Thursday, July 31, 2014

First Post AB (After Bench)

I can't stay away....I used the bench last night and missed having the lower shelf so this AM I installed ledgers around the lower stretchers, cut and fitted a shelf. The bench lost a little beauty because I used what wood was available and easy to get to. In other words scrap, two hunks of Poplar, a piece of Maple, and the rest Red Oak. Of course as soon as the BLO hit the Poplar it turned a bright neon green, the Maple has no color and the Red Oak looks very nice. I expect when I find and can get to enough Red Oak the harlequin wood will be replaced.

I'm going to make a little box or something that is small, requires dovetails, and can be finished quickly this afternoon. In fact my gift Candle Box stock is low, I have several different cans of Milk Paint in wonderful colors....I may have a project.

In addition there are a couple of things around Casa Chaos that have been neglected for the last couple of weeks....Time to get a some ataboys from the old gal, they come few and far between when I'm lost in a big project. I expect my ataboy stock like my Candle Box stock is pretty low right now.

See you on down the road.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Last Bench Photo

Ok guys no mas, no mas, this is the last bench photo for now. It is a working bench with dog holes, stops, split fill and tool's done, stick a fork in 'er. The only thing left is a lower shelf and right now because I have a shelf on the other bench I'm leaning towards no shelf on this bench. It is much easier to clean under without a shelf.

I whacked the top with a hammer and there is some tear out from drilling the dog holes so it is now a work bench and I can stop walking by and touching. Still it is my first pretty bench, the one I wanted back when I first started reading Fine Woodworking and buying tools from the Garrett Wade catalog. BTW, thanks to a very good friend, I still have and use the first bench I built out of SYP instead of Beech and most of the tools from Garrett Wade.

The vise on this bench was one of the tools from Garrett Wade and was used as an end vise on the first bench, it has been a good one.

One more:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Have A Working Bench

While the new bench is not 100% finished it is a working bench. The things left are the split "fill and tool holder", the shelf on the lower stretchers, some dog holes, and a coat of BLO.

The dog holes will come as needed and I expect to start making the split fill tomorrow. If things go well I might even get the lower shelf done but I expect things will not go well, SWMBO announced over morning coffee and tea that she is off through the weekend. I expect my projects will be put on hold until after Sunday or my life will not be worth living.

Here is how the almost finished bench looks:

It's been a hoot, a PITA, and a lot of heavy work to finish. I expect it will be like child birth it a few months I will forget the sweating and grunting part and will only look at the bench with joy every time I see and feel its functionality and simple beauty.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Benches in Place

I did some pushing and shoving and the benches are in place. Other things need moving such as the drill press and the swamp cooler but the shop is useable so I can finish the bench. First up will be pegging and Spaxing the slabs to the base followed by making a split "fill and tool holder". I expect I will cut the slab to length before installing the lower shelf on the stretchers and someplace in there will be a coat of BLO.

This photo shows the old bench in place with the back side of the new bench. I will re-install the leg vise on the old bench and will have two fully functional benches along with a sharpening bench on the other side of the shop.


The working side:


Not really, but the slabs are in place and the face vise is installed. I've checked for wind and there is none. Tonight or tomorrow AM I will move the old bench to its new place, the new bench to its place where the old bench was, peg the slabs to the base and Spax the slabs to the upper stretcher. I may take a day or two to decide where to trim the slabs. Drill a few 3/4" dog holes, install a shelf on the lower stretchers and make a fill/tool holder for the split. Sometime later it will get a coat of BLO and a few dings. But most of all, it's time to get back to making furniture, the back log is long.

It looks smaller that the old bench in this view but is not, it is over 10mm wider and of course longer right now. It is 25mm or so lower.

One more from the other side:

Large Slab Mortices Finished

After a short break to cool the core and let my noodle arm recover, I will remove the #52 from the current bench and mount it on the large slab. Talk about confidence, I sure hope it isn't misplaced because I'm going to move and fit the large slab without help. Maybe :-). If it doesn't work I'll be high and dry until I can find some muscle to help.

If it does, I'll wrestle the old bench into it's new place, push the new one into the old spot and pin the slabs.  It's a shame I'm on the wagon, if everything works it will deserve a period of sitting on the shop stool with beer in hand and just admiring the build.

Whatever, I have to work today and tomorrow. The bench will be finished this week, today, tomorrow, or the next it makes no never mind.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mortices Finished on Small Slab

T-Storms woke me at 0200, I tried to go back to sleep for about 30 or 40 minutes but no joy. Nothing left to do but go to the shop. Greeting me in the shop were two large slabs of Beech with the position for four mortices marked. I still hadn't decided on the method to drill/chop/route or whatever the mortices. As I weighed the options I finally picked drill out most of the waste and paring to the line, other than using a router my least favorite way of making a mortice. But with these mortices probably the safest and surest method.

I've finished the two on the small slab and it is dry fitted to the base, My 1 1/2" Forstner bit is toast. I'll have to make a wood store run before I do the two on the large slab. I was able to move the small slab and fit it to the base by myself, the large one may be a different story. Because of weight and size of the large slab I doubt I will get the slabs pinned today but I should have a functioning workbench within a couple or three days.  

Here is the small slab in position and dry fitted to the base:

Another view:

BTW, I've tried the stability test, push, bump, try to rack, and even with just the small slab dry fitted and no pins, she is solid. This may be a good bench. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

More Workbench

The muscle made it over and helped me move the base and slabs for the final stage of the build. It only cost two Gin and Tonics plus two Martinis to move the base off the bench, the slabs on to the bench, the base back on the slabs upside down so I could mark the mortices, then the base off the slabs and off to the side out of the way so I can make the mortices. Cheap at twice the price.

I expect I'm finished in the shop for today, I'll do the mortices early AM and mount the Paramo #52. I think once the mortices are made MsOK will be enough to help me with the slabs but I will call the muscle back over to move the two benches into final position. Just figuring the weight by the BF of Beech in the bench, my guess is the bench will be over 400 lbs. when finished.

The slabs in position and marked, as you can see there will be about a 60mm split:

A view of the mortice markings:

Workbench Base is Finished

Home from work, scratched a couple of doggie butts and gave 'em a treat before going to the shop.

I cut and shaped the eight Oak pins and drove 'em home. It went with out a hitch, I was a little worried just because of the size and the last thing I wanted was to blow one of the pins up. It didn't happen and the base drew up square and true. That's all you can hope for.

In thirty or forty minutes some muscle should show up to help move the base off the bench, move the two slabs on, and then set the base upside down on the slabs so I can mark the mortices. Once the mortices are marked we'll set the base aside and I can figure out how I'm chopping, drilling, routing, or what have you the mortices.

How ever I decide, it shouldn't take too long. Once the mortices are finished, I will mount the face vise, set the slabs on the base, do any shimming if necessary and pin the slabs to the base.

Once the benches are moved into their spots, I'll make a fill strip for the "split", add a lower shelf and drill a few 3/4" holes for hold downs and stops. About the only thing left will be making a bench jack.

Every time I build a bench, when I get to this point in the build I start worrying that it will not be as good as the old bench. There is that possibility, if in latter posts you see a Beech bench pushed up against the wall and my SYP one in the prime spot you'll know why :-).

Ready To Pin

I'm out the door in a couple.....I've a 0700 brief for an Initial Sim 1.

The base is ready for the final pins. This afternoon all that is needed is to shape the pins and drive 'em home and the base will be finished. I'll have to get someone over to help set it on the slabs to mark the mortices. Once the mortices are marked, cut and pinned it will be a workbench.

BTW, I will not use glue on the last joints, base is too unwieldy with no way for good support while driving pins home. I don't need the stress of dealing with glue at the same time and there is no lost of strength without glue.

See you on down the road.


Friday, July 25, 2014

A Couple of Photos

The first leg set is ready, there is a slight pull of the lamination on the right leg, it's not deep but I will watch it and see if it increases. If not I'll add some epoxy to make it look better. The second leg set is on the bench with the tenon bores marked and I've checked it for fit and square. After I finish this cool off break I will pin it together and let it set for a few hours before I do the long stretchers. There is a good chance the bench base will be finished today unless I can find a shinny penny or rabbit to chase. Although if I were a betting man my money would be on tomorrow afternoon.

Here are the draw bore pins ready to be driven home in the second leg set. I know the proper way to make pins is to split out the dowel from straight grain stock but if you pick your dowel carefully commercial dowels work fine.

I just finished pinning the second leg set, it went well. The same routine, hide glue on the tenons, get the stretchers and legs together, clamp and check for square, drive the pins part way in with a dead blow hammer then seat 'em with the framing hammer. This time all the pins seated with no blow ups and the leg set did not shift. It doesn't get better.