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Thread: Introduction & my workbench build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    44

    Introduction & my workbench build

    Hello,

    Have been meaning to write my first post from a long time, I guess I find introductions difficult.

    I am an Engineer by trade, and have interest is woodworking and photography. Got interested in woodworking in school days but never pursued the hobby. Few years back we bought a house and I started doing small projects. It sparked the interest again.

    Started making small stools, boxes, shelves, DIY jobs around house etc. If I have to summarize, I managed to cut and butt joint wood to make utility stuff. I made a workbench using 2x4s and plywood. Nothing fancy, simple frame using lag bolts and 2 layers of plywood. After workbench I made I router table as well, which did not see much use. Did I mention I love buying tools?

    I have been a silent reader at sawmillcreek.org for some 1-1.5 years now. Last year sometime in January I read about Roubo Workbench. Came across Christopher Schwarz's blog. Realized why my workbench did not see any use. My workbench was not flat (1/2" dip in center) and was some 37" high (I am 5'7"). Not to mention had a multi-purpose vise as the main vise.

    Last year, I told wife I would make a jewelry box for her. Bought some nice Purple Heart. Huh! It comes rough. Sanding does not make it flat. I know, don't laugh. Next came a plane from Homedepot. Did not work. Damn! You need to sharpen tools before using them. Anyway, router made it kind of smooth and flat. Now came plans from internet and so did so many types of joints. Well I realized the gap between my skills, tools and output I wanted. The project was put on hold.

    Well so it started. I started to build a Split Top Roubo using Benchcrafted plans. Bought tools as needed (and sometimes as wished). Took some 10 months. I would say on and off I averaged an hour everyday. Took two attempts. Lots of waste (glad I picked up construction lumber for build), frustration and luckily only minor accidents and I finally finished the workbench. Remains of legs and top of previous attempt will be converted to yard bench later.

    It was a humbling experience. Reading on forum makes it seem so simple. Getting two boards stick together without gaps is a nightmare. MT seemed only a little complex but getting shoulders fit perfectly is like Schrodinger's cat. You fit one side and the other goes off. Don't get me started on flattening - if only few swipes from Jointer plane made top flat like in countless videos. And after all that wood moves - you come back from vacation and that perfectly flat and square piece is no more flat and square.

    Practically every problem I faced was discussed in one or other thread here. Learned lots during the process. Hand planing, sharpening, flattening, dimensioning, drilling, finishing and practically every next thing - was a new skill to learn. Must thank Derek Cohen, Patrick Chase, Jim Koepke, Kees, Paul Sellers, Christopher Schwarz, Shannon Rogers (renaissance woodworker), Dan (frame less woodworker) and countless many more who have put wealth of information on sawmillcreek.org and their own websites.

    Workbench is 62"x24", with 4" thick top. Stands in center of a room ~12'x12' room for both side access. Built using 2x12s from Homedepot with some Walnut and Paduk used for decorative purposes. I installed Benchcrafted classic leg vise and inset vise from Lee Valley.

    Well here are some pictures:

    Raised from floor, for finishing. Now it sits on 1/4" rubber pads.

    IMG_20190120_201423.jpg

    Top with Inset Vise. I use the 4 back left dog holes for attaching multipurpose vise using dowels.
    The two 1" apart dog holes in the center were due to marking mistake. Drilled two holes wrong, then decided to make them symmetrical.

    IMG_20190120_201458.jpg

    This planer and a used jointer I bought were life saver.

    IMG_20190120_201547.jpg

    Shelf, using shiplapped offcuts. Dead man rides on a simple screwed runner (top and bottom). Did not want to test my skill by cutting a groove in top.

    IMG_20190120_201559.jpg

    Leg Vise. Started with linear bearing but it did not work out. Bought Bechcrafted Leg Vise, and it worked like a charm.
    Bench involved lot of praying that the next step did not go wrong, so the Om symbol.

    IMG_20190120_201615.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,581
    It looks fantastic!

  3. #3
    Welcome Anuj! Glad to have you join us!
    I second what Carl said - the bench looks fantastic!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    992
    Looks fantastic. I bought my bench from Benchcrafted and really like your way of attaching your deadman. I may try to copy that to add one to my already built bench. Any issues with clamping along that top edge since it has the runner?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,478
    The bench looks ready to handle a purpleheart jewelry box or anything else you throw at it. Nice work Anuj.
    David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Goleta / Santa Barbara
    Posts
    701
    Welcome Anuj. Nicely done, sir. Very nicely done.
    Best, Patrick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    1,984
    Very well done, Anuj. You’ll appreciate it for many, many years.

    One question regarding the inset vise. Do you plan to run dog holds down the bench in line with the vise? Not sure how you plan to use the vise without the dog holes...? Maybe I’m not seeing something.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    859
    Welcome Anuj. Nice looking bench, You should be proud of that.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SE KY
    Posts
    304
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    One question regarding the inset vise. Do you plan to run dog holds down the bench in line with the vise? Not sure how you plan to use the vise without the dog holes...? Maybe I’m not seeing something.
    Just speculating here, but I suspect that Veritas work stop that you see on the bench is used in the dog holes to serve as a wide bench dog.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cashiers NC
    Posts
    316
    Good job. You are to be commended for tacking a project like that right from the start. My advise, read and do, read and do, at some point you will notice a profound shift to a higher skill level in your work.
    Never be satisfied.
    Charlie Jones

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    649
    Welcome to the Creek Anuj.
    Your bench will fill you with many good projects and memories to offset the learning curve.
    Your bench came out very nice.

  12. #12
    Welcome! Sounds like you've been through the wringer with your learning curve, but that's how most of us got to be where we are (wherever we are). The bench looks great. Now it's time to deliver on that jewelry box!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    44
    Thank you everyone for the encouraging words and appreciation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Looks fantastic. I bought my bench from Benchcrafted and really like your way of attaching your deadman. I may try to copy that to add one to my already built bench. Any issues with clamping along that top edge since it has the runner?
    I use Dewalt trigger clamps. 6" clamp hits the runner. 12" one works fine. 12" one has deeper jaws, and it clears the runners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    Very well done, Anuj. Youíll appreciate it for many, many years.

    One question regarding the inset vise. Do you plan to run dog holds down the bench in line with the vise? Not sure how you plan to use the vise without the dog holes...? Maybe Iím not seeing something.
    Quote Originally Posted by J. Greg Jones View Post
    Just speculating here, but I suspect that Veritas work stop that you see on the bench is used in the dog holes to serve as a wide bench dog.
    That's right Greg. I use Veritas Planing stop (9.75" wide) with the vise. I use regular bench dogs or another planing stop parallel to vise.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    1,984
    Ah, I get it. Clever. I’ve never seen it used that way. Again, very nice build.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    374
    Welcome; Nice job on the bench. Woodworking gets progressively easy with the more you do and the more you know.

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