- Since I mainly work with hand tools I figured it would be best to have dedicated work zones in my shop (which happens to be the attic of my house). Inspired by Shannon Rogers and back pain, I decided to build a joinery bench. Hopefully this will make cutting joinery, chisel work, and carving easier and more comfortable
At first I wanted to build this bench out of some white oak that I had lying around. Once I realized that I would need some more I decided to go the cheap route and bought some 4x4 Doug Fir. My shop is in the attic of my house and getting 16' boards up there isn't a ton of fun, so I cut them to rough lengths in the garage
My original plan was to have a frame run around the top but I soon realized that it would just add a lot of work without much benefit, so I used the wider board that I had just for the front
All cut to rough dimensions
Used the new toy to cut both top and legs to rough length. I love that saw.
Skipped a few steps. Top boards all planed and squared and ready for glue-up
One solid piece. I later added one more board because I decided against a tool tray for the back
Squaring up the front board. That pith bothered me, so I later ripped that board in two and added another strip
This is one of two trash cans full of shavings that I produced during this stage of the project
Squaring up the top. This project really helped my sawing (combined with some helpful tips from Shannon Rogers). Started out somewhat rough but by the end of it they were square and plumb
Speaking of square: this board was far from it
I like to chamfer and mark boards with China marker. It helps me to see how far away I am from my scribe line.
This board needed some work still
On to the chop. I had some padauk lying around and had no project in mind for it. It had the ideal dimensions, but most importantly it was hard and would not flex.
I kinda like that brownish color that comes out over time. Too bad I had to plane it away
Here you can see the difference in color
Planed and ready to be cut to length
Saw cuts are improving
Very little work needed to be done here. Just some cleanup around the edges
The heros of the upcoming section:
shooting board, my dovetail alignment board that I used as a planing stop, and bench hooks
Legs rough dimensioned
Cutting the tenons. The first one wasn't pretty but it got better from there
Played some music and cranked out these tenons
Chamfering the edges with a sharp chisel
Starting the mortises. Not necessarily my favorite part, but a nice, sharp auger bit can make quick work of it
12 mortises. Managed to get them done before my arms got tired
That's a solid fit right there
With the base nearly done I could focus on the moxon vise. This is the front part that will be attached to the bench top
One of the nuts needs to be recessed into the board. Auger and chisel made quick work of that
Cutting out a section for the threaded rods
Front attached. It's starting to come together
Base dry assembled
I couldn't wait, so I put the top and vise chop on as well.
Time for glue-up
While the base is being glued infocused on the chop. Combining carving a lamb's tung with sawing practice. Marked a bunch of lines and either sawed to them or tried to split the line.
Chiseling away all those saw cuts I just made.
My first attempt at carving a lamb's tung
Time to mix up some shellac. I decided on the garnet for the padauk
And here is the final product. I'm quite happy with it. I'll have to drill some holdfast holes still and I'm planning on adding a little tool holder in the back for saws, chisels and marking knives. I'll also have to glue on the leather for chop still.