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1st workbench build and questions that follow

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Forum topic by maxhall posted 07-01-2020 06:20 PM 680 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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maxhall

82 posts in 3005 days


07-01-2020 06:20 PM

Finally built my 1st WW bench with the intention of learning some skills along the way and what I like/dislike before building a better quality bench in the next few years. I followed the Chris Schwarz 2 day bench build. For the top I laminated 2 3/4” ply with ~1.125 oak top and oak skirting around the edges. I also added a shelf underneath with some pine refurbished from the crappy warped workstation that was there when we bought our house.

1st off I learned some really good lessons so I’m thankful that I started with this prior to tackling a more ambitious workbench build. So onto my questions.

1. Dogholes: I went with 3/4” round dogholes for ease of drilling and the availability of jigs that go along with it. I used a milescraft drill jig along with a 3/4 forstner bit to get it started and finished with a 3/4 spade bit. I’ve never used dog holes before but I can’t imagine they should be this tight. I have a hard time with the brass dogs I bought from woodcraft and an even harder time with the ones I made out of 3/4 oak dowel. I did go at the holes with some sandpaper glued to a dowel… I believe it helped slightly. Is there a better method or slightly enlarged drill bit more specific to the task?

2. I did a great job leveling my bench side to side (for the most part). For some reason it didn’t occur to me to also check lengthwise just as often. I have a .049” dip which is a little less than 1/16 right on the left front end of the bench right by the vise which is definitely the worst location. I’m a little hesitant to try and correct this with handplanes since the oak top isn’t super thick as is. Contemplating building a router jig instead…thoughts?

3. My workbench/workshop is in the basement of my 100 yr old house. Needless to say pretty damp but I keep the humidity in check with a good size humidifier. My question is regarding the end grain on the legs. They’re in contact with the concrete floor and all one needs to do to see the ill effects of this is to look at other work surfaces that were there when I moved in and see the rot on the lower portions of the legs. My question is the best way to combat this. I was thinking about cutting some 1/4 azek sheeting I have and screwing it into the leg bottoms. Or should the blo/spar varnish/mineral spirits that I’m applying be sufficient if applied liberally to the end grain?

Thank you for your time.


10 replies so far

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

1702 posts in 1243 days


#1 posted 07-01-2020 06:59 PM

Nice looking bench. If I made something that nice, I wouldn’t care if it had a slight dip in the top. : )

Here is a slightly costly solve to your question about protecting the legs. There are casters that bolt to the sides of the legs that you can step on to raise the bench off the floor for mobility mainly but in your case, you could raise the bench off the floor when you weren’t using it. Dumb idea, huh?

-- "...I've been through the desert on a horse with no name." So name the damned horse already!

View Meisterburger's profile

Meisterburger

6 posts in 42 days


#2 posted 07-01-2020 07:04 PM

If the bench needs to move at all, go the caster route. If it will stay stationary then added rubber pads under the feet. Should separate the legs and the concrete enough.

View jonah's profile

jonah

2123 posts in 4102 days


#3 posted 07-01-2020 07:14 PM

You could also create epoxy “feet” for the bench.

Marc Spagnuolo has a video about it, I believe in his farm table project.

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jonah

2123 posts in 4102 days


#4 posted 07-01-2020 07:54 PM

I’ll add that I’d have no hesitation to try to flatten it with hand planes. Just re-check it frequently and go easy. It doesn’t need to be dead flat, just reasonably flat.

View metolius's profile

metolius

169 posts in 1534 days


#5 posted 07-01-2020 08:07 PM

Does the spade bit measure out to a true 3/4? Maybe a slight angle on the drilling causes a bind. I’d probably re-ream one with the forstner and see if it satisfies more.

A different thought for foot protection option is a small square of roofing asphalt for it to sit on as a vapor barrier.

-- derek / oregon

View maxhall's profile

maxhall

82 posts in 3005 days


#6 posted 07-01-2020 08:20 PM

metolius

Does the spade bit measure out to a true 3/4? Maybe a slight angle on the drilling causes a bind. I d probably re-ream one with the forstner and see if it satisfies more.

A different thought for foot protection option is a small square of roofing asphalt for it to sit on as a vapor barrier.

I did try reaming with the forstner afterwards. Yeah Idk why they’re so tight. Good suggestion with the shingle, pretty sure I have some spares in my garage.

- metolius


View SMP's profile

SMP

2249 posts in 709 days


#7 posted 07-01-2020 10:07 PM

Looks great! For the bottom of the legs, just get those furniture feet at the big box store that nail into the bottoms of table legs. Go with the bigger diameter, but careful not to get the “slides” made for moving furniture. That would make hand planing really fun!

View Bamkris's profile

Bamkris

4 posts in 21 days


#8 posted 07-18-2020 06:09 AM

Is a good looking work bench, well done.

The easiest way to deal with your legs is to add rubber add ons like this :

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

937 posts in 405 days


#9 posted 07-18-2020 11:07 AM

I would seal the bottom grain of the legs and buy or cut some rubber pieces to go under as a non skid barrier. I like the caster idea too but knowing me I would fail to raise the legs off the floor “because I am coming right back”. Now my worry is “basement of 100 year old house”. Do you have any way of mitigating water if/when it comes in. Thing can change quickly when a 100 year rain event happens.

Very nice bench there (I haven’t started mine yet). About the 3/4 dog holes, my Moxen vise has these and the holdfasts work great but like you the bench dogs often need help from underneath or channel locks to pull out.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5803 posts in 3155 days


#10 posted 07-18-2020 12:41 PM

You can get spray on truck bed liner in a rattle can. I’d use that on the bottom of your legs.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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