Friday, April 17, 2015

Bench details

If you been reading my posts you probably came to the conclusion that I seems to be jumping around projects. And that would be right, I'm currently juggling 4 projects on the go: The shop re-organization, which started it all, the bench re-hab, the saw bench under construction, and I already started to plan my requirements for the upcoming sharpening station.
What can I say, I'm easily distr...Squirrel ! :-)

As I am currently working on some bench's maintenance, I'm looking at older pictures I took when It was being built.
When I first designed this bench, I of course, made uses of what I had available to get started.  I had this chunk of bowling alley given to me by my OWA friend Chris VanderZwan, and a few leftover 4 inch post. That was my starting point and it had to fit in a designated spot. I also wanted to incorporated my vises, an antique leg vise and a modern Record copy (Mastercraft) of their 7 in woodworking, quick release metal vise. This is how it came about and the decisions I made along the way.

The available spot intended for it

First mockup with my available pieces.

In order to best accommodate the leg vise, decided to uses laminated 2X construction lumber for the front legs. The rear ones would still uses the 4 in post

Leg assemblies done, checking the rails fit. There is no front rail on top of the frame, I rely on the front apron. Notice the handy spirit level, always comes in handy during a built :-) Looking at that pic, I realized that I had originally made the top cut out for the leg vise, flush with the leg. There is now about slightly less than a 1/8 in gap.
Who knew, wood moves! :-)

Bench assembled and flattening the top. The top was cup originally, it has now cup the other way.  I don't think it will continued to cup much again. It is well acclimatized to its new spot, I run a dehumidifier in the summer, and the top will be better restrained to the frame. Time will tell.

Once done, I drilled a few 3/4 in holes for my Veritas bench dogs and my blacksmith made, holdfast

I tried a brace and my cordless drill with various bits, but they both petered out drilling into 1-1/2 sugar maple, finished the job with a Forstner bit in my corded drill, that went much quickly.

A few holes were also drilled in the RH leg, to take advantage of the front surfaces co-planar with the top. Being only 4 ft long, I briefly considered, but there is no need for a sliding dead man.

I really like using holdfast, so much fun and quick. Whack on, whack off, done!

This bench has proven to be reliable, it is very sturdy and no detectable flexing when either planing or pounding on it. The only thing I would have done differently, would be to put in a front rail on the bench frame instead of relying on the front apron. I thought I was being clever, but it would probably have negated some of the issues I have now. The top would be more securely anchored to the frame an negated some of the cupping I'm sure.

At the same time, I also built my shooting board, based on a design that was published by my friend Norm Pirollo in Fine Wood Working magazine. Look for 4 bench jigs for handplane. You can check his blog at the Refined edge in my blog list. Norm is left handed, so I had to remember to reverse everything :-)

Set for 90 degrees trim

With add on, I can handle 45 degrees 

With this other add on, I can also do 45 but on a different face. Very useful.
Yes I uses a piece of 4X4 post.

Earlier, I also started on a small Bench On Bench built, again from FWW magazine.
When I was living in the barracks for the first 7 months or so.  I got send in Bagot end of February, we did not list and sold our house in Ottawa until the summer, then moved my wife.
My old friend across the hall in our barrack, JC Picard, had a small bench he let me used in my room. Yes, I woodworked in my room :-)

My small tools selection I brought. 

The small bench in my room.

Of course being next door to the base wood hobby shop, I used it too. But it was fun to make shavings in my room. Also therapeutic :-) My friend JC is on the right. Recognize the orange plastic? That's the left over I use for my Drill Press table, from when we cut the table saw table to put in a sliding table.

Detail of his bench

Mine under construction. Never did finished it, deployments keep getting in the way.
Time to finish it soon!

Since then, the Moxon vise became the rage, and this B-O-B design became somewhat relegated to the back burner. I do not need both, but why not? That has never stop me before :-)

Bob-On-Bench, the saga continues, and add projects No 5 on the go

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