Workbench I

Last Saturday we were in the DYI store, looking for plywood to make a shooting board and sharpening bench hook thing, and instead came home with a ton of wood for the workbench! (the plywood was kid of shattered).

I’m basing the build on Paul Seller’s workbench video series, but the dimensions of the lumber are different over here, and our space is relatively small, so the workbench will be smaller.

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We managed to find mostly straight stock. The pieces for the worktop are 6 x 7 cm, for the aprons and the rails, 3 x 9,5 (too thin for the apron…), the bearers 3 x 7, and the well board 2 x 19 (we’re not laminating it but using a solid board). That leaves the legs. We could use the 6 x 7, but that seems too thin. I am thinking of laminating them with 3 x 7, to have 7 x 9. Doubling them (12 x 7) seems excessive.
I could also laminate the apron pieces to double the thickness, to 6 x 9,5, perhaps a little bit too thick for this smallish bench. We’re missing some pieces so we’ll have to look what else is available.

I laid the worktop pieces on a desk to see how the proportions look:

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It’ll be about 1,80 m long, and I decided to use 4 pieces of 6 x 7 for each half of worktop, instead of the 5 we originally intended, since that made the bench too square-ish, and this is a good size for our space. I put two of the apron pieces on the edges to see how wide the whole thing gets, but those have to be laminated vertically also, 3 pieces.

I started preparing the sides of the stock, planing the roughness and dirt off, just a bit because they were quite flat, rehearsed the clamping and then glued. I probably could have done a better job, but hey it’s my first time.

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Two of the worktop pieces (I am using one on each half) are of a different wood. I think the rest of the wood is some sort of fir, and these two are a type of red pine (Scots pine?). They’re denser, less papery, and smell very resinous when planed. I think it is the same wood that was used on the doors throughout our house (in the 30’s). These are a little bit larger and so stick out after laminating. This and some unevenness caused quite pronounced steps, particularly on the side that will be the bottom.

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Today I unclamped and started planing these off. I was expecting it to be very hard work (I am not strong, have back problems and my sharpening and plane set-up leaves much to be desired), but it went by faster and easier than I expected. I only did a bit, then stopped since I cannot keep at it for long, I plan on doing a little bit each day. I am using my Record No. 5.

Meanwhile I hope my sharpening skills improve. Some of the hard knots even put dents on the edge!

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