Nicholson style workbench

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Blog series by cfrance updated 08-10-2015 03:18 AM 9 parts 16719 reads 15 comments total

Part 1: It begins

07-22-2015 04:58 PM by cfrance | 1 comment »

So after alot of contemplation and watching many, many youtube videos, I finally decided that my new workbench was going to be a sort of Nicholson styled bench. I downloaded sketchup, drew it out, and picked up the lumber. I probably should have taken more time to choose lumber with less/smaller knots, but I guess after I beat it up in a year or two the knots will only add to the character. I plan on making the top in two 4” thick slabs about 11” wide to make the glue up ...

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Part 2: Deja vu

07-23-2015 12:10 AM by cfrance | 3 comments »

Well today was just like yesterday as I made the other half of the top. So again I started with four 2×10’s and a 16 oz. bottle of glue and ended up with a 4” thick slab 11” wide and an empty bottle of glue. I’ve never had to glue together so many 2×4’s at once before and to be honest I struggled with it yesterday. While the boards where very straight and flat a few of them where bowed and it caused some of the glue to drip out before I was able to the...

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Part 3: Rinse and repeat, Ditto

07-23-2015 11:50 PM by cfrance | 2 comments »

So I milled lumber today, again. Making smaller boards out of larger ones, only today I used 2×8’s to make a 3” slab for one of the aprons instead of the 4” slabs that I have made the past 2 days. The milling process is, in my opinion, the most boring part of any project, but no less important than any other step. Kind of a necessary evil if you will. But the magic of music made the time fly by leaving me with only one more slab to glue tomorrow. Curiosity got the be...

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Part 4: Another carbon copy day

07-24-2015 11:18 PM by cfrance | 4 comments »

Well it finally happened today. The odds just aren’t in your favor if you rip enough boards in half. Eventually you get to one, and when you try to rip it straight in half, it has other plans. Today I had 2 boards that where nice and straight, no crown, twist or bow, and when I ripped them, whoa instant fubar board. Both boards developed about a 5/8 inch crown and about an inch bow. I almost put them with my scrap but since i planed for some movement with each cut I kept them in with ...

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Part 5: Ready set go!

07-26-2015 03:31 AM by cfrance | 1 comment »

Since I didn’t have plans for the day I spent it in the garage giving my workbench build a hefty push along. It started this morning removing clamps and scraping glue off an apron followed by milling and gluing the legs. I spent the rest of the day re-sizing the top slabs and aprons. Everything is taking much longer than I hoped but about as long as I planed. I seem to be on track for about a 40 or so hour build which I think is about average, maybe? With only two boards left to lamin...

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Part 6: Making progress with the legs.

07-27-2015 02:27 AM by cfrance | 2 comments »

Today was a good day, not as productive as yesterday, but then I didn’t work nearly as hard. It started with the prep and glue up of the stretchers. Then I started on the legs. They had to be flattened and cut to final dimensions.I debated cutting the mortises in them but I thought fitting them to the aprons would present more of a challenge so might as well figure it out on a weekend while I had time to think it through. Turns out the leg was the easy part, the apron didn’t go...

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Part 7: Apron dados are done

07-28-2015 02:25 AM by cfrance | 0 comments »

The weekend is gone and so are my long days in the garage. While I was at work I was trying to think of ways to make the dadoes easier to cut. I decided to try and make some relief cuts with the circular saw and break that out and then make only 1 pass with the router, since it makes the biggest mess I want to use it as little as possible. I don’t plan on putting any holes in the back apron, so I have my first finished part of this project. I still need to sand it and I can’t de...

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Part 8: Mortice and tenon

08-04-2015 04:15 PM by cfrance | 1 comment »

Trying to get back on track with my workbench build, I have almost finished the mortice and tenon joints in the legs. The upper joints are haunched, because I read somewhere it was a better choice than a normal or open tenon, and if you read it on the internet it must be true. I think I am going to wedge the lower joints as that provides a sturdier connection. Each mortice took almost an hour to drill and chisel out, and I thought I would finish them in one night HA! With the tenons a full 2 ...

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Part 9: The end is near

08-10-2015 03:18 AM by cfrance | 1 comment »

After completing all of the mortise and tenons on the legs I thought it would be a good time to do as much as I could before assembling anything. So I settled on a 3” hole pattern for the legs and apron and drilled them out with a 3/4” bit. I drilled the back of the legs and top out with a 1 1/4” because I was worried the holdfasts may not grab the 4” material. I sanded the all of the pieces and used a 1/8” round over on everything. I had to re-flatten the apro...

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