmed up enough to move things outside.

Once outside, I had the freedom to set myself up with a couple of saw-horses and my super out-of-flat benchtop. Evey day I would attack it with a fore-plane, slowly working the surface down to flat on both the upper and lower side. Being construction grade lumber, there were a lot of knots to deal with, which I popped out with a chisel. Any deep spots left, I’ll fill later. It’s not pretty, but I’m going for usable quality, not display quality, on this go round. This morning I finally told myself that it’s flat enough, and I cut the ends, bringing it to length of about 6’.

Though I only have a top at this point, I already love having a portable bench that I can take outside. I’ve been able to soak up some sun, watch the kids play, and keep an eye on our garden and herd of goats, all while relaxing with a hand plane. I wouldn’t be able to do this with a power tool shop. ;-)

-- Elroy

3 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8283 posts in 1797 days

#1 posted 05-23-2018 05:07 PM

Looks like it does the job, which is the most important thing.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1863 days

#2 posted 05-23-2018 09:39 PM

Looking good, Elroy. You’re getting there!

View Oldtool's profile


3309 posts in 3406 days

#3 posted 05-24-2018 10:11 PM

Looks like you have this task well in hand, looking pretty good so far. Working with a hand plane gives you a pretty good workout, and a great deal of satisfaction when done. Enjoy..

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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