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Blog entry by stefang posted 09-09-2013 06:59 PM 3573 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Glue up time
I was able to get my bench base into its new home today and did the final gluing which was just the stretchers on the back at the bottom which are mortise and tenon joints and the top rails which are bridle joints.

After I glued in the stretchers on the back, I was going to glue in the top rails at the same time. I put the back rail in place and to my amazement the bridle joints didn’t line up (imagine me with a stupid expression on my face, ok, I know that isn’t so difficult). Then after putting my brain in gear and releasing the clutch I realized what had happened. I was not able to clamp the two stretchers in the normal way because one end of each stretcher goes into a mortise on each side of the same middle leg, so I had to clamp higher up and lower down on the leg with four clamps. Clamping on the legs pulled them in towards the middle shortening the distance between bridle joints!

After waiting a couple of hours and taking off the stretcher clamps the top rails lined up perfectly and I was able to glue them in place. Here are some photos of the bench base in place. Hooray!! the bench is solid as a rock even before the glue is dry.

What’s next?
I left the top rails just slightly proud of the leg tops so I could plane the rails to a perfect fit, which I will do tomorrow,

I also plan to start gluing up the top. I am going to plane the sides first as Paul Sellers shows in his workbench video just to make sure they are smooth to ensure good glue contact between each stave. The top will be about 2-3/4” thick when finished.

Thanks for reading!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

25 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4406 days

#1 posted 09-09-2013 07:17 PM

That thing looks like a brute, Mike. One oldster talking to another…......the next generation is gonna get more use out of that than you will….....(-:

One thing I miss in my shop is a true desk like setup such as this. In the past I managed to muddle along doing intricate electronic work without a place for my legs at the my kitchen counter type arrangement on one wall, using discarded kitchen cabinets and counter top. Nowadays if I am doing repetitive small item work, such as wiring a number of quad receptacles recently, I sit at one of my old foldup project tables. I have a number of adjustable lamps installed in the shop to give me light where needed. But it sure would be better to have a solid bench like you are making. The older I get…......the more I like to sit with proper posture, instead of hunched over a bench.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26780 posts in 4347 days

#2 posted 09-09-2013 07:25 PM

That will be a nice a bench when you a done with ‘er!
Should be something that will take some pounding!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#3 posted 09-09-2013 08:20 PM

Thanks Jim and Jim. It is going to work out well, maybe even better for my grandkids, lol. I can’t wait to see it with chest of drawers inserted.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4818 days

#4 posted 09-09-2013 08:52 PM

And Jim :) Super design and very sturdy nice work Mike.


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#5 posted 09-09-2013 10:01 PM

Thanks Jim. Am I just dreaming or is everyone in the world really named Jim except for me, lol?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1628 posts in 4806 days

#6 posted 09-09-2013 10:29 PM

That bench is a perfect fit and looks SOLID, have fun making the shavings tomorrow.

Tim not Jim ;-)

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Julian's profile


1656 posts in 3931 days

#7 posted 09-09-2013 10:48 PM

Having leg room under the bench is a nice feature.

-- Julian

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4039 days

#8 posted 09-09-2013 11:56 PM

Hey Mike, it’s looking really good, did you use your hide glue or slum it?

I love the free space under my bench. I can sit there on my shop stool for hours and work on small stuff.

About names, at one time when I had my shipyard, I had three employees. Their names were Paul, Paul and Jay.
....... can’t remember why I hired Jay. As the boss, I got to be Paul. One of the others liked to be called by his last name anyway and the other was actually a Jean-Paul (normally called himself Paul though) so we called him JP.

............funny how the world works…...

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

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3780 days

#9 posted 09-10-2013 12:00 AM

That looks amazing Mike! Can’t wait to see it done. That will be a lot of planing!

-- I never finish anyth

View littlecope's profile


3132 posts in 4743 days

#10 posted 09-10-2013 01:04 AM

Looks like it’s going to be one “Jim-Dandy” of a bench Mike!! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#11 posted 09-10-2013 09:06 AM

Thanks Tim (not Jim), Julian, Paul , Phillip, Mike (you, not me). Funny story Paul. At least callers would always get to talk to Paul no matter who answered the phone.

I’m not using hot glue for the top Paul as I think it would be too hectic for me. I’m pretty slow and the open time on hot glue isn’t very long. Now I’m looking forward to trying out my new #6 plane for both the rails and the top when I get it glued up.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4045 days

#12 posted 09-10-2013 12:31 PM

Nice n stout. Lookin good Mike

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1984 posts in 3210 days

#13 posted 09-10-2013 12:35 PM

Very nice Mike. Looks really sturdy. Are you going to pin the bridle joints or just leave them glued? Just wondering, I don’t think it makes a difference structurally (I could be wrong about that too).

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Joe Romero's profile

Joe Romero

13 posts in 3014 days

#14 posted 09-10-2013 02:21 PM

Thats amazing stefang, love the creativity, can’t wait to see its final touch do post the photos of final setup .. :)

-- Window Replacement Orange County

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#15 posted 09-10-2013 02:39 PM

Thanks Roger and Kaleb. I was thinking about pinning the bridle joints Kaleb, but I couldn’t see any advantage to it. As you say, it wouldn’t make it stronger so it would just be for looks and the top is quite a bit wider than the base so they couldn’t be seen anyway. The wall across from the bench is only 4 ft. away.

The bench is seriously solid, but it still walks across my smooth painted shop floor while planing. I may need to do something about that if I want to use it as a planing bench. My other bench which is a cabinet makers planing bench is fastened to the wall and it doesn’t move at all, but it’s disadvantage is that the top is only about 12” wide plus a tool tray at the back (which I hate) and about 6” wide used as the wall fastening. The new bench will be a little more than twice as wide, so great for planing panels, etc..

I just got in from planing the top rails even with the legs. That went great, so I’m ready to begin on the top tomorrow. I was going to start today, but I accidentally took my wife’s high blood pressure tablets plus my own at breakfast this morning, so I’m a little dizzy today. This is the 2nd time that has happened in the last few weeks and my wife is mad at me and also my DIL who is pharmacist. On the positive side I’m getting much better using hand planes. I really love those nice thin shavings they produce! I know it will be fun doing the top too (famous last words?). I also have an old face vise that I might mount on it if I can do it without weakening the structure.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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