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Southern Yellow Pine Work Surface (workbench)

43811 Views 45 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ruddhess
My first "benchtop"

Wood Automotive tire Floor Flooring Composite material

Beginning to make a Japanese style planing beam/board. 6 boards from Lowe's - 2 X 10 X 12's cut in half and staked up on my old sawhorses.

Wood Road surface Asphalt Composite material Flooring

I used a 1 X 2 "select" pine as a straight edge - screwed to the 2X with drywall screws as a guide for my circular saw. Set the depth to leave a wafer thin "bridge" on the very bottom so I didn't cut into the board below. Worked very well. (Bit of a "mis-start" on the first board. I am ripping each one down the center and the cut edge will be the top side. Garage is absolutely full of boxes of my junk. I need to go through them and sort stuff out (plus find my hand plane and any other tools that may be lurking in there).

Brown Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood

This one has a LOT of gummy sawdust. Smells good though.

Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain Hardwood

Thin wafer on the bottom of one side. I took an old chisel and sliced it off even with the cut face.

Wood Triangle Flooring Hardwood Plywood

Here is the first one all split and ready to go.

Wood Wood stain Hardwood Flooring Gas

All ripped and stacked up. Fairly even and almost the same width - 4 5/8". The top ones are very heavy and knotty with a lot of sap. The slab will be 18" wide and 70 or 71 inches long after laminating. I don't have but a couple of small clamps, so I got five 3/8" all-threads X 24" and some fender washers and nuts to cinch it all down good. I am going to have to be precise in drilling my holes so the threaded rod will fit - I will drill larger holes (say 7/16" or 1/2") with a Forstner bit (I have a small drill press). I bought some Elmer's wood glue to do the lamination, but later I bought a tube of Liquid Nails heavy duty adhesive instead. I'm going to use a plastic putty knife to spread the adhesive out on each board. I also bought five 4-1/2" bolts to glue two boards at a time, then join those together later.


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41 - 46 of 46 Posts
Gluing Up The Feet

Here is a shot of the upright posts in their "sandwich" mortises.
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Plank Lumber

Left side: C-clamps do the job.
Table Wood Hardwood Wood stain Flooring

Right side: Pittsburgh bar clamps and one C-clamp.
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Flooring Gas

Almost complete.
Wood Shelving Electrical wiring Hardwood Engineering

Front and back upright assemblies are skewed by about 3/16".
Wood Font Art Gas Machine

It's beautiful wood though!
Brown Wood Flooring Hardwood Wood stain

And the top rails are dead even in height.
Shelf Shelving Wood Bookcase Publication
Like this:
Rectangle Parallel Font Pattern Number


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Saw Bench/Saw Horse No. 2 - Layout & Beginning Cuts

Straight cuts done fairly quickly, cleanly, and accurately now - becoming second nature.
Table Wood Floor Flooring Bench

Needed to to shave off a bit more than I wanted to deal with using a chisel, so I am using my mitre/back saw to dissect this "whisper" of a shaving.
Wood Composite material Gas Rectangle Hardwood

Thinnest sliver I've ever re-sawn before.
Wood Rectangle Finger Wood stain Hardwood

Oops! Almost messed up! Got be careful with layout & marking.
Window Building Wood Rectangle Fixture

More marks - I've gone to marking waste with an "X" even when it's so obvious, just in case.
Property Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood

Saw cuts ready for chisel chopping.
Wood Tints and shades Rectangle Hardwood Flooring

Second upright on saw bench/saw horse number two.
Wood Fixture Wood stain Plank Hardwood

Chopping out waste with chisel.
Brown Wood Grey Flooring Rectangle

Looking kind of snaggled.
Wood Flooring Hardwood Twig Wood stain

I wait until most of the waste is removed before final sawing to the line on the middle cuts. Easier to see.
Wood Flooring Hardwood Wood stain Rectangle

Getting down close to flat on the bottom of the dado with chisel cutting.
Rectangle Table Wood Wood stain Floor

Close-up side view of cut-out.
Wood Flooring Floor Composite material Road surface

Sharp chisel makes the difference. Easy cutting on this one. Wood is pretty soft.
Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Material property

Stretcher beam laid into dado cut. Short by about 1/16" - need to chop a bit off the stretcher.
Wood Rectangle Floor Flooring Wood stain

Getting ready for the glue up using "bunk bed" screws - these are the pilot holes just drilled.
Wood Table Wood stain Flooring Floor

Upright structure with "bunk bed" screws test fit in progress.
Wood Grey Handwriting Table Floor

Dry run with 1/2" pipe clamp to hold everything together. I used some ancient Coleman stove fuel to take most of the black stuff off these pipes. Now the clamps don't slide so bad. I do have to hold down on the lever on the friction end of a couple of them though.
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Gas Flooring

This second upright was out of square by 1/4", so I put a couple of 48" pipe clamps (didn't remove the black stuff off of these very well, so they are getting my wood all black!) on the diagonal - carefully, easy does it.
Wood Floor Hardwood Flooring Wood stain


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Moving Workbench Slab

Some photos of my workbench slab after getting a friend from work to help me move it from my upstairs apartment living room into my garage. (Well, actually, he just heaved it up on his shoulder and carried it for me. I'm SO out of shape! Thanks dude! I did make him a good deal on one of my 75" walnut slabs though, so it worked out well.)
Table Wood Rectangle Wood stain Floor

I have a lot of work to do in getting this top surface flat and relatively smooth.
Wood Floor Flooring Wood stain Composite material

Airplane runway view.
Wood Snow Wood stain Tints and shades Hardwood

You sure can tell where I DIDN'T wipe the glue up while it was still wet. I know some people talk about just chipping it off with an old chisel after it dries, but I like to keep it "contained" just after putting the clamps on. Clean-up is easier then. But I hardly stain or finish anything. And when I do, I don't worry that the glued part doesn't accept the stain or finish like the rest of the piece. It just doesn't bother me. But I haven't made any 'fine furniture' yet either. I might change my ways at some point. You can tell also where I used the Elmer's brown glue and the TiteBond II yellow glue. It's a workbench top though and it's going to get some abuse.
Wood Flooring Table Wood stain Composite material

Picture of my benchtop after first pass with HF 7.5 amp power planer (3-1/4"). Went to HF to get some "C" clamps that were on sale and got a power planer. I had read many reviews and the 7.5 amp one is the better one, so I got it. Thanks to the dude at the check-out for getting me 20% off the already ridiculously low price (90 return policy in case anything blows-up). No worries though because I got the 2 yr warranty. I was all set to hand plane the top of my workbench/slab, but my Stanley No. 7 needs restoring (clean up really good, flatten irons - they are bent a bit at the top, replace missing screw on front of tote, and sharpen the dickens out of the iron). I was afraid that the electric planer would be loud, but it's really relatively quiet. I was pleasantly surprised. I've really got to keep an eye on the tiny sawdust collector bag on this thing - it fills up in a hurry! I didn't notice it was full for a bit and wondered why shavings were flying all over the place - BAG FULL! Motor got warm, but not hot - caught it in time before I blew the thing up immediately after purchase! LOL I set the blade at 1/16" and I really like the way it shaves off a little bit at a time. I had never used a power planer before this. Kind of cool!
Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain Composite material


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Finishing Up Saw Bench/Saw Horse No. 2

Making up a bunch of oak dowel pegs.
Hand tool Wood Tool Hardwood Metalworking hand tool

I use my old Delta belt/disc sander to clean-up the splinters and chamfer the ends of the dowels. Those oak splinters are a big pain!
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Wood stain

Oak dowels come in all colors!
Wood Flooring Wood stain Hardwood Composite material

I keep the sets together and use them on the same joints as much as possible.
Wood Composite material Hardwood Rectangle Metal

Second upright on Saw Bench/Saw Horse No. 2 was out of square by 1/4" (diagonal measurements) - after removing the 48" pipe clamps, this is the resulting diagonal measurements:
Tape measure Rectangle Wood Publication Measuring instrument

Shelf Publication Wood Bookcase Material property

I call that square! :) I need to clean the black stuff off my 48" pipes.

Here are a couple of oak dowel nails glued and hammered in. I don't know if there is enough glue in there or not, but the fit is fairly snug and I think they will hold for a good long time. Not worried. The amount of glue around the edge after I hammer it in is way less than the amount I put on the dowel, so most of it is going into the hole and around the dowel.
Table Wood Road surface Grey Flooring

And the two uprights side by side. I forgot the one dowel on the end of the top beam though. Had to add them after I discovered the omission.
Wood Hardwood Composite material Automotive exterior Flooring

Laying out the feet for the SB/SH2.
Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain Plank

Wood Wood stain Material property Plank Hardwood

End cuts down to the line. This is the near side that I can see when sawing.
Wood Ruler Floor Office ruler Flooring

And this is the back side away from me. Close enough.
Ruler Wood Office ruler Flooring Rectangle

And one foot with half mortises all hogged out.
Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Plank

This is the only one of four legs that actually fit the width cut. I had to chop out an extra 1/16" on the other three (actually for good measure, I removed one thin-kerf width of material on all four openings).
Wood Wood stain Flooring Floor Plank

There always seems to be one side that has a big gap. I did a dry run clamp-up before the real deal and the gap closed fine. I did have to tighten all the C-clamps bit by bit simultaneously. It worked though.
Wood Hardwood Wood stain Flooring Plank

And finally, here is SB/SH2 with it's feet all glued up. The only thing left to do is flush cut the oak dowels in the uprights and put 16 oak dowels in the joints on the feet. Then I just need to make the "T" plates for the tops of each of the horses and THEN I can put the benchtop slab on them! Yay!
Wood Building Floor Wood stain Hardwood

Forgot to put in spacers at the top in between the uprights when I glued up the feet on this one. I almost didn't get this one in there. I spread the uprights apart at least half an inch. I kept waiting to hear wood splitting. But it didn't. Whew!
Wood Gas Audio equipment Office equipment Electronic device

Oak pegs in the feet - cutting ends off tomorrow after work and then they will be done (except for adding the modular/removable "T" spacers).
Wood Natural material Wood stain Hardwood Plank

Here are both of them side by side: brothers!
Wood Shelving Floor Flooring Hardwood


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Almost Finished!

This is what it looks like all put together.
Table Furniture Wood Picnic table Outdoor furniture

Still have to do a bit of flattening to the top side. It started out almost perfectly flat. But a couple three boards had warped so there were a couple of low spots. I've removed about 1/4" so far, leaving only two spots untouched by the planer - one about three or four square inches and another just a bit bigger.
Wood Flooring Floor Hardwood Composite material

I've been taking several 45° angle passes across the entire surface.
Wood Automotive tire Road surface Flooring Floor


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Workbench Modifications & Additions

I made about 10 half inch deep cuts to remove most of the waste wood for the groove.
Table Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor

My white pine 1X2 saw guide and clamps.
Brown Wood Textile Beige Wall

Here is the 1-1/2" wide by 1/2" deep groove the length of the top board.
Brown Table Wood Flooring Floor

I can't believe how good it looks! I made and used my "poor man's router" that Paul Sellers talks about in one of his videos. It is a poor man's router made poorly by me. But it worked well enough to get the bottom of the groove flat. I'll have to take a picture of it and put it up here.
Wood Rectangle Floor Plank Flooring

Not too bad a fit. It's not tight, but not too loose either. It will work.
Table Rectangle Wood Flooring Floor

Dry fit before I drill the holes for the screws and glue it up.
Wood Table Flooring Wood stain Floor

"Bunk bed" screws holding it toether while glue sets.
Wood Sleeve Road surface Floor Flooring

Table Wood Wood stain Plank Flooring

Screws taken out.
Table Wood Floor Flooring Rectangle

Holes over-bored to 5/16" for oak dowels.
Wood Flooring Wood stain Plank Hardwood

And oak dowels glued in their places.
Table Wood Road surface Plank Composite material

Brown Table Wood Flooring Plank

"T" boards from the end view.
Wood Floor Flooring Wood stain Hardwood

Rough finish and joins, but they will work OK.
Wood Rectangle Hardwood Tints and shades Beige

Rectangle Wood Beige Tints and shades Hardwood

Flush cut dowels sanded down.
Brown Wood Flooring Floor Material property

T-board going on top of saw bench horse.
Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain Beam

One day I may put some holes for dowel pin inserts in the vertical part so I can adjust the height.
Wood Wood stain Floor Beam Hardwood

For now though it will have to look like this.
Table Wood Desk Wood stain Floor

This one upright post stuck out too far below the foot, so I shaved it off a bit.
Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Plank

Hanging on by just a few wood fibers.
Wood Tints and shades Hardwood Pattern Metal

There is a gap on this one in the same place as the other one. Oh well. Shouldn't affect it too bad.
Wood Wood stain Floor Hardwood Flooring

And this is what it looks like with the t-board attached.
Wood Shelving Shelf Natural material Rectangle

I declare the saw bench horses comlete!


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41 - 46 of 46 Posts
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