Bowling Alley Workbench #7: Moving forward at 0mph

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 07-13-2009 03:21 AM 5679 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: There is more than 1 way to skin a cat - not so with bowling alley floors though - finally success Part 7 of Bowling Alley Workbench series Part 8: Recap - some mistakes, some saves, and a finished base. »

It’s interesting how it feels like you’re standing still when you’re working on already dry-fit parts for additional features. After all – at the end of the day when you look at all the parts – they seem to look just the way they did in the morning. bummer.

but even though things don’t seem that way somethings. Progress IS progress, and is one step closer to the finish line.

Today I implemented the hardware for the leg vise in the right leg (I’m a lefty). this involved drilling the 1-1/8” hole for the vise screw, drilling the 1-3/4” hole in the back of the leg to take the vise nut, and recessing (chiseling) the nut rectangular body into that leg:

This would have been made much easier if I had a 1 3/4” drill to counter-bore for the nut… alas, I do not have that size bits, and also all my bits are only 2.5” long, making this quite challenging, as I had to drill from both sides while keeping the holes aligned, and also sanding the holes to enlarge them to their final size and fit – all in all, it came out pretty good, just took a long while.

Also I drilled he rectangular hole for the parallel guide above the leg rail (yes, I know some have it below the rail… personal choice here).

Since I’m all done with boring and working on each of the legs parts individually, I was able to glue them up, and also already have 1st coat of BLO on those:

Once I’m finished with the legs, I’ll be able to set them up permanently (well, they do come apart for future disassembly, but at least I’ll be able to set them up for the final time before putting the entire bench together). and move on to focusing entirely on the top.

Since I felt I did not make any new parts, I spend a couple more hours in the shop (don’t have too much shoptime lately, so I take every minute I can get), and laminated 2 nails-free strips of maple. total length was 70” which includes 62” for the benchdog strip, another 5” for the sliding vise dog block, and an extra piece that I can use as a spacer once I glue the entire bench together:

This was my first time opening the cover on my drill press and changing speed! (to a slower speed) as drilling 3/4” holes in this 2.5” hard maple was quite a challenge for my DP (Delta 16.5” 3/4hp) – not that It couldn’t handle it, but it just felt like slowing it down would be easier on the bit, on the wood, and on my DP. it seems to have been a wise choice, as the bit had an easier time getting through time time around.

you can also see the somewhat clean bottom of the large piece which will be the majority of the top ( still with nails inside) after I cleaned it (mostly) from the tar using a wire-brush wheel. I bought the wire-brush from sears, it was ~$12 (sears brand) and first time I used it ever. by the end of this top, there were no more wire strands left (at all) on the wheel, I ended up working with just the nut by the time I was finishing up- not ideal, and this was very messy (think tar dust) – but the bottom is pretty clean after 30 min of ‘easy’ work – clean enough that I can flatten the areas that will sit on the legs.

Another fruitful day. maybe another coat of BLO tonight, and off we go to work on the top (next time around).

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

8 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5406 days

#1 posted 07-13-2009 04:10 AM

Glad to see some more progress is being made. Great blog.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4582 days

#2 posted 07-13-2009 04:14 AM

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4387 days

#3 posted 07-13-2009 04:54 AM

Nice work!

Changing the belts on their pulleys for proper speeds is probably the only thing I’m supposed to do with my tools that I actually do. Sometimes I’m lazy, but often enough, I’ll flip the lid, read the setting for whatever bit I just put in, spend 30 seconds flipping the belts and locking it down, and then having at it again. Seems you take that initiative and use it on your planes. I can’t be bothered to get one, let alone care for it!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4332 days

#4 posted 07-13-2009 05:13 AM

Looking better each time. Can not wait to see the finished work bench.

-- Don S.E. OK

View PurpLev's profile


8645 posts in 4654 days

#5 posted 07-13-2009 08:15 PM

Thanks everyone.

Don – believe me – I can not wait t o see the finished workbench either… lol

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6873 posts in 4985 days

#6 posted 07-14-2009 06:03 PM

Hi Purlev;

I still haven’t checked out this blog, but I will. When I read blogs as the work is being done, I get tired, as though I was building it myself!

As one of my buddies says, onwards and sideways!

Progress can be a slow and painful process.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Greg Smith's profile

Greg Smith

8 posts in 3684 days

#7 posted 01-25-2011 05:09 AM

Working with timber is an absolute joy, particularly when you have all the amazing tools to assist with preparation for its final use.

-- Greg Smith -

View rjyourwood's profile


6 posts in 3510 days

#8 posted 07-19-2011 03:43 AM

Wooden bench is coming together nicely. Keep it up!

-- Richard -

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