Wednesday, June 17, 2009

bench work

i've been back home for a couple of weeks now, after spending the month of may out in british columbia. i had a great time out there, but now it's back to reality. the first order of business was to get moving on my bandsaw. i spent a bit of time and money in a machine shop one morning and walked out with a new bottom shaft, a new brass bushing for the top wheel, and the top shaft cleaned up. i'm pretty happy with the work they did. now all i need is babbitt for the bottom bearing. that stuff is a little tricky to find, but i've got a couple of leads.

after that was all said and done, i got down to the task of flattening the top of our bench. i was inspired to get my ass in gear on this after seeing people do there's at inside passage. i figured it was time to do this one. so, like most jobs, there was something to do before getting started. i had to tune up my great grand-father's no. 8 jointer. didn't take much but grinding out a nick in the blade. it runs like a champ.

the bench had a pretty serious dip in the middle, and i had to make an awful pile of shavings, but i pretty much got it pretty flat. it's hard to get too accurate without a long straight edge to check with, but, close enough.

after that was all done, i started on a bench for myself. the other one is something that my father and i built six years ago. it stays in his shop. but every bird needs to leave the nest at some point, and i'm pretty sure my number got called. so a bench is needed. i'm basing this one off of some photos of seth janofsky's bench in woodwork #55. it uses a veneer press screw and a trapped block as a tail vise. this most definitely will have some shortcomings, but the price was right. the bench is going to be about six feet long and two feet wide with some three inches of depth. i went with round dog to simplify my life. all the other holes are for plugs that will replace the knots that were there. this thing is being built out of common 2" x 12". now i just need to find a wide thickness sander to flatten this puppy out. once that is done, off to the base.



Everyone's getting a new bench but me! I need to make a new base for mine. All I really need is two new stretchers really. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. You've inspired me!

That and finally make a crosscut sled.

jbreau said...

have you just been using your mitre gauge? i think that's what i may do next year if i'm on my little walker turner. i only get about 2.5" of cutting capacity with that thing, so i can't really afford the thickness of the sled.
here to inspire ian. you can make the cheque payable to...
i'm curious to see how mine will turn out. it's a bit of a bastard design. should be interesting.

Nicholas Nelson said...

Ha I just spent this week flattening my bench top (well 2 full days) which also was a big shallow bowl. Mine really didn't want to be planed though :( so I had to use the cabinet scraper GUH so much sharpening!
We had round dog holes at MCTC and I used them last summer, I was going to say that I like the square ones better but I guess I didn't have spring injected dogs.

jbreau said...

i think that i'm going to do a round dog toped off by a square. square dogs are nice, more traditional, but are, or seem to be, alot more work, for just about the same thing. how did you find making them? did you make a template and use a guide bushing?

Nick Brygidyr said...

i made mine with a router jig, pretty quickly and painless. one advantage to square dogs are that they cant twist in their holes like round ones can.

plus making your own wooden square dogs is bad ass and you cant ding your planes if you run into them like metal round ones..