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Anarchist Workbench Build #3: Slab Glue UP

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Blog entry by Lazyman posted 12-08-2021 03:10 AM 1418 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Prep for Wagon Vise and Dog Strip Part 3 of Anarchist Workbench Build series Part 4: Hovarter Wagon Vise installed »

I spread a little glue and got most of the slab glued up. I initially planned to glue up 2 or 3 sections so that I could use my planner to flatten them before gluing the sections together. After gluing up the first 8” wide section, I used a hand plan to initially flatten the bottom.

I was pretty careful to avoid gluing in any twist so it only took me about 30 minutes to flatten this by hand. I realized that it was going to be much easier to do all of the flattening by hand than to rearrange my shop to get about 13’ of infeed and outfeed space while man handling a heavy slab by myself.

So I proceeded to glue up the rest of the slab by adding several planks at a time. I needed 2 more 6’ planks but could not find any at the Lowes and HD with the grain characteristics I am looking for so decided to piece a couple of shorter cutoffs together. I didn’t want to worry about gaps or having one half slip higher than the other so I decided use some sort of joint to at least hold them in place. This is what I came up with.

It holds things together fine without it but I added a peg in a sightly undersized hole in hopes that it will push the joint tight on the top and bottom edges. It helps I think but I I should have made the hole 1/32 smaller.

I still have 2, maybe 3 more boards to add but here is the last glue up so far. I didn’t even have to use all of my longer clamps.

I still have to add the 2 face pieces but I am holding off until I finally decide if I am going to add a condor tail to hold on the end plate for the wagon vise. In the meantime, I flattened the bottom of the slab using several different hand planes.

I do love vertical grain. Incidentally, the little bit of blue stain visible was from the 3 #1 SYP boards that were good enough to use.

So that is where I stand at the moment. As soon as I decide what approach I am going to use to attach the end cap, I will move forward.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.



17 comments so far

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4902 posts in 2610 days


#1 posted 12-08-2021 07:55 AM

Good job. By the way that “some sort of joint” is called a keyed scarf joint. There are many variations. Here is a doweled keyed joint I made two summers ago in garden timber when you just could not buy anything and I need a longer timber. It was quite fun to figure out and I like this design.




You will note that the one I made prevents it from coming out of alignment along both axes perpendicular to the timber as well as drawing it tight along the timber. I think your joined plank is sandwiched between other planks and so you didn’t need to worry so much about one of the axes.

I just attached my end caps with a couple of screws and did nothing fancy like bread board ends incase I wanted to add an end vice or something later.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8781 posts in 2720 days


#2 posted 12-08-2021 01:09 PM

Yes. Since I knew it would be sandwiched in I did not worry too much about laterally locking the scarf joint into place. The main purpose was to make the glue up easier. Not sure if I saw this particular one somewhere but it was fun to reinvent the wheel and cut. I added the key after I had cut it just to see if it made any difference. It definitely help prevent it from slipping apart as I applied glue and moved it into place.

I am pretty sure that I will attach the end cap with some screws. They need to be pretty secure because the Hovarter wagon vise will be pushing outward on the end cap rather than inward like a face vise. I think it is also needed to stabilize and support that corner. I will probably use some of the cherry I bought for the leg vise.

I just clamped a couple shorts in place here to visualize what I would do if I connect the corner with a dovetail.

As I was thinking about this last night, I started to wonder if I do add the dovetail to join the corner whether the tails should actually be put on the end cap to prevent the face piece from bowing out instead of the usual way most people add the condor tails with the tails on the long side of the bench. The 2 boards there just just sort of stick out into space so it seems like I should make the attachment solid enough to bear some weight as well as prevent the 2 boards from bowing outward. It just occurred me that I might want to sacrifice a little bit of jaw movement and glue a block at the end of the gap too.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

20636 posts in 2471 days


#3 posted 12-08-2021 02:16 PM

You might consider a sliding dovetail along the full length to attach the end cap. You could cut the female slot in the end cap then cut a corresponding male key from a seperate piece of wood. Then screw the key to the benchtop with lags and slide the end cap over it. That would distribute the force from the wagon vise along the full keyway instead of just on the condor tails at the end. Ultimately though, your lags would still be bearing all the pressure. This way would just be a way to hide the lag bolts and make it look more traditional.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9309 posts in 1915 days


#4 posted 12-08-2021 03:26 PM

And there’s that idea I suggested in the other thread, but with a separate key, rather than cutting the tails in the boards of the bench top directly. I think you’re going to have to do a full-width sliding dovetail, Nathan.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8781 posts in 2720 days


#5 posted 12-08-2021 04:00 PM

Sounds like you will be ashamed of me, disappointed at least, if I don’t Dave. ;-)

One issue with the dovetail key is that I would not want it where the vise actually is because there are locking flanges and bushings that need a flat space there. I would either have the stop the dovetail groove or cut half the key off there. Here is a snip from a Hovarter video showing the flange and bushing being locked against the inside of the end cap that shows what I mean.

I am probably going to play it safe and just use bolts of some kind to secure the end cap. I think that the instructions recommend that anyway to prevent bowing, even with other attachments such as condor tails. The condor tail is probably more of a cosmetic ornament at this point.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

4938 posts in 2657 days


#6 posted 12-08-2021 06:32 PM

The condor tail is probably more of a cosmetic ornament at this point.

- Lazyman

Yes, they look cool, but from what I’m reading, you might need the more secure end cap.

I love reading a good bench build. Good job!

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9309 posts in 1915 days


#7 posted 12-08-2021 07:16 PM

Sounds like you will be ashamed of me, disappointed at least, if I don’t Dave. ;-)

Well, don’t let that bother you, Nathan. I’m disappointed in me all the time. Beer seems to resolve that issue, though. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8781 posts in 2720 days


#8 posted 12-08-2021 09:00 PM

Cheers!

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4983 posts in 3681 days


#9 posted 12-09-2021 09:59 PM

Speaking of shame – It’s official, you are further along than I am.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8781 posts in 2720 days


#10 posted 12-10-2021 01:05 AM

I can’t exactly poke fun at you, Earl. Those clocks you worked on instead of your bench are pretty sweet. I think that you can remove the cone of shame now. Squirrel!

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8781 posts in 2720 days


#11 posted 12-10-2021 01:06 AM

So I made a decision today about the condor tail. My decision was not to decide just yet or at least leave the option open until I cut and attach the end cap. I glued the face piece to the edge and left enough length sticking out on the end to add it later should I decide to. Going to be really tough cutting those tails on the table saw or bandsaw.

As it stands right now, the width is just over 21”. I was shooting for 24 and I have one more board prepped and ready but it looks about the right width to me. I can always glue another board to the outside later should I want to get 1-3/8” closer to 24. Since every inch of space counts in my tight shop. I’m probably just going to stop at 21.

Next step is to clean the shop (there’s $h1+ everywhere ) and then start prepping the lumber for the legs. I found one more pretty nice 12’ SYP 2×12 today at HD—no knots and the only blemish is a small pitch pocket that won’t be seen. I think this gets me enough lumber for the legs and stretchers. Just gotta decide how tall to make it now. Probably going to make it slightly higher than I think it needs to be and cut a little off until it feels right.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

20636 posts in 2471 days


#12 posted 12-10-2021 01:23 PM

I had another thought on the end cap that would look nice and serve to strengthen it against the wagon vise. M&T joints with through tenons. Tenons on the end cap obviously. I couldn’t find any pics exactly but something like the tenon joint on this ignoring the condor tail and should vise part and with the tenon on the end cap and the mortise through the face board.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8781 posts in 2720 days


#13 posted 12-10-2021 02:12 PM

That’s not a bad idea. I suppose that would be just a bridle joint with the face board. I was thinking about loose tenons too along the length too, leaving just a little extra looseness to allow for wood movement. I need to make sure that I can install the wagon vise (and maybe take it off) without removing the end cap for any joint that is glued into place. I suppose I could secure any tenons or a bridle joint with a wedge or draw bore that could be drilled out if I need to remove it to take the wagon vise out. Bolts are looking more an more likely all the time. I tend to over engineer these sorts of things until I come to my senses. ;-)

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

20636 posts in 2471 days


#14 posted 12-10-2021 03:10 PM

Yeah, the end cap would be permanent if you used through tenons like I was envisioning. So if you want it removable, nevermind. A bridle joint would work but it wouldn’t lend any resistance to the wagon vise force so you’d still need to lag bolt it.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8781 posts in 2720 days


#15 posted 12-10-2021 03:50 PM

If I use a bridle joint, I would probably lock it with a dowel vertically through it but that is probably be more trouble than it is worth.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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