Thursday, April 23, 2015

Saw bench final details

Well, believe it or not, I managed to finished it :-)
Wed nite I worked a shift at the wood shop on the base, so I brought along my bench and a small tool kit. The funny shaped angled corner pieces are clamp caul  to ensure squareness when I glue assemblies.

The wood shop is really geared toward power tools woodworking, 
so I brought a small kit to finished it.

The bench, the feet pieces and the pieces of lumber for the skirts.
The material for the skirt is 3/4 in, would not want to make my saw bench too heavy now, would we? 

Did not took too long to rip my skirt pieces to width, crosscut them to length and after a quick swipe of my No 6 fore plane they were installed on the bench. I decided to uses 3 biscuits on each sides to hold the skirt piece flush with the top, I was going to put screws in , but I rather leave that metal free in case I ever cut into it.

The skirts were later screwed in the side of the legs with a counter-bore. 
I used a 2 in screw with a washer on each side legs. 

My original plan was to to cut a small dado on the leg at the bottom of the skirt, to secure the T- shaped skirt to the legs. I opted for a simpler way. Time will tell if it is strong enough.  At this point, I still have to add the bottom brace pieces and these would be dadoed in so the legs would be reinforced even further. I also have to clean up the bottom of my legs. I went a bit over enthusiastic when I banged my dovetails together, as a results of the damages at the bottom, I now have reintroduced a bit of a rocking. Must fix that before I put the foot pieces on.

I also filled in the cracks with epoxy.

Once dried, I gave it a quick planing job with my No 4-1/2 to cleaned up the joinery and the epoxied cracks. That prove to be a very gummy experience for my poor plane, had to stop a few times to un-gummed the sole.  Guess I should have left the glue dry a bit more :-)

A friend took a picture of me cleaning up my shavings after. 
Compared to using power tools, this is a lot less messy and cleaner :-)
He asked that I put my shavings back on the floor to look more messy, non, I just cleaned up!

The bench back home, sitting temporarily on its footing pieces. 

The foot brace are ripped from a piece of Ash, so in spite of their thinness, should be strong enough.

The bottom braces are installed so that my foot can slip under to brace myself against the bench. This is useful for chisels work on the bench. It would not matter if strictly used as a saw bench.

Pieces of rubber, same as on the workbench, are contact cemented under then nailed.

Made a removable fence, held by 3 dowels. Would make crosscutting a breeze.

Last details is to put in a few 3/4 in holes for using the holdfast and bench pups accessories.  I'm not sure yet where to put them.
I will only put 4 (2 on top, 2 on one side) and wait until I have a need for it to figured it out.

That is why I went with 1-1/2 in thick construction lumber. Similarly the bottom brace to tuck my foot under is for chiseling. I may also put in a large hand hold in the middle of the top. Again will wait and see if need it. Last thing I want is to turn the top into Swiss cheese :-)

As for any kind of finish on it? Well its meant to be a shop appliance which I expect will get chew up in due time, so its not a piece of furniture, Ill go over with some sand paper and let it aged gracefully, just like me :-)

One last thing. While test driving it, I realized that it is a bit too low for me, I punch the floor easily using a 26 in saw. My max extension is 25 in, so I'm not likely to used anything longer. Re-checking my measurements, It look like the bottom of my knee is more like 19 in than 16. Hummm, how did I went from a 9 to a 6, I wonder :-) OK no biggie, I haven't attached the footing yet, I'll give this height a try and raise it if I see a need.

Bob, moving on to next project (not necessarily in line)


  1. I like the cross cutting cleat you added. That ups the value of the bench a couple of extra notches.

  2. Thanks. I also thought of putting in a saw kerf in the middle of the top to make it a true ripping bench, but lets face it, there is a reason why I keep my table saw and bandsaw :-)