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Building my Workbench

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Blog series by HokieKen updated 07-24-2017 12:03 PM 15 parts 23080 reads 123 comments total

Part 1: Quit thinking and relocate your donkey!

08-25-2016 04:25 PM by HokieKen | 7 comments »

Okay, I’ve been determined to do a blog series on some project but they’ve all gotten away without being documented. But, I’m gonna document this build because I’ve been planning it for so long that it deserves some posterity! This won’t be a quick build given my limited shop time so don’t expect daily updates and a wrap-up in a week. But, we’ll get there so come along for the ride if you like. I’ve wanted a new bench for a couple of yea...

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Part 2: My (almost) Final Design... maybe... sorta

08-31-2016 04:35 PM by HokieKen | 3 comments »

Well I’m back. In this entry, I’ll be showing you my design and going over why I made some of the decisions that I did and why I’m still kinda floundering on a couple more. So, on with it! Here’s a view of my 3D model. As you can see it’s very similar to a split top Roubo. I tried to decide for months whether or not to put a tool tray in and whether or not to make it a split top. I ultimately decided that I definitely need a tool tray. There is alw...

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Part 3: I'm getting to the beginning...

09-13-2016 04:39 PM by HokieKen | 4 comments »

I was actually at the beginning last weekend. I was all excited to get out to the shop and start cutting these beasts down to rough lengths and go to work with the scrub plane. And then… Well, I’ve been kinda amassing a bunch of crap over the last few years. I have wet grinders, antique table saws, old hand saws, bench vises, scroll saws, ‘bout 1/2 dozen electric motors and a ton of miscellaneous crap that I’ve just kinda been piling up in whatever empty floor sp...

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Part 4: Breaking Wind

10-31-2016 12:45 PM by HokieKen | 1 comment »

You guys thought I’d forgotten about the blog didn’t you? Well never fear, here is yet another exciting and timely entry! ;-) Due to some family issues the last month, I’ve had very limited shop time. I finally got a chance to get started this weekend. So, I cut the first beam to rough length and went to work flattening it. I scrubbed one face until it looked flat enough and ran it through the planer taking light passes to flatten the opposite face. I was feeling goo...

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Part 5: It's Knot So Bad

11-07-2016 12:50 PM by HokieKen | 6 comments »

I HAD come to enjoy hand planing immensely. The tool itself is brilliant and elegant in it’s simplicity and effectiveness. Restoring old planes and fettling them is a relaxant for me. I delight in taking a smoother and bringing a board to a finish that is flatter and feels smoother to the touch than one that has been sanded. I enjoy taking a jack or a router and curling off whisper thin shavings until an edge shows dead square to its reference face and there’s no sliver of lig...

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Part 6: Do these sticks make my slab look flat?

11-10-2016 01:22 PM by HokieKen | 3 comments »

Oh dear… What is he doing? Is this the second entry in a single week? Yes, yes it is :-) I got a couple of free hours last night so decided to sneak in a little bench work. I decided I was going to flatten the slab I glued up over the weekend. But wait, aren’t you supposed to wait until the bench is done to flatten it? Well, yes. And I didn’t completely flatten it, that will be when I finish the build. But, my thinking is that this is the bulk of my top. Once I di...

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Part 7: Brief update and vise opinion solicitations

01-23-2017 02:05 PM by HokieKen | 1 comment »

Geeze, I’m really on the ball with this blog huh? Well, unfortunately the pace of my blog updates pretty well matches the pace of my bench build :-( A LOT of family (and just general life) crisis the past couple months have severely limited my shop time. And, I comitted to the toolswap going on so I’ve had to keep up with that too. Soooo, the bench has kinda taken a bit of a back seat. While my shop time is still limited, it is solely focused on my bench now, so I’ve ...

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Part 8: Chisels be Cryin'

04-03-2017 11:49 AM by HokieKen | 29 comments »

OMG, I am horrible with this blog huh? Swaps been over for awhile now slacker…..I need an update. - ki7hy Fair enough ;-P I really hadn’t made any progress since the last update other than getting the end vise installed and drilling my dog/holdfast holes until last week. I did have a couple of days last week that I got good time and I got my legs all milled and got the tenons cut. So now I’m marking out and cutting my mortises. At the rate I’m going, I’...

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Part 9: One Day I Might Finish this Beast!

05-01-2017 12:19 PM by HokieKen | 2 comments »

Man, it seems like each big project takes twice as long as the previous one. Aren’t build times supposed to go down as you get more experience? ;-P In all seriousness, this bench is taking FOREVER it seems. But it’s due to much more limited shop time than I’ve enjoyed in the past. I have learned to be okay with that and cherish the time I have alone with the smell of wood, the “thwack” of my mallet on the chisel and the solid “thunk” when I kno...

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Part 10: Home Stretch Baby!

06-05-2017 12:04 PM by HokieKen | 13 comments »

Okay, so let’s say this blog sucks, at best. Or at least the author sucks at keeping it updated. It’s just hard when I squeeze in an hour here and there and next thing I know, it’s almost done and I haven’t taken any pictures :-0 But, I said I was going to blog the build so I’m not giving up no matter how sporadic the updates! I got a lot of shop time this weekend and made great progress on the bench. I still have it upside down but the day when I can fl...

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Part 11: Still Plugging Along

07-05-2017 01:09 PM by HokieKen | 13 comments »

Well, it’s been a bit and most of my shop time the past several weeks has been spent working on Father’s Day gifts and my contribution to the current LumberJocks Tool Swap. Those are both wrapped up and out of the house though and I had a long weekend with some pretty good shop time so I got quite a bit done. In fact… I AM ALMOST DONE! First thing I did since the last entry was to finish up all the M&T joints for the long stretchers. Here is the final dry-fit of th...

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Part 12: Leg Vise

07-10-2017 01:11 PM by HokieKen | 6 comments »

Well, over the past week, I did manage to get the leg vise mostly done. At least as “done” as I’m going to until the final assembly is done. I had already cut the mortise for the parallel guide before drawboring the leg. So next thing I did was to make the parallel guide and cut my chop to rough shape. The guide is made from a piece of cherry and the chop is the same gnarly Walnut I used for my end vise. I cut a blind mortise in the chop for the guide and drilled and ...

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Part 13: Still Upside Down... But Better

07-17-2017 01:24 PM by HokieKen | 3 comments »

Had a little bit of time this week and got a few things done. I didn’t get the bench right-side-up… yet. But, I’m ready to now! WOO-HOO! First thing I did after the last update was to finish drilling out my dog/holdfast holes. I did the row closest to the edge with 4” spacing. The other row is on 12” centers. I didn’t want to “Swiss Cheese” it too much so the second row is spaced to ensure my 8” holdfasts can get anywhere on the b...

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Part 14: Not Much but Right-Side-UP!!

07-18-2017 03:26 PM by HokieKen | 15 comments »

Not much to say but I am so excited I just had to post a quick update. Yesterday I assembled the base with the long stretchers fit loosely. Then I wrestled the top onto it. Turned out to be pretty easy and I didn’t need any help at all. Just slid it on the base and then went around tapping here and there until all the mortises fell on their tenons. Then I drove in the drawbore pegs for the long stretchers and the base is done. Now I just have to pin the top to ...

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Part 15: Little More Progress, Nearly Done

07-24-2017 12:03 PM by HokieKen | 17 comments »

Well, I got some time in the shop this weekend. I split it about 50/50 between my Beer Swap project and my bench. Just wanted to post a quick update on where I’m at. Now that everything is assembled and pinned, it’s time to get to work on the “fun”stuff… well mostly. First up was to get the end vise back on. Now, this is the one part of my build I’m not totally satisfied with. There’s just too much slop in this hardware for a chop as long and ...

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