'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros  

'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros
                                                                   "Where woodworkers are not all Pros"
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Project Details Continued.... 
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!
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.
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.

End view of glued up top slab.
3/4 view uf glued up top slab.

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 the top.

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.
 

Dog Hole Detail
Dog Hole Detail
End Vice 
Detail View
End Vice View

 
Front Vice 
Detail View
Front Vice View
Completed Bench before 
vises were installed
Completed bench prior to installing vices.

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!

Dave
dave@oldaveswoodshop.com

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