Interesting Woodworking Link

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Episode #38 - New-Fangled Workbench - A Photo Update

You (almost) need a bench to build a bench . . .

No video but I got photos! I spent the couple of days pushing forward on the legs for my version of the New-Fangled Workbench. The legs are 3-1/2 square Douglas fir joined with loose tenons using a Festool Domino. The legs are joined to the bench top with walnut Miller Dowels.

Festool Domino

Miller Dowel System

The rare-earth magnets have been installed on the center board. The magnets make for a very firm and solid fit which takes a bit of effort to lift . . . just what I wanted. Interesting thought when you consider what do you build a bench on if you don’t have a bench.

Makes me realize how much I need this bench! This is the reason I pushed forward with the leg construction. I am building this bench on my saw horses. It moves around easily on the horses letting me know that it needs legs to bring it to life.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Episode #37 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part VIII

I have been pushing hard on my bench the last two days as I had a specific goal to meet. It has been a while since my last update on the bench because it was very difficult to shoot video of the last segment of progress. A trim carpentry crew occupied a portion of my shop last week. They were repairing the interior window trim in our home (that is the subject of a separate story!). So with a crowed and dusty shop I decided to make some progress and shoot an update later. This turned out to be a good idea as things were pretty messy & dusty from the trim carpenters.

I made mid-way design changes on the bench . . . some goods one I think. I had originally planned on an MDF top, which I started to install yesterday. I got half way done and decided that I did not like the look or feel of the MDF. So, after a cup of coffee and lot of thought, I removed the MDF top and started dimensioning some 5/4 clear vertical grain Douglas Fir. This will make a much nicer work surface.

I also changed the configuration of the middle board. I am going to leave it intact. When I need the center clamping system, I will remove the long center board and use a set of support panels. My thoughts are that I like having the capability of the center clamp to work on large panels and table tops. However, I don't see myself using that feature as often working on a nice solid work surface. Additionally, the center board has a near piston fit . . . when you push it down there is a very satisfying little rush of air that escapes thru the finger holes. I just can't see myself cutting that up into small pieces!

What’s next? I need to get some more T-track, trim some proud edges, and mount the speed pins for the face clamps. Considering I was working on a floppy sheet of MDF on saw horses, that flat solid surface is very appealing!

Construction with Domino loose tenons & Miller Dowels

Detail of inset steel & pipe clamps

Detail of face clamp and edge T-track

Detail of center well and clamping system

Links For This Episode

Furnitology Productions

Furnitology Productions

Furnitology Blog
Happy 1-year Anniversary - Feb 07, 2008
Thank you for the great teaching!

Neil Lamens

Fine Woodworking – New-Fangled Workbench

Original Article


John White

Magnetic Closure Reading Glasses

Click Magnetic Closure Eyeware

Friday, January 18, 2008

Episode #36 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part VII


This is a quick update as we are just about to head out of town to the mountains for some fun in the snow. I guess I can’t spend all my free time in the shop . . . or at least that’s what I’m told! I put this together in a few minutes while waiting for the kids to get home from school. As I alluded to in a prior episode, I need to complete this bench top as soon as possible. I have a commissioned project getting underway. I have decided that it time to start working on a decent work surface! I will complete the legs and base cabinet that project is competed and delivered.

This episode brings us up-to-date with the bench top sub-assembly. Construction is dimensioned kiln-dried Douglas fir framing lumber. Joinery is loose tenon with a Festool Domino. A number of design changes have been made during construction which will be reflected in an updated SketchUp rendering. The 4/4 hard maple top has been replaced with 3/4 inch MDF. I chose MDF because it is a relatively dimensionally stable material that can be readily replaced. I also had a 4 x 10 sheet in the shop that was available free! Another design change is insetting 1/8 inch 1 x 1 steel angle iron on the ends of the bench to help attenuate seasonal movement that could affect flatness. We will see how this works out in the future!

The episode concludes with some new hand tools being added to the shop, as well as, a couple of books to my reference library.

Thanks for stopping by . . . now we are off to the mountains for some fun in the snow!

Some links from this episode:

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