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Steve's workbench build

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Steve Maskery

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Having got the design pretty much nailed down, at least for the top, I decided I should make a start. I want to do this quickly, I don't want it dragging on like the wardrobe did. And I want to do it cheaply, too. Twenty-odd years ago, when I built my current bench I was considerably wealthier than I am now and could afford to buy pretty much anything I really wanted. Those days are over, I'm poorer (but a lot happier) now, but it does mean that my pocket money isn't what it was. So I'm using PAR for speed and I'm re-using my present hardware.

The wood I have bought is Vths redwood. That is a grade which is better than BQ (Building Quality) but not as good as Unsorted. It's good on straight and wind but there are quite a few knots. Fortunately the ugliest knots are largely on the faces; the edges, which will make up the top surface, are much better, and by some judicial cutting, I can eradicate several of the knots.

This is the ugliest
P1060087.JPG

So I'm going to make sure that becomes a doghole.

The bottom three of this little lot will be lost when I cut to length

P1060088.JPG


as will these three

P1060089.JPG


I cut the dogholes with a dado stack

P1060091.JPG


and a jig. If you followed my wardrobe build you will have seen this type of jig before. It is a chipboard base (I realised as I made my first cut that it was not the kindest thing to do to my WC teeth) with a double fence across at 90 degrees. The front half has a hole for an indexing peg. Tunnel guards fore and aft improve the chances of me still being able to count to ten afterwards.

P1060092.JPG


P1060094.JPG


So I line my workpiece up where I want my first doghole to be and make the cut.

P1060095.JPG


Then insert the indexing peg, drop the first doghole over the peg and cut the second and so on.

P1060097.JPG


And before you know it, the whole row is done.

P1060098.JPG


I know a lot of people cannot put a dado stack on their TS, so when I've finished with it, I'll show how to make a similar jig using a standard FTG sawblade.
 

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Is that woodworm on some of those planks?









* :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
 

Lonsdale73

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Steve Maskery":64tynyiw said:
Lonsdale73":64tynyiw said:
Where did you buy your timber?
Craig at High Peak in Rainworth. There is just under £60 worth there.
Thanks. Is Rainworth the old mining village just outside Mansfield?
 

Steve Maskery

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Whilst I had my dado set installed, I milled a few necessary grooves and rebates, for the sliding deadman, the tool well and the tail-vice mechanism. I have a special fence for doing this, where the featherboards push the workpiece down and in towards the fence at the same time.

P1060100.JPG


But I said I'd show how the dog-holes can be cut with a standard Flat Top Grind 1/8" kerf blade.

The sled is exactly the same base, the same runner, the same tunnel guards, the same fixed rear fence. But the notched front fence is now separate rather than being screwed to the fixed fence. It has a stop block attached at each end, one of which has a screw installed for adjustment.

P1060101.JPG


So now the workpiece can be held against the sliding fence, first over to the left, then over to the right and then nibble out between them. If the resultant notch is too big, unscrew the adjuster screw to reduce the travel, and if it is too small, screw it in a bit to increase the travel and therefore enlarge the notch.

P1060102.JPG


P1060103.JPG


Each notch takes longer to cut, of course, but if you take into account the time taken to install the dado and then dismantle it all afterwards, there is probably not much in it for a job like this.
 

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Doug B

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Hi Steve, just for reference Craig stocks unsorted redwood I’m using it at the mo to make doors & a frame, nice clear stuff.
Look forward to seeing the bench progress =D>
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Doug, yes he does and I'm going back for some, maybe tomorrow. The two boards I've bought to make the apron are a bit scruffier than I thought. Perfectly functional, of course, but not pretty. I think I'll use them to block up the legs instead and get some Unsorted for the apron.
I'm really quite pleased at what this top looks like, there will be very few knots left when it's done.
As I say, I'm try to show how it is possible to build a good bench on a low budget, as much as anything.
 

Steve Maskery

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Well my existing bench has square holes and they work fine in that. With round holes you can only used round dogs, but with square holes you can use round or square dogs.
S
 

novocaine

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Lonsdale73":3vvwlg00 said:
Thanks. Is Rainworth the old mining village just outside Mansfield?
That would all villages just outside Mansfield then. :)

As always, jolly nice work Steve, shame you had to cut holes in the top just to get rid of the knots though. :D
 

Phil Pascoe

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MikeG.":200c1m0e said:
phil.p":200c1m0e said:
I've never seen a square shanked holdfast......
So you're limited to using them in four positions. I don't see the point of limiting their use, or having to own two sets insted of one. Unless I'm missing something and square ones actually work better.
 

MikeG.

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Three, in practise, as the other position hangs off the side of the bench.

It can be mildly limiting, but as here, they don't have to be used directly on the workpiece. An intermediate piece of scrap normally suffices. As for "why"........if that's how the bench was when you got it, you work with what you've got. Without a tail vice, square dogs do at least have the advantage that they don't turn. In other words, they're a secure stop. I've no idea if they are better or worse than round dogs (and holdfasts) because they're all I've ever known.
 

Steve Maskery

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Holdfasts work by racking (or is it wracking? I'm not quite sure). The hole has to be slightly bigger than the holdfast. If they were size-for-size the holdfast would not grab. So actually there is contact at only two points with a round hole or 2/4 points, depending on the orientation, with a square hole, the top of the hole furthest from the arm and the bottom of the hole opposite that. The shape of the hole between those two points is largely irrelevant, as they are not in contact with anything.
 

Anders K

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Steve Maskery":amdp7x0j said:
Whilst I had my dado set installed, I milled a few necessary grooves and rebates, for the sliding deadman, the tool well and the tail-vice mechanism. I have a special fence for doing this, where the featherboards push the workpiece down and in towards the fence at the same time.



But I said I'd show how the dog-holes can be cut with a standard Flat Top Grind 1/8" kerf blade.

The sled is exactly the same base, the same runner, the same tunnel guards, the same fixed rear fence. But the notched front fence is now separate rather than being screwed to the fixed fence. It has a stop block attached at each end, one of which has a screw installed for adjustment.



So now the workpiece can be held against the sliding fence, first over to the left, then over to the right and then nibble out between them. If the resultant notch is too big, unscrew the adjuster screw to reduce the travel, and if it is too small, screw it in a bit to increase the travel and therefore enlarge the notch.





Each notch takes longer to cut, of course, but if you take into account the time taken to install the dado and then dismantle it all afterwards, there is probably not much in it for a job like this.
Pretty clever method, for those of us who doesn't have a dado stack. Thank you for sharing :)
 
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