My Bench is Finished!

Well, this took me forever to get done, but my workbench is finished and ready to go to work.  I’m pretty excited to be able to off the old wobbly pseudo bench.

If you are a beginning woodworker, living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and want my old bench speak up now.  It’s yours for a song.  Litteraly., a song.  Just hum a few bar of “taps”, load it into your pick up truck and take it home.  I’ll even help you load it and offer my opinion on how you could make it into a more robust work bench.

After the big glue up I let the bench sit for several hours (it was hot yesterday), then cut off the wedges and planed the top flat.  I installed the chop on the end vise and planed it to the level of the bench, and also planed the top of the leg vise level with the bench top.  I used to be afraid of flattening the bench top, but it seriously took me longer to sharpen the blade in my #8 jointer than it did to flatten it.  Having to work a nick out of the blade took the most time, but I got it razor sharp and it cut the top (knots and all) like butter.

First pass with the jointer plane, traversing.  Note the low spots in the middle.

First pass with the jointer plane, traversing. Note the low spots in the middle.

Second pass - I'm taking pretty light cuts and the low spot is quickly diminishing.

Second pass – I’m taking pretty light cuts and the low spot is quickly diminishing.

Flat.  It took about 4 passes to get it flat.  one traversing directly, three cutting at a 45 degree angle.  Then I made two more passes lengthwise to remove any tear out.

Flat. It took about 4 passes to get it flat. one traversing directly, three cutting at a 45 degree angle. Then I made two more passes lengthwise to remove any tear out.

Leg vise final installation, top trimmed flush with the bench top.

Leg vise final installation, top trimmed flush with the bench top.

Laying out and drilling the dog holes.

Laying out and drilling the dog holes.

Masking off the clamp area - I'll glue leather in here after the finish dries off tomorrow.

Masking off the clamp area – I’ll glue leather in here after the finish dries off tomorrow.

Finish Schedule: Mix equal parts of BLO, Poly varnish and mineral spirits, slop on, let soak in, wipe off.

Finish Schedule: Mix equal parts of BLO, Poly varnish and mineral spirits, slop on, let soak in, wipe off.

First coat of finish, soaking in

First coat of finish, soaking in

Done!

Done!

End Vise, Done!

End Vise, Done!

Leg Vise, Done!

Leg Vise, Done!

What’s next?  I’ll glue leather in the vise jaws, slop on more finish tomorrow (maybe) and add a shelf between the stretchers (some day).  Mostly I’ll clean up the shop, and start a new project.  And I’ll help *you* load up my old workbench when you come to pick it up.  You know you want it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “My Bench is Finished!

  1. That must feel nice, having it complete.

    Loved the play by play on the build, excellent work on the bench.

    I love how the leg vise turned out, the walnut layer makes it pop.

    badger

  2. Thanks Badger, I’m really pleased to be done with this. Both because it will be great to work on, but also I hate having half done projects laying around. I need to get cleaned up and make the stained glass panels for the sconces tomorrow so I can check another incomplete project off the list.

  3. paul6000000

    Congrats! Nice to see that after all the hard work and worry, it ended up looking so good. I’d love to know how the criss cross works out for you.

  4. I am jealous. I hope to make a roubo some day. Congrats.

  5. Jose Santiago

    Congratulations!! That chop looks awesome and the bench really looks great. Now you got me thinking about a lamination for my chop. Too late for me on the crisscross but my son wants a bench so I might add this to his. Are you going to carve your name/initials and date into the bench somewhere? Perhaps some inlay on the chop? Great job.

  6. I added the leather facing to the leg vise jaws tonight. other than that I’m leaving it alone for now.

    I don’t want to spend any time dressing it up, so mostly any improvements will be just functional. I need to finish my sconces still this week, hopefully I’ll have time left over to start another project after that (dutch tool chest? Mountain dulcimer? A different sconce? Vintage/Steampunk crystal radio?)

  7. Looks great. Any plans for filling in the cracks in the knots?

    • Thanks Ralph. I’ve thought about it, but it’s on the “someday” list. It’s just cosmetic, and this is intended to be mostly functional.

  8. I just recently started following your blog and have caught up on the entire roubo build, which I have enjoyed. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Thanks Jim, glad you enjoyed it! It was a fun project and I’m really glad to have a solid workbench finally. Someday I’ll make one that it beautiful *and* solid, but I’m very happy with the results.

  9. Cesar

    It looks awesome. Thanks you so much for documenting it. Your clear and detailed explanations are really helping in my own build!

    • Thanks Cesar, it was a great learning experience for me for sure. As I said, when I started this I had zero hand tool experience and almost no tools. If I can do this, anyone can.

  10. Nice work. That’s what it’s all about: something you can be proud of without being scared to beat the snot out of it.

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