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Old 02-05-2012, 05:05 PM
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derekcohen derekcohen is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 446
Default Re: Building a Bench in Perth

Progress Report

It is now two weeks since I began working on the bench. I suspect that my plans to finish it the first weekend were a touch optimistic

What has been frustrating has been the feeling that I get two paces forward, and then move back one. This is in part due to using Jarrah I have salvaged over the years - all needs to be laminated. For example, the stretchers are three layers each to reach the desired 2" thickness ..

I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel, however. The top is nearing completion, and all the pieces for the base are essentially ready to go. I have estimated the final weight of the bench, and was shocked to discover that it will end up 182kg or 400 lbs.

Much of the time to date has been determining how to fit the Benchcraft tail vise (wagon vise). The first issue was that the oak benchtop's final thickness is 3 1/2" (rather then the 4" ideal for which the BC was designed). This is not a big deal as it just requires spacers to align with the 4" end cap (all in the instructions).

The second issue was to decide how far out to place the dog holes - in a continuous, unbroken line outside the legs, or broken by the legs but close to the edge of the bench? I decided to go for the latter. The bench dogs are 2" from the edge of the bench, each 3" apart, except for the area of the legs, where they are 6" apart. I also decided not to include a planing stop. Either I will use the first bench dog, or I will use a jig that uses the bench dog and a holddown.

(the bench dog strips were shown in the previous report)

So the order today was (1) form the tenon for the end cap, as this forms part of the tail vise screw installation, (2) rout out the mortice for the screw, and then (3) glue in the bench dogs.

I have watched a few videos on various blogs of the end cap tenon being formed with a circular saw and a power router. I took a slightly different route.

Firstly, I sawed the shoulders of the tenon on a sliding tablesaw ...

Then used a wide chisel to split the waste off ...

The first side I used my old Stanley #93 (perfect for a 1" deep tenon), as it could adjust from thick to fine shavings.

On the other side I used a Veritas skew block plane. This was a better choice.

Having then routed the slot for the tail vise screw, I was finally able to glue on the dog hole strips.

The side piece and end cap are both loose (they will later be dovetailed together) ...

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