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Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
 

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10,319 Posts
Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
Looking good. I look forward to seeing your progress.
 

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27,252 Posts
Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
VT Woody,

I really like posts of this type whereby the construction process is documented in step-wise fashion. It is just enough material to be informative and keep the reader interested and ready for the next installment.

One of these is on my to do list (along with a myriad of others) so I will be following along with interest.
 

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24 Posts
Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
excellent project and the best way to learn. that bench will teach you loads and then will be your companion for many years and projects.

jay angel
 

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Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
I'm using Douglas Fir on bench and I'm really liking how it's coming out. My lumber was cheap too and the bench is looking really good. I'm getting close to being done with my bench and can't wait to put it to use.
 

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Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
Can't wait to see more of this blog. I think I will do the same once I get started on my bench. I have the lumber sitting stickered in my garage right now and I am hoping to get started in a few weeks after I wrap up some other projects. Nice work so far, love the format.
 

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309 Posts
Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
I like the looks of the Douglas Fir as well.

Can't wait to see the end results.
 

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Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
Coming along nicely. Thanks for posting the progress.
 

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Initial lumber and milling

Since I caught the sawdust bug, I have read many a book and blog, watched many a video and bought many a tool. I have even built some of my tools, and while I am a pretty frugal person, I like to only buy things once and do not like moving up the levels of quality for any given tool. Sometimes this is not possible, and sometimes buying something is either not the most effective, cheapest, or best way to broaden my woodworking skills. While I love working out in my shop, the workbench that I do much of my work on is not really up to par for Woodworking. It seems more like a general purpose bench that I have added things (and not very well in my initial lack of skills) to to make it work a little bit better than it was intended for my purpose. As a result, I have lusted after a true traditional woodworking bench for quite some time. I have seen many a picture of great workbenches, and even purchased several of the books out there that delineate the construction alternatives (namely: Lon Schleining's The Workbench and Scott Tolpin's The Workbench Book) I looked at Christopher Schwarz's book, but I ended up not purchasing it as I had basically already decided on a design in my head that was better suited to the other two books. After having read a great deal in books and on the internet, I went through my own design process. For me, this involves a great deal of pondering and mulling over options. I like to let ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while to let the best ones filter down into the conscious (this also involves me making the extra money to buy the tools that support my habit :) )

Some of the things that I thought about while mulling the idea of building my workbench were:
Cost-Could I afford to buy one of the commercial benches?
The answer, probably not all at once. I can easily stretch the cost of something over a long period of time, as I am pretty patient, but plunking that much money down for something that would help me learn if I built it, didn't make much sense to me. I thought I would be better off building the darn thing on my own and learning a few things along the way. Plus, I didn't think I could get the initial cost of a large woodworking bench past my wife at the time, whereas I could sneak the relatively minor purchases of things by her over the long haul (We both have our vices, woodworking for me, and shoes and clothes for her. We just have that great unspoken agreement to keep our habits within limits LOL)

Space-How would one of these benches work in my limited shop?
I love the look of the Frank Klauz benches, but that extended vise on the front just wouldn't work for me. I had to decide on a different design. That different design ended up being the Dunbar bench for the most part. I made some modifications along the way, but overall, I liked the versatility of having a face vise that was pretty hefty and the an end vise in the same mold.

*Wood-What kind of wood would I be building this bench out of?
While I ultimately may end up building a new bench down the line out of maple or beech, I thought the learning process and my skill level would not allow me to spend that much money on lumber that I would be just hacking at. Some day maybe, but not now. I decided to go with Douglas Fir, as it is readily available and cheap. Once I had made that decision, it was simply a matter of purchasing the best cheap lumber.



Sometime last summer, in between a vacation of a lifetime to Europe with my wife, and the beginning of the new school year, I purchased the best 2"x12"s that I could find at my local Home Depot (whatever one may say about HD, they have cheap lumber and it is just around the block from my home, so it is my easiest alternative in this area). As I knew I didn't have a great deal of time to work in the shop and the lumber was still a little wet, I decided to lay them out and sticker them for a while until I could begin working on them later in the fall.

That time came in October when I had an extra day off. I pulled the boards out and chalked them up the way I wanted to rough cut them.


After having drawn out my rough outlines to get the top pieces out of these boards with the best grain and least number of knots, I rough cut the pieces for the top.


After I rough cut them that day, I jointed and planed them down to the sizes they would need to be for glue up in sections. I only have a 13" planer, so I would be gluing them up in approximately 6" sections, so I laid them out for best effect before I started gluing them up.



I think that's about it for tonight, I will add more in a day or two.
Thank you for the post and keep them comming.
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
Hi VT Woody,

I really like step-wise construction posts. Yours is very interesting. I have one of these on my to do list so I will be following your posts with interest.

Thanks for the post.
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
The sapele really looks fantastic in that top! And I envy that starrett combo. I have their 4" double square and absolutely love it. I'm looking forward to the next installment of your workbench adventure.
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
Looking good!
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
Sweet. Looks like a no nonsense bench. I like it.
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
The sapele looks really nice Woody, I was thinking of doing something similar on my bench and seeing how great yours looks seals the deal :)
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
That is one good looking bench. Keep us posted.
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
That oughta work.
 

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Top and Base Glue-up

Okay, I think I failed to emphasize in the first post how much of a learning experience this was for me. I knew that I would learn a bunch before I started, but I definitely didn't know how much. The more time I spend in the shop, the more I realize I do not know, and wish I could spend more time and have more room, and have more time, etc.

This entry is going to be about the next stage of this process of building a workbench. At some point after I had milled up the many pieces for the top, I decided that I did not just want it to be Douglas Fir all the way across the top. I just thought it might look a little too bland. I think it was around the time I was doing the initial glueeup of the top 6" sections.


You can see if you look closely in the next photo that I didn't have them all completely the same height. I did this because I intended to run them through the planer as sections. I think that in retrospect that I would have liked to have had the top a little thicker and that I might have put more thought into this particular part rather than what I did. It did end up working out, but I still would have liked it thicker.


The next picture shows all four of the top sections glued up and planed.


Like I said before, I wanted a little more visual appeal, and I had seen a photo in one or both of the books I was reading that had a bench with accent strips in a darker wood with that darker wood also being the apron around the edges. I had noticed that my local Woodcraft had some nice 8/4 Sapele and thought that the dark brown Mahogany color would look good around all of the Douglas Fir. I also thought that the vises would be a little bit more effective with the denser wood as the main wood. Here is a picture of the 3/4" wide sections that I put in between the 6" Douglas Fir chunks.

This next photo is the first of many things that taught me how to better tuneup my machines. In this case, the planer. I have the Delta 13" planer, and while I love it, when I first got it, and when I was first using it, there was definitely some snipe involved in all of my workpieces. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the picture on the end of one of the Douglas Fir sections that there was some definite snipe. I loved the look of the Sapele with the Fir, but I ended up having the cut a little more of the ends off because of the Snipe than I had wanted to. My Father-in-Law was over for dinner one night and he noticed the snipe and asked what it was. I told him, but it irked me that I had to deal with it. I eventually went through the manual for the planer reading every word and then checked a few other sites and realized that if you cant the tables up just a fraction that almost, if not all, of the snipe goes away. One major woodworking machine tuned up.

Since I had the chunks for the top about done, I figured I would want to start working on the base so that I could have somewhere to put the top once I got it all glued up. This whole process involved a great deal of moving things around for each subsection of the whole workbench to be built with the size constraints of my garage (and the incredibly lame placement of our chimney, which by the way, doesn't work because it is cracked in several places, so it uses up 10 square feet of shop space and wall in a place that is very inconvenient) Here are the blanks for the legs, feet, and top of the base. You might notice that I have a couple of extra blanks, but the way the cutlist worked, I had a few extra pieces that wouldn't go anywhere else, so I milled a couple of extra in case.

The next few pictures are of the glueup of the legs with their readymade tenons. I think I will leave the finetuning of the legs, mortising the feet and top and the glue up of the base for the next entry. Thanks for reading.



Oh, and I almost forgot, along the way (since I drew it out so long), I was able to purchase and receive a few tools as gifts that definitely helped out in the process. The first of these that was truly significant was the new Starrett 12" square that I picked up. My old one was a cheapie from HD and it turned out that it wasn't all that square to begin with and was the reason that some of my earlier stuff wasn't quite square.
Here is a picture of the new square…well worth the extra money, that is for sure.
Nice bench, be careful about moving it, check my blog about liftling heavy objects by yourself. My workbench project broke my arm. Yours is looking very good sar far and thanks for the blog series. Bob
 

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Base and sundries

Ok, back to blogging. The next picture is me using the top on sawhorses in its first job as a workbench. I needed a good surface to clamp the legs to in order to scrape them even with the scrapers that are on the right in the picture. Who woulda thunk that flat pieces of metal like card scrapers would be useful with just a slight burr on them? I love things like that that are low tech and do a better job then all our fancy other gidgets and gadgets. Don't get me wrong, I love my gadgets and fancy powerful things, but it does give me some sort of primeval pleasure in using a simple scraper to get something done.



In the next two photos, I have marked out the mortises for the stretchers and you can see the preformed mortises in the feet and bench supports for the preformed tenons on the legs.




Those mortises in the legs had to be hogged out, and I sure wasn't comfortable doing the whole mortise with my skills and the not so great Irwin chisels I had, so I hogged out the waste with my drill press and a Forstner bit.



The next shot is of one of my chisels sticking out of the mortise as I am squaring it up. I know I have said a few times that I don't really like these chisels, but only for the reason that I ended up purchasing a set of Ashley Iles chisels for myself as a Christmas present and boy are they so much nicer. It may also have helped that I got a Worksharp shortly after and my chisels (all of them, including the Irwins) are so much sharper that they all cut better.


Here are the Ashley Iles Chisels. So nice and comfortable for my large hands and I love the weight and they cut like a dream.


Here the legs are being dryfit. If you look really close at the connection between leg and feet and support, you can see that the tenons were just a little long and that there is a slight gap. This was intended so that I could flush trim them later and be sure I had not made a measuring error. The next photo after that is the feet after they had been rounded over and had the relief cut on the bottom.



Oops, now I realize that I didn't take any pictures while gluing up the leg sections, but you can take it from me that I glued them together. The next and last picture for this installment will be the glue up of the base. Since I have a dearth of clamps that are over four feet long (let's just say that I have Zero), I had to do some creative clamping with my long boys both on top and bottom to make sure that everything was square.


That should just about do it for this post. On to the benchtop in a couple of days.

Ciao!
 

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Base and sundries

Ok, back to blogging. The next picture is me using the top on sawhorses in its first job as a workbench. I needed a good surface to clamp the legs to in order to scrape them even with the scrapers that are on the right in the picture. Who woulda thunk that flat pieces of metal like card scrapers would be useful with just a slight burr on them? I love things like that that are low tech and do a better job then all our fancy other gidgets and gadgets. Don't get me wrong, I love my gadgets and fancy powerful things, but it does give me some sort of primeval pleasure in using a simple scraper to get something done.



In the next two photos, I have marked out the mortises for the stretchers and you can see the preformed mortises in the feet and bench supports for the preformed tenons on the legs.




Those mortises in the legs had to be hogged out, and I sure wasn't comfortable doing the whole mortise with my skills and the not so great Irwin chisels I had, so I hogged out the waste with my drill press and a Forstner bit.



The next shot is of one of my chisels sticking out of the mortise as I am squaring it up. I know I have said a few times that I don't really like these chisels, but only for the reason that I ended up purchasing a set of Ashley Iles chisels for myself as a Christmas present and boy are they so much nicer. It may also have helped that I got a Worksharp shortly after and my chisels (all of them, including the Irwins) are so much sharper that they all cut better.


Here are the Ashley Iles Chisels. So nice and comfortable for my large hands and I love the weight and they cut like a dream.


Here the legs are being dryfit. If you look really close at the connection between leg and feet and support, you can see that the tenons were just a little long and that there is a slight gap. This was intended so that I could flush trim them later and be sure I had not made a measuring error. The next photo after that is the feet after they had been rounded over and had the relief cut on the bottom.



Oops, now I realize that I didn't take any pictures while gluing up the leg sections, but you can take it from me that I glued them together. The next and last picture for this installment will be the glue up of the base. Since I have a dearth of clamps that are over four feet long (let's just say that I have Zero), I had to do some creative clamping with my long boys both on top and bottom to make sure that everything was square.


That should just about do it for this post. On to the benchtop in a couple of days.

Ciao!
This has been a great step by step blog. I have been thinking of this project myself, but never attempted it. Can't wait to see the finished product. Thanks for tutorial!

Mike
 
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