Heavily modified Paul Sellers workbench #1: She's got legs.....

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Blog entry by KTMM (Krunkthemadman) posted 03-26-2012 04:01 AM 11100 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Heavily modified Paul Sellers workbench series Part 2: Last night was a good night »

I’ll skip the boring parts, like the glue up of the legs and material choice. I will say that I had intended to build my own designed bench sometime last year. I was sold on a certain author’s idea of an awesome Roubo style bench. I got Paul Sellers’ Working Wood, book and dvd set at Christmas this year, and it completely changed my way of thinking.

But you didn’t come here for ramblings, you want to see pictures…...

There they are, pretty aren’t they. Now time for some pictures of a screw up….

And the repair….

What you’re looking at is the finished product of the legs in the first picture. In the second picture there is the first mortise and tenon that I have ever cut completely by hand. The other two pictures are a boo boo I made.

I f you’ve looked at the plans provided in the book by Mr. Sellers, you will notice that the top rail should have a haunch in the top of it. My legs do not have that feature, not because I couldn’t do it, but rather, I’m an idiot. I mis-measured my mortises and went to cutting. After setting in the first mortise I realized that I had mis-measured. I also noticed by the fractured edge of my chisel, that I would need to implore some machine help, or plan on sharpening 4 times per mortise.

It was at that point that I found out the motor on my drill press was burned out. So I hauled my legs to a neighbors house and did rough boring with a drill press. I made a boo boo on the last mortise of the last leg I was drilling. Somehow, I had an extra pencil line on the leg and I just went to drilling between the lines. That’s what created the mortise next to the mortise. The best fix I could think of was to cut a plug to fill the hole. I implored some newly learned carving techniques to whittle that small block into an appropriate size for the hole.

All in all, I am happy with the results. I wish I had the haunches, but then again, this oak is a lot tougher than the softwood that Mr. Sellers calls for in his book and video.

Thanks again to Paul Sellers for his inspiration and instruction.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

7 comments so far

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3926 days

#1 posted 03-26-2012 05:22 AM

It looks to me that it is coming along nicely.
That is going to be one heavy bench made of oak.
I hope you place it where you want it and don’t plan on moving it too much.

In the last photo.
If the plug going to be trimmed flush or left proud as I think it looks in the photo?

I’m wanting to see how the top is going to attach.


View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3924 days

#2 posted 03-26-2012 11:22 AM

Nice mortice and tenon. She is coming along real nice Lucas. I will have to come and see it.

Keep up the good work
We all Boo Boo sometimes. That is what glue is for;)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3356 days

#3 posted 03-26-2012 02:57 PM

Gonna’ be a Fine Bench.

This is how we gain experience. Always remember “It’s not how bad you err, it’s how well you recover”.
It will work just as well with that extra ‘practice’ mortice.

Keep up the great woodworking experiences.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Mauricio's profile


7166 posts in 4235 days

#4 posted 03-27-2012 03:44 PM

Sounds cool, I’m watching. So what is heavily modified in your design vs. Paul’s?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1058 posts in 4278 days

#5 posted 03-28-2012 03:43 AM

Double top, it’s made of oak and I’ve changed the measurements based on material I had available. The well board on mine will be pretty small 3” or so. I plan to make some additions once it’s assembled to tailor it to carving also.

I should be posting part 2 of this tomorrow. I want to wait until I have some pictures to show off.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3926 days

#6 posted 03-29-2012 01:26 AM

I can’t wait to see it.
Since I am not familiar with work bench designs (mine is an old table), what changes are to be made to make it better for carving?


View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3759 days

#7 posted 03-29-2012 02:05 AM

Looking good!!! Anxiously awaiting pictures of your progress/completed bench.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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