A beginner's second and third pieces

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Project by morath posted 08-05-2016 02:43 AM 1391 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m back again with two more projects. Since my last post I have built an actual usable workbench and cleared out the corner of a three sided barn for my work area. The leg vise is great. The “new” bench is 5×2 and 38” high and build from scavenged material.

My second project is a simple five board bench made from a southern yellow pine 2×12 and a spruce 2×4. The inspiration came from Charles Neil’s youtube video. The construction is just pocket screws, glue blocks, and a couple of face screws since they would be covered over. The curves were cut with a jig saw and the straight lines with a hand saw. The wife painted it the same color as the front door and I placed in my old “workshop”—-aka the front porch. After I finished it I realized that it would have been better to cut some dadoes in the aprons for the legs to sit in. Next time…. Right after I put it out a lady walking down the street just stopped and stared at it for a few minutes and a few visitors have asked were we bought it. I’m rather proud of it.

The second project is a writing desk inspired by a Steve Ramsey youtube video. My wife plans on painting it white and putting a glass plate on it and using it as a vanity in the bedroom. It was built to fit neatly in a recess in the wall between two closets. It’s mostly pocket screw construction with some glue and brads thrown in. I made my own pocket screw plugs. The kreg ones are too large and by making them myself I saved both money and time in making them flush to begin with.

The desk has a pine plywood top with cut up 1×4 furring strips for trim. 1×4 furring strips are used for the drawers with a 1×5 pine appearance board for the drawer faces. I tried using pocket screws to make the drawers, but the screws kept pulling the boards out of square, so I wound up using glue and brads in a butt joint. The 1/4 drawer bottoms sit in rabbets with brads holding them in. The legs, stretchers, and some side-bottom pieces are made from 2×4s ripped to size. The same pine plywood is used for the sides and back and are inset 3/8”. The inset drawers have full extension ball bearing slides from Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make the inset drawer faces line up. The legs have a small taper at the bottom with the rest of the legs and top getting a 1/4” round over—-I had to justify a router purchase somehow :)

Thanks for looking.


p.s. I had trouble with the figuring out the even spacing for laying out the drawers. I switched to metric for that and it was much easier. Maybe those Europeans have a point….

-- My mom says I'm handsome.

5 comments so far

View jonlruss's profile


132 posts in 1989 days

#1 posted 08-05-2016 02:27 PM

Nice work! It’s amazing how much you learn as you’re starting out (and that includes me), and after you’re done find yourself thinking “If I’d just done this or that.”

View chadp's profile


7 posts in 1552 days

#2 posted 08-05-2016 08:11 PM

Yep – same boat here. It has been fun to see the progress but not fun living with the mistakes.

But this is very nice work and I wouldn’t have guessed you were a beginner!

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1652 days

#3 posted 08-05-2016 09:10 PM

Good job.

I want a table saw.

View morath's profile


34 posts in 3065 days

#4 posted 08-06-2016 03:27 AM

Thanks for the comments. It’s encouraging.

I’ve got a cheap ryobi table saw. It has it problems, but it sure does make life easier.

-- My mom says I'm handsome.

View oldguy2's profile


294 posts in 2304 days

#5 posted 08-07-2016 10:51 AM

Good job on what you call “beginner projects”. Also on finding ideas from sources like Charles Neal. He has some great shows (also on dvd) on finishing, an area everyone seems to want to learn more about. Another tip I found asking a crafter was a book by Bob Flexner..finishing 101, abour $10, more than worth the money. Some used book stores have some good project books for cheap and change the wood when you are ready and its not pine but hardwoods. Keep buying those tools slowly, I started with a bandsaw without a stand or motor. Please read my home page for projects and a now small workshop and some ideas. Keep Safe. Hals Wood Shop

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