Building a workbench


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  • 2 weeks later...

We will call this the 'update once every two weeks when I'm slow at the office' journal.

Got the legs all done. When in doubt use a bigger drill.


Got the legs all done and glued up the side frames. Picked up some walnut dowel stock and got everything put together. The drawboring worked as intended.


Got the long legs attached. Due to not reading the changes with the latest Benchcrafted plans vs original Wood Whisperer plans both long legs were the same dimensions. This caused me to go with a hybrid approach with the front left leg and rail attachment and drawbore that connection. The others I used the barrel nuts.


Got the mortises put into the tops for the base, and finally got it sitting on the floor.




Still haven't cut the opposite end of the front slab to length yet. Had a few issues with my saw blade flexing and not square cuts out of my circular saw.

Trusty assistant has also been helping.


Got the clearance hole in the front right leg for the dog cut out.


Got the front slab flipped over and the slot for the sliding deadman routed out with little issue. Moved on to the leg chop. Glued up a big messy conglomerate of pieces for it. Quite nice to have a tail vise on a somewhat level and flat workbench to work with now :D


Then a Christmas morning box cutter incident put me behind a bit. Remember to cut away from not only your body, but watch your other hand.


But it's not bad so back to the shop the next day.

Got the leg chop slot milled out and test fit the crisscross mechanism only to find I made a mistake drilling the hole in the leg. Got my dimensions switched around so the 3/4" and 7/8" dimensions got flipped around on the leg. So my hole was 7/8" back from the edge which isn't the important dimension, it's actually the distance from the bottom of the mortise to the hole which was too little and I had some binding. Had to use my router and take 1/8" out of the bottom of the mortise. For the hole in the chop I set the hole centered on the depth but copied the mistake of the vertical clearance to ensure things lined up. So my leg then matches at 3/4" on each dimension.

dimension sketch.jpg

That led to far too much toe-in. Fixed by deepening the mortise in the leg where the bearing plate rides. This in essence moved the entire criss-cross mechanism 1/8" deeper into the leg. At the moment my gap at the bottom is sitting at 3/8" which is at the maximum range recommended by Benchcrafted. Will see how this functions when fully assembled and adjust accordingly by making either of the mortises deeper at the bearing plate locations.


Got the thru hole in the leg chop drilled and the mounting holes drilled and tapped with relative ease.


And that's where things sit. Not sure if I want to shape the leg chop any more. For now I just eased the edges with a slight chamfer.

Next up:

  • Finish mounting the leg chop hardware and ensure function
  • Shelf runners
  • Finish hard to reach areas with oil. Will put poly on the leg bottoms I think.
  • Cut top to length and flatten
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Then a Christmas morning box cutter incident put me behind a bit. Remember to cut away from not only your body, but watch your other hand.

Ouch! Yeah, that pesky other hand seems to get in the way. One time I was drilling a hole into a piece of plastic (a speaker mount, to be exact) while my other hand was holding it. Guess what happens to soft pinky fleshy stuff when a drill bit suddenly breaks through the plastic and plunges into it? Needless to say, the little "whirlpool" scar on my left hand serves as a reminder to keep both hands out of the way of sharp things. Glad you are all stitched up and ok!

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Well I am calling the workbench substantially complete.

Got the hardware on the big wheel.


Took off the leg chop and cut it to length. That was a bit worrisome but it turned out fine.


Also put the bevel on the leg chop and here it is.


Got the shelf supports on the short legs installed. Forgot to cut the dado prior to gluing up the legs so they are just screwed on. Not worried about capacity at all. Also got the shelf boards all cut. Had to run out to the hardware store and buy another 4" of S4S for the shelf since I ran out of flat stock. Easier than the long drive to my hardwood supplier. So a few shelves are different widths but hey, it's a workbench.

What is left:

Sand and finish the shelves, finish the top of the leg chop (may have to take the height down 1/16" or so sometimes it closes with one side above the top), make deadman strip and attach, make a deadman sometime in the future when I have more stock.

Then figure out how I am going to park it in my garage and move the rest of the tools around so I can get my truck in before hail season.

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Wow, this is truly beautiful. Great work!

Remember, with substantial completion You are triggering the warranty period ;). But by the looks of the bench I would say final completion is almost there. Keep it going, would love to see more,

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I wouldn't worry too much about getting even widths on the shelf boards.  I used a bunch of knot filled off cuts of various widths to fill it up. Planed to equal thickness, Buried the Dado stack in the fence and ship lapped all. Then filled it up with my most used jigs, two most used routers, rough and finish sander and some miscellaneous supplies. 

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