Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench #20: Final Top Prep and Tool Tray Assembly

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Blog entry by Mauricio posted 02-04-2013 03:45 AM 4648 reads 0 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: Drawbore Assembly Part 20 of Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench series Part 21: The Finish »

Ok folks we have some momentum going here and have made some real progress lately. We’re getting close to the end.

So the idea is, flatten the top, glue and bolt on the tool tray, then plane to tray to be coplanar with the top.

First I chamfer the dog holes, I do this again after flattening. I figure I want to avoid spelching when planning the top by chamfering them beforehand. I’m not ashamed to say I used a routah (Norm accent)

Patched a couple of holes from when this top was a table.

Flatten the top with winding sticks, Stanley’s #5, #5 1/2, and #7

Next to glue up the tool tray. I dry fit it and then knocked off one end at a time, applied glue and knocked it back on. I used liquid hide glue (Old Brown) for the extra open time. I’m not sure if I needed it but it is comforting to not be in such a hurry.

Here is some creative clamping. I don’t have pipe clamps long enough so I used two cabinet clamps bridged in the middle by an F clamp.

Also the DT on the left side was very sloppy so it need some extra clamping to close it all up. Since I’m clamping on a slight angle I used some non-slip drawer liner to keep the clamps from slipping.

Oh and the draw bore pin came in handy for lining up the holes so I could get the bolts in.

Pretty gappy on this side.

The other side (the first one cut) was much better. You would think it would be the other way around. This one took a lot of paring to get it to fit so I got more aggressive on the second one trying to get it to fit right off the saw but that didnt work out.

This is the good side. Only one little plug.

So after the glue was dry, I flushed up the end grain with the Krenov smoother and the #4.

Sawed out the gap to make the patches straight and make the lines more uniform.

Inserted some patches. LOL!

Here is the after pic.

You got to love that about woodworking. Almost any error can be fixed.

Next I put my straight edge across the bench and marked of where I needed to knock down the tool tray to make it coplanar.

#5 & #7 for this job.

So after easing some edges and bolting the wagon vise back on. I also flushed up the wagon block with the top.

THE BENCH IS DONE. That is except for the oil varnish mix. I’m waiting for it to get a little warmer before I do that to make sure it cures right. Won’t be long I’m sure. I also will be applying leather to the vises.

So here it is folks, pretty much ready for action. I also just picked up some Veritas brass dogs.

I may do a video showing how the screw parallel guide works, I’ve never done a video so I’m not sure.

I’m stoked but can’t wait to put on the finish and get the final blog done.

Looking forward to put this thing to work.

Thank you guys for watching and for all your encouragement and advise along the way.

It’s been great sharing the journey with you guys.



-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

42 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7084 posts in 3206 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 03:52 AM

Mauricio, it looks absolutely amazing. A finely crafted bench. Good pics, especially on the DT fix. It has been a pleasure to follow along, inspirational work sir. Bravo.

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4430 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 03:53 AM

Thanks for sharing this journey on such a unique workbench,bravo for you and your new workmate…BC

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3559 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 03:54 AM

Wow. It’s really coming together. I think this is my favorite bench on the site just because it is so unique and has the hand-made screws.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4430 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 03:55 AM

Shane jinks on the BRAVO…lol

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30505 posts in 2945 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 03:58 AM

I really wish I could spend a day with you to see this done in person. Truly awesome work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3497 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 04:00 AM

NICE Maur, thanks for taking us on the trip with you.
I think you’re going to enjoy using it.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Mosquito's profile (online now)


10002 posts in 2900 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 04:01 AM

That looks awesome, Mauricio. Can’t wait to see it in random shots (once finished, of course)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View shipwright's profile


8453 posts in 3405 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 05:09 AM

What a labor of love Mauricio.
You’ve put in a lot of time and effort for this.
I’m glad for you that it is turning out so beautifully.
You should be very proud.

It’s also nice to see you using hide glue, should last a few hundred years.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 3827 days

#9 posted 02-04-2013 05:10 AM

Thanks for showing how you corrected the dovetail gaps. The fix looks great.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View luv2learn's profile


3001 posts in 2910 days

#10 posted 02-04-2013 05:45 AM

I have really enjoyed this blog and I have learned a lot from you. Your bench is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship thanks for sharing your journey with us.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Don W's profile

Don W

19433 posts in 3175 days

#11 posted 02-04-2013 11:56 AM

A heirloom bench for sure. Nice job.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View chrisstef's profile


18028 posts in 3614 days

#12 posted 02-04-2013 01:33 PM

Congrats Mauricio! As much as we all love wood working im sure that the finish of your bench comes as a huge relief. You pulled it off in stunning fashion friend. I kinda cant wait to see what it looks like with a finish on it, especially the leg vice. Can we get a video of its first ding? You know you gotta get that out of the way right?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 2571 days

#13 posted 02-04-2013 01:49 PM

It is really nice feeling when there are only few last touches left and it’s ready to go. Congrats!

Also, you made me work harder on my own workbench, so thank you :-)

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View terryR's profile


7564 posts in 2916 days

#14 posted 02-04-2013 02:39 PM

+1 to what Yuri said…you keep inspiring ME to get my bench done, too!

Thanks for sharing the gappy dovetails…the after shots look great! Strong inspiration there!

Congrats on completing an awesome project!!!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3759 days

#15 posted 02-04-2013 02:41 PM

Thanks for all the great comments guys!

Thanks Shane and thanks for all he encouragement along the way.

Thanks BC! I look forward to putting it to use.

Brandon, that’s a bold statement, there are a lot of great benches on LJ, thanks for that great compliment.

Monte bring some beer it would be a good time! Thanks!

Thanks Slim, and thanks for your input along the way.

Mos, I’m just going to start using it. I’ll slather it with finish when it gets warmer. Warmer temps are just around the corner down here. Wont be long.

Thanks Paul, yes my first couple of experiences with liquid hide glue have been positive. The 24hr cure time can be a little inconvenient but I’m glad I now have it in my bag of tricks.

Thanks DJ, glad I was able to pass on tips learned from other LJs.

Thanks L2L, and thanks for following.

Thanks, Don, kind of cool to think that this bench will be around for a long while. Hopefully among the family for centuries to come.

Stef, thanks man, I’m with you, that leg vise is really going to pop once some finish is on it. the first dings were put in it before it was even finished, most of the joints still have hammer dings from when I drove the pegs in. I’m going to leave them there. They don’t bother me much. You also should know that your mallet will be a permanent fixture in the tool tray. It’s what I will be using to smack holdfasts among other things. :-)

Thanks Yuir! Cant wait to see your bench come together. If your wagon vise is any indication of what the rest of the bench will look like I’m sure it will be amazing.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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