Workbench #8: Base Progress

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Blog entry by Dan Wolfgang posted 03-05-2017 01:16 AM 1691 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Installing the Tail Vise Part 8 of Workbench series Part 9: Time for a break »

It’s been a month since I last shared an update here. I’ve been making lots of progress on the base, making legs and stretchers and fitting it all together.

The tail vise has gotten a lot of use since I completed it! I’m really glad I put it in the top. Here I used the vise with a hand screw to hold the leg so I could cut the tenons.

With the tenons in the rails cut and mortises chopped into the legs, I was able to see some real progress! I didn’t take any photos, but for Christmas my wife gave me a gift card to Lee Valley and I bought a router plane with it, which I used to clean up the tenons. The router plane made it really easy to get the tenons perfect and then make accurate mortises—I’m thrilled with how well they all fit together!

Now on to the stretchers that will join each side. The back stretcher went together easily, cutting tenons and chopping mortises. Same with the front—I was on a roll! Until I set the front right leg down and realized I chopped the mortise in the wrong side of the leg! I decided to embrace this mistake by filling it with a red oak plug.

Truth be told, you’ll never even see the red oak plug. It’s on the inside of the leg and will be completely hidden by the stretcher and eventual shelves.

The base looks awesome, but it’s so far from done. In the above photo, nothing is permanently together. I have marked the end rails to drill so that I can drawbore the tenons. The left leg has been marked to drill holes for holdfasts. (I’ll get some eventually.) And, today, I marked the right leg for the leg vise hardware. Upper rails have been marked to drill holes to be able to screw the top down. Also, before I can permanently assemble the legs I need to cut a dado into the stretchers to support a rail that will hold the shelf at the bottom.

The other night my wife said something hilarious. “Is it nearly finished?”

3 comments so far

View RobDubs's profile


39 posts in 1070 days

#1 posted 03-06-2017 01:27 AM

Looking awesome! What kind of wood are you using? I just received my Veritas router plane. I can’t wait to use it. I used the plug trick on my coffee table build. Keep us updated!

View mat60's profile


34 posts in 1067 days

#2 posted 03-06-2017 01:41 AM

Nice work Dan. Looks great.

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

176 posts in 1419 days

#3 posted 03-06-2017 01:46 AM

What kind of wood are you using?

It’s mostly just Burrill 2×4s from Home Depot. I’m using a variety of other (better) woods for accents.

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