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Thread: Diary of a Madman's Workbench

  1. #46
    Pat,

    You are doing a great job. But, I wish you could make some more mistakes, so that I can learn from them. I plan to start cutting wood this week. (Actually I planned on cutting wood last week, but the lawnmower died and I've been shopping.)

    Here's my variation on Chis Schwarz's plan on another thread.
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  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by John Schreiber View Post
    I wish you could make some more mistakes, so that I can learn from them.
    Here's something I learned...if you're pounding in a drawbore peg with glue on it, and it cracks and doesn't want to go any further...don't try to pound it out from the other side. I tried it and blew a big chunk of wood out of the outward side of my bench leg (and still didn't get all the bits of peg out).

    A better solution (that I used on a second peg that cracked, before I reduced the drawbore offset) is to just cut the peg off flush and drill it out. If the peg hasn't gone through the tenon yet you can put another peg in and still get some drawbore effect.

    One final tip. My Veritas Cabinetmaker's Mallet seems to be much less likely to split pegs when pounding than my steel hammer. My deadblow mallet didn't work very well for pounding pegs..it seemed like the peg would chew up the rubber face.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North Tustin, California
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    120
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Germain View Post
    Lesson learned: For some reason, when I started to drill the holes for the dowels, I didn't use a forstener bit.
    Pat,

    I'm planning on building this same bench, already got the 2x12x120 Doug Fir acclimating out in the garage. I didn't know about using a forstner for the dowel holes. Glad you pointed that out to me ahead of time.

    One thing I noticed is that you need a LOT of lumber for this bench! I did the BF calculation on each board I bought and thought my purchase was enough, but I forgot to do the cutlist breakdown. I'll only get two blanks for the top out of each 2x12, so the 7 10' 2x12's I bought will not even be enough to do the top! I'll have to get at least 5 more to finish the top and do the legs, stretchers, etc. Luckily, these were only about $7.50 each board, so no great hassle. My wife has me on a $100 a month lumber budget, so it usually takes me a while to do big projects.

  4. #49
    I bought 2x12 by 16' and can pull four (84" x 4") top pieces out of each one comfortably. To get the leg pieces, I'm cutting them 5" wide from one side and top pieces from the other.

    I didn't find the 16 footers any more expensive per foot than shorter lengths. They had longer lengths too, but 16 feet was as long as I wanted to handle.
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  5. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
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    197
    Hey pat,
    I just started my own thread on if it would be better to use Hickory or Red Oak for a workbench top. I'm really interested to see how your's is going to turn out! I would also be interested in how much chipout or splintering you experience. And how working with Hickory is.

    Thanks, Brett G.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs
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    Brett, I haven't experienced any chipout working with the hickory. I have had a few splinters, but it was no big deal. I have found the squared edges of the hickory are downright sharp. I wear gloves when moving it around the shop.

    I haven't had the opportunity to work on my bench in many weeks. That project has bee interrupted by a hardwood flooring project. I'm anxious to get back to my workbench, but it's taken weeks just to get the inside of the house painted before even starting on the flooring.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of red oak. The fact it's always for sale at the local big box store may have a lot to do with this. Yet, I just don't like it.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Powder Springs, GA
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    101
    So Pat, are you going to start a thread on your flooring project and share your journey with the dreaded red oak??
    Barry

    Learning to be a WoodWorker
    Wanting to be a Wood Miller

  8. #53
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    My flooring isn't red oak. I mentioned that because you mentioned it in your post. In retrospect, my statements were a bit out of sequence. I'm just confused of late.

    My flooring is mesquite. I have no idea what that's like to work with. I'm hoping to soon find out.

  9. #54
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Powder Springs, GA
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    Mesquite!! I think you will like it. Are you getting prefinished or are you going to finish it?
    Barry

    Learning to be a WoodWorker
    Wanting to be a Wood Miller

  10. #55
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    It's pre-finished. It's the Lumber Liquidators "Bellawood" brand with an aluminum oxide finish. I'm just now opening the Grizzly flooring nailer, brad nailer and stapler I ordered. If you or anyone else is interested in how these tools and the flooring perform, I can start another thread.

    Maybe when "Operation Deck Plank" has stood down, I can get back to my workbench.

  11. #56
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Powder Springs, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Germain View Post
    It's pre-finished. It's the Lumber Liquidators "Bellawood" brand with an aluminum oxide finish. I'm just now opening the Grizzly flooring nailer, brad nailer and stapler I ordered. If you or anyone else is interested in how these tools and the flooring perform, I can start another thread.
    Yes, Another thread would be great. we can always learn more from a fellow Creeker's experience. As soon as I get back home from California I will be doing another room in my home. Hopefully two rooms and the dining room before I have to go back to Calif.
    Barry

    Learning to be a WoodWorker
    Wanting to be a Wood Miller

  12. #57
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs
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    I truly am a madman. My workbench project was interrupted by not only a flooring project, but my daughter's decision to move back in after being gone for a year.

    Anyway, I've made some more progress on the workbench. I'll share a few pics for anyone who might have maintained an interest.

    To review, I ended up using douglas fir from Home Depot for the workbench base. I used hickory for the top. As you can see, I recently installed a vice on one end. It's a Chinese quick-release from Woodcraft. It actually works pretty well. I used an extra piece of hickory and a piece of maple I had laying around for the jaws.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Pat Germain; 11-11-2008 at 9:31 PM.

  13. #58
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    Here's a closeup of the vice. I had no idea how to install a vice and it came with no instructions whatsoever. I just guessed and this the result. If I really pulled a boner here, by all means let me know. I plan to make a handle for the vice next weekend.

    The workbench, as well as the vice jaws, are 24" inches wide. Yes, I do get some racking if I clamp something at the far end of the jaws and really clamp down on it. I think it's going to be OK. If not, I think I'll add another for a dueling, twinscrew vice setup.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #59
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    Here's another view where you can see the hickory top. I finished it with a blend of 10 parts boiled linseed oil and one part varnish. I think the finish turned out pretty well.

    I took these pictures after giving up for the night on drilling dog holes. The brace and bit work well, but it does take a toll on my arms. I'm just not used to such efforts!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #60
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    This side is actually the front. I included a track at the bottom and a groove beneath the top to accommodate a deadman. I haven't built it yet, but I will eventually.

    So why is the vice on the left side? Why, because I'm left-handed, of course. If I install a shoulder vice, it will go on the right side.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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