Bowling Alley Workbench #11: A Cap for the Gentlemen, a Skirt for the Dames

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 07-27-2009 03:15 AM 5315 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: The Top #2: Flat and Shine Part 11 of Bowling Alley Workbench series Part 12: All is not lost... or is it? HELP!!!!!!! »

I picked up today where I left off yesterday, and finished the longer mortise in the end cap. that was one hell of a mortise, I hope I don’t have to make them at that magnitude too often (read – ever again). But it all fits perfectly and snug. The end cap currently protrudes (by design) 1/16” off the bench top, so that I can trim it flush later, otherwise you run into the (most likely) possibility that the end cap will be below the top of the bench. I also drilled and fit the Lee Valley Tail Vise Screw that I’m using for the wagon vise. I planned the top so that the screw end rests in an elongated hole in the left leg cross brace support, which keeps the screw parallel to the bench top, but allows it to shift left/right which will let me align it with the vice jaw for smooth action (hopefully):

I also milled and glued up the 1 1/2” (laminated from 2 3/4 strips) strip of 5” wide maple for the skirt: jointing this by hand really made me wish I already had the leg vise to hold the piece on edge:

while fiddling with the setup of the #5 Buck Bros hand plane, the part that moves the blade back/forth broke off, I guess it’s some sort of poorly machined aluminum… RIP… time to get a better one.

All in all, a busy day, glueups slows things down, I took the down-time and sharpened some chisels with my new scheppach wet sharpener to get some more experience with it, I can see where a more powerful machine would be nice, or a high speed grinder to speed things up – but I’m very pleased with it’s performance for it’s price. definitely less messy, and faster than scary sharp (I used to end up with black hands). a Nice trick that I picked up from Grizzly website is, I dropped a magnet in the water bath, and it picks up all the fallen metal dust – pretty weird when emptying the water bath, its like metal mush…

Thanks for reading,

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

10 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5416 days

#1 posted 07-27-2009 04:25 AM

Thanks for keeping us informed of your progress.

-- 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 Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5115 days

#2 posted 07-27-2009 04:56 AM

I’m still watching…still interesting!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4342 days

#3 posted 07-27-2009 05:15 AM

Agree with Todd…still following with breath held !!!!!

-- Don S.E. OK

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4593 days

#4 posted 07-27-2009 05:21 AM

View PurpLev's profile


8650 posts in 4664 days

#5 posted 07-27-2009 05:47 AM

Thanks guys, it was small progress, but progress nonetheless.

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

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4770 days

#6 posted 07-27-2009 05:48 AM

Wow, I just love the pile of wood in front of the bench! The lines on your bench look magnificent! That holdfast looks very intimidating hanging out that front leg there! What is the final length (planned of course) of your bench.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View PurpLev's profile


8650 posts in 4664 days

#7 posted 07-27-2009 05:58 AM

sIKE, I don’t like that pile of wood much… I have to literally climb through this pile in order to get to the workbench… and then work on it… LOL. this pile used to be where the bench is now- so I just kinda relocated it the “easy way” for now, but hopefully when I’m done, I’ll take it all outside, and start organizing it somehow. right now it’s one big mess… but my focus is on finishing the bench, which is (according to plan – so far so good) 30”x80”, at 34.5” high. it’s already trimmed to length on both sides (with one side having the end-cap), and the width is based on the legs which are indeed 30” apart.

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6873 posts in 4996 days

#8 posted 07-27-2009 03:44 PM

Hey Sharon;

This is really quite a project.

Almost there though.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Greg Smith's profile

Greg Smith

8 posts in 3695 days

#9 posted 02-03-2011 03:54 AM

Another great article that reinforces the beauty of using timber to create lasting products for your home and or business.

-- Greg Smith -

View rjyourwood's profile


6 posts in 3521 days

#10 posted 07-19-2011 03:47 AM

Nice woodwork. Great tip on dropping the magnet in the water bath.

-- Richard -

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