The top main slab was made up
of 13 lengths of 1 3/4" X 1 3/4" Hard Maple. The parts were all cut
to rough lengths (approximately 1/2" longer than the finished length) and
glued together in sections. There was one section containing 4 of
these planks and 3 sections of 3 lengths each. Each section was glued
up separately as illustrated in the photo on the right.
Making the top was not altogether that difficult
as it first seemed to me when I took a really good look at the plan.
With all the details in the plan, it looked like it was
going to be a tremendous job just to get everyting right. Wrong!!
As it turned out, the only thing that was difficult for me was moving the
slab around while working on it and getting it lifted on top of the base
after it was completed. Boy was that thing heavy!
There was one length of the boards in
each section that made up the planks that was taken to the drill press
prior to gluing them up in the slabs. The drill press was used to
drill through these lengths to make the dog holes that would be used in
conjunction with the front vice after it was installed.
After all of the dog holes
were drilled and put into the glued up sections, the sections (or slabs)
were then glued to each other and clamped up. You can see a couple
of views of these clamped up sections below.
After completing the top
slab, I made the caps for the ends (sorry... no mid range photos) of the
top. The end caps were made with 3/4" routed dados down the lengths
to hold the top in place. These dados were also routed into the ends
of the top slab after it was cut to the correct final overall length.
I then cut some strips out of hardwood that were inserted into the channels
to hold the top and end caps in alignment. I glued just the
front six inches of the strips in the channels to allow for movement of
When everyting had dried,
I turned the bench top upside down and mounted the base to it, with help
of course! What you see in the remaining photos below are the results
after the finish was put on the bench.
The finish is a fairly typical
"home brew" that is used a great deal in the woodworking world. For
those of you who might not be familiar with the finish, it is made up from
equal parts of beeswax, turpentine and boiled linseed oil. The beeswax
shavings are mixed with the turpentine for a period of 24 hours or so (or
until the shavings are dissolved) and then mixed with the linseed oil.
This was the first time I have actually used the finish but was quite impressed
with the look and feel afterward. The beeswax should help glue from
project glueups sticking to the benchtop so easily.
That's about it. Obviously
there were some other smaller details that I did not photograph or explain
but if you like the result, I would be interested in hearing from you.
And..... if you like the design and it fits your woodworking style, get
yourself a copy of Woodsmith Magazine
for October/November 2007 (Volume 29, No 173) and build one for yourself!
You'll be glad you did!
Hope you enjoyed the article!