Workbench #3: Base and sundries

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Blog entry by VTWoody posted 04-03-2008 04:19 AM 1487 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Top and Base Glue-up Part 3 of Workbench series Part 4: Table Top and bleeding »

Ok, back to blogging. The next picture is me using the top on sawhorses in its first job as a workbench. I needed a good surface to clamp the legs to in order to scrape them even with the scrapers that are on the right in the picture. Who woulda thunk that flat pieces of metal like card scrapers would be useful with just a slight burr on them? I love things like that that are low tech and do a better job then all our fancy other gidgets and gadgets. Don’t get me wrong, I love my gadgets and fancy powerful things, but it does give me some sort of primeval pleasure in using a simple scraper to get something done.

In the next two photos, I have marked out the mortises for the stretchers and you can see the preformed mortises in the feet and bench supports for the preformed tenons on the legs.

Those mortises in the legs had to be hogged out, and I sure wasn’t comfortable doing the whole mortise with my skills and the not so great Irwin chisels I had, so I hogged out the waste with my drill press and a Forstner bit.

The next shot is of one of my chisels sticking out of the mortise as I am squaring it up. I know I have said a few times that I don’t really like these chisels, but only for the reason that I ended up purchasing a set of Ashley Iles chisels for myself as a Christmas present and boy are they so much nicer. It may also have helped that I got a Worksharp shortly after and my chisels (all of them, including the Irwins) are so much sharper that they all cut better.

Here are the Ashley Iles Chisels. So nice and comfortable for my large hands and I love the weight and they cut like a dream.

Here the legs are being dryfit. If you look really close at the connection between leg and feet and support, you can see that the tenons were just a little long and that there is a slight gap. This was intended so that I could flush trim them later and be sure I had not made a measuring error. The next photo after that is the feet after they had been rounded over and had the relief cut on the bottom.

Oops, now I realize that I didn’t take any pictures while gluing up the leg sections, but you can take it from me that I glued them together. The next and last picture for this installment will be the glue up of the base. Since I have a dearth of clamps that are over four feet long (let’s just say that I have Zero), I had to do some creative clamping with my long boys both on top and bottom to make sure that everything was square.

That should just about do it for this post. On to the benchtop in a couple of days.


12 comments so far

View Rxmpo's profile


269 posts in 4288 days

#1 posted 04-03-2008 07:11 AM

This has been a great step by step blog. I have been thinking of this project myself, but never attempted it. Can’t wait to see the finished product. Thanks for tutorial!


View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4608 days

#2 posted 04-03-2008 12:22 PM

Great blog, almost felt like I was building it with you. Should be a nice workbench.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4364 days

#3 posted 04-03-2008 12:24 PM

Thanks for continuing this construction blog. I really like seeing posts like this as it help the rest of us better visualize your building process.

You are getting close now.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4505 days

#4 posted 04-03-2008 01:19 PM

Looks good, Woody.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4594 days

#5 posted 04-03-2008 05:58 PM

Nice progress and thanks for the post.

-- Hope Never fails

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 4330 days

#6 posted 04-04-2008 12:55 AM

Great blog, especially since I have some lumber acclimating in my shop right now for my own bench project. I think the greatest testament to sharp chisels and your Worksharp is not your words, but the band-aid wrapper seen off to the side in one of your pix. lol

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4341 days

#7 posted 04-04-2008 01:13 AM

its going to be a great bench. thanks for hte step by step display.

-- making sawdust....

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4310 days

#8 posted 04-04-2008 01:20 AM

I like the photo’s and comments. This is going to be one nice workbench. Looks like you are going to have to tell the story of the band-aid wrapper.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4341 days

#9 posted 04-04-2008 02:34 AM

VERY VERY Informative – thanks for posting I got quite a bit out of it. Good Luck on the rest of the table- will be intereting to see how you fit the rest of it.

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View jcees's profile


1078 posts in 4341 days

#10 posted 04-04-2008 04:20 AM

She’s comin’ along righteous. Nice job. Thanks for all the pics too.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4531 days

#11 posted 04-04-2008 08:17 AM

You’re doing a great job so far. Keep up the great work!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Hersh's profile


106 posts in 4258 days

#12 posted 04-04-2008 07:06 PM

Thanks for the inspiration and good blog. I have read all 3 of your blogs on the bench. Keep up the good work.

-- Hersh from Port Angeles, WA - Gotta Complete That Project!

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