Workbench #5: Trestle Base Complete

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Blog entry by twobyfour16 posted 04-29-2012 05:56 PM 3697 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Stretchers Part 5 of Workbench series Part 6: Skirts & Vises »

Time to glue up. Since I painstakingly fit each tenon to it’s matching mortise, I was fairly confident that glue-up would go ok. To solve the short clamp issue, I went down to the hardware store & got some couplers to hook pipes together to get more length out of my pipe clamps. Also, I borrowed some longer parallel clamps from a friend – and I’m glad he had them!

I did a dry assembly & everything worked great.

It was a little tricky to do by myself, but I got it together without too much trouble.

Although a couple of videos I watched had suggested gluing up the base in stages, I decided to just go for it. I have some Titebond extended open time glue which gave me a little more time. Some coaxing with a mallet, squaring up with the clamps & it was done. It was a complicated glue-up (for me), so I dry assembled it a couple of times, and had clamps & wedges in place before I put a drop of glue on it.

Close-up of wedges:

I let it dry for a couple of days & went after the through tenons to get them cleaned up.

Please do not look too closely at the joints between the top member & the leg…..I still need to work on getting shoulder cuts perfect. But, I was pretty happy with the fit of the wedged through tenons after it was all said & done.

Time to sand it up (a LOT of sanding). After sanding the whole thing, I put 5 coats of wiping varnish (1/3 each BLO, Spar Varnish, and Mineral Spirits), and 2 coats of Armor Seal. It was the first time I used General Finishes Armor Seal, and I really like it. Easy to wipe on, and ended up with a nice smooth finish. Very happy with it.

It turned out flat, square, and unbelievably stout. This thing is a tank – very heavy. I had my benchtop temporarily on a flimsy rolling cart thing that I built years ago, and now it is temporarily on my trestle base. I am now very anxious to get the top done. Time to figure out what to use for the skirts & vise jaws. They need to be 1 1/2” thick, at least, and 6” wide, at least. Back to the pile of Black Walnut & to the store for another gallon of glue! Thanks for looking & I hope to have more soon.

-- Allan, Portland, OR

7 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8653 posts in 4991 days

#1 posted 04-29-2012 06:33 PM

very well done! the accents look fantastic

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4928 days

#2 posted 04-29-2012 08:53 PM

That is a beauty come over to Scotland and make me one please. LOL Alistair p.s can’t wait to see the top on it definitely post a few pics re this please .

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View DeputyDawg's profile


196 posts in 5308 days

#3 posted 04-29-2012 09:23 PM

WOW!!! What a beautiful job. Looks like when it’s done RIGHT You Da Man. Be looking for more pictures as you go along with this project.

-- DeputyDawg

View John's profile


341 posts in 5141 days

#4 posted 04-29-2012 09:27 PM

beautiful mortises/tenons!

-- John - Central PA -

View Andy Panko's profile

Andy Panko

90 posts in 3665 days

#5 posted 04-29-2012 11:16 PM

Awesome. Not only very functional, but a work of art as well.

-- Andy Panko, Edison NJ,

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 4036 days

#6 posted 04-29-2012 11:41 PM

Absolutely gorgeous! Your attention to detail is admirable. I love that the ole Workmate is propping up the big guy:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View jpc's profile


139 posts in 4524 days

#7 posted 04-30-2012 04:23 PM

good looking material and awesome looking work, its no doubt gonna be strong and sturdy

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