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  1. #46
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    So I flipped the bench the right way up.......


















































    The rear





















































    The front.



    And I couldn't help myself, I added a few dozen screws. What can I say, I'm a "belt and suspenders" kinda guy. I actually got quite a bit of 'shop time this week, but most of it was all the tedious stuff that doesn't really show, e.g. adding screws, flushing the drawer slides, and hand sanding the hard to reach areas. I must have spent a day and half sanding and I'm still not done. Everything has been sanded to 40 grit and I probably have another day progressing through the grits. The make things easier for me and to hopefully save myself from a few grazed knuckles, I made a couple of sanding blocks from some scraps.....




















































    I stuck the 40 grit with double sided tape. Not only are these knuckle-savers, but they help prevent me from keeping the lines crisp and not rounding them over especially the obtuse angle of the chamfer on the skirt. I then had to make another to sand the sides of the top row of drawer guides......


















































    It's 800mm long........






















































    .....to stop me from "flaring" out the opening.



    I also changed my mind about the splines at the rear skirt. To cut the slots I would have to flip the carcass on its side again which I really didn't want to do again. Instead I decided to reinforce the rear mitres with three 1/2" dowels per corner. To do this I first made a drilling jig.


























































    Here it is in action.......


























































    .....and the result......



























































    .....and with 1/2" Tassie Oak dowels from BGS glued in (Titebond 3 not epoxy).....




























































    .....and after 40 grit.....

























































    .....and the other corner. If I had my time again, I would have used dowels for the fronts as well. It's so much easier.


    That's all for now folks. Next update should be after I've finished the sanding and applied a stain to the carcass. I'm thinking of using Feast & Watson's Prooftint in Walnut. I would have liked to use all one type of timber for the base. My mixture of Blackbutt, Grey Ironbark, and Spotted Gum is giving the base a "stripey" look in some areas (the end frames). Staining will also hopefully darken the base by a few shades creating a stronger contrast with the fiddleback Tas Oak I plan to use for the drawer faces.

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  3. #47
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    Ok, I've made some more progress.....
















































































































































    First up I used my Domino XL with the 14mm bit to cut the slots for the blocks that will hold down the slabs in the centre of the bench.

















































































































    Next I sanded everything to 400 grit and applied Feast & Watson's Prooftint in Walnut. I was happy with most of the result, about 90% of the bench turned out ok, but some areas did not look natural. It was more a problem with my application than with the actual product - I tried putting more stain in some of the lighter areas but the just ended up being blotchy. The problem was the 10% I wasn't happy with was the front of the bench. If it all had turned out like the rear of the bench (bottom pic), I would have kept the stain. So I ended up sanding back all the show faces back to bare wood. I thought about reapplying the stain but in the end I chose the safer option of using a finish that I'd used on my previous bench and I knew exactly what to expect.














































































































    Here is the base after 3 coats of 50:50 BLO/min turps, a few coats of Minwax WOP satin, and about 3 coats of paste wax buffed with a terry towel rag attached to my Mirka Deros.



    With some finish on the base, I could finally start on the top......














































    First step was to dress and dimension some of the reclaimed Spotted Gum I had stashed for a few years.












































































































    Next up was to mark out and cut what probably will be the largest dovetail pins I will ever cut. It measures 166mm W x 70mm H x 50mm D. There was no way I was going to ever cut it out all by hand in old growth SG. I hogged out most of the waste with my little Bosch drill before using my plunge router to remove the rest to final depth within 1mm of my lines. I did the last mm with chisels.













































    Here is rear dry-fitted......






















































    .....and the next day after being epoxied and allowed to cure overnight. I still have to clean up the squeeze out.















































    And here's the front just epoxied this arvo.


    That's all for now folks.

  4. #48
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    Hi KK. Looks better every time I check. Hope the neighbours are appreciating the build too! Maybe they could be roped into flipping it again.

  5. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Hi KK. Looks better every time I check. Hope the neighbours are appreciating the build too! Maybe they could be roped into flipping it again.

    Thanks mate. I can only guess what the neighbours are thinking, but I have had 5 offers of work from planter boxes, bathroom vanity, and even a queen bed. I think I have some of 'em fooled. I turned them all down. This has always been and always will be a passion for me and I'm worried that accepting commissions would add stress into the equation and kill some of the enjoyment.


    And there's no way I'm flipping this beast any more especially with the added weight of the 4" spotted gum top. Cheers.

  6. #50
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    Progress since my last update has been slow but I do have a good excuse. I spent a few days milling and laminating some more spotted gum for the top. After one particular day where I used the jointer/thickie quite a bit, the next morning it refused to start. All I got was a faint electrical hum. Bugger!! There wasn't even a hint of a problem the day before. So I removed the service panel and had a bit of a poke around and I found this.....











































































































































    ......the bloody run capacitor was letting all the electricity out of its bottom. I called GregMach to see if they carried any spares; no dice. I called a few places but no one seemed to have a 40uF - 450VAC run capacitor with leads. The only place I could find was a Melbourne seller on eBay so I pulled the trigger and even paid for express shipping. I got it a couple days late but it still meant a relatively unproductive weekend. The only thing I could do was apply some Osmo Polyx to the rear leg chop and mount it to the base.

















































































































































    Here it is after 3 coats of Osmo gloss applied with a non-abrasive "scotch-brite". This will now be my "go to" finish from now on. It's so simple to apply and the result is amazing. There's no runs, drips, etc, and you don't have to worry about dust or insects landing on it while it dries. It's more expensive than other finishes but a little goes a looooong way.


    I clamped the rear chop so that I could position it exactly where I wanted making sure that it's square with my 600mm WP. Once I had everything just right, I mark the position with marking tape on both sides as well as top and bottom. I then marked the holes for the 14g 150mm long batten screws (6 in total - 3 from each side). I also marked the location for the mortice in the top which I could transfer to the next lamination once my jointer/thickie was operational again.





























































































































































    Here it is finally mounted and with the front chop temporarily installed. The front chop still doesn't have any finish on it as it still has to have the top of it shaped once I have the finished height of the bench. The reason why I've temporarily installed the front chop was to make sure that it still operated smoothly with the rear chop mounted permanently and that it wasn't fouling on anything. Im happy to report that it still glides as before.
































































    After dimensioning and laminating some more spotted gum, I could mark out and cut the leg vise mortice. I first used my Dozuki to cut on the waste side of the line. Then I used a 32mm Wood Owl bit on my bench drill to hog out most of the waste before using my plunge router to clean out the bottom and to get within 1mm of my line. I then use chisel to remove the remaining 1mm.


    In the pic above you can see the reason why I'm laminating narrower boards instead of using one wide board. It's a way of using boards with a lot of defects (borer holes, knots, gum veins, etc) and it has an added benefit of creating a more stable top. The other reason I chose to do it this way was because I didn't have enough light-coloured boards and I didn't want the top to become too "stripey". Doing it this way also minimises the seams on the surface.

















































    I learnt from my mistake when building my first workbench and I remembered to rout the groove for the sliding deadman. The masking tape is to prevent the finish (Osmo again) from getting on the glue surface. I applied 3 coats of Osmo and 1 coat of paste wax. This is so that any glue squeeze out when I go to laminate the next piece won't stick to it.
















































    Here is the piece just before glue up. I first wipe both glue surfaces with acetone and then score a diagonal crosshatch pattern with a utility knife. I've no idea if roughing up the surface is necessary but I do it for insurance. Spotted gum is notoriously difficult to glue.


    The piece is now in the clamps but I 'll leave you one final pic during dry fit for a better look....













































    It's finally starting to resemble a workbench!!



    Cheers,
    Mike.

  7. #51
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    So I've finished top laminations bar the two outer boards because they have to be dovetailed into the end caps and I can't install those until I've flattened the top.













































































































    The final middle lamination in the clamps. This leaves a gap between the two slabs of 50mm which is just wide enough for a Bessey parallel clamp. I even remembered to drill the hole for the knock-down bolts.




















































    I then made up some blocks to hold the slabs down.























































    Here they are installed. There's ten all up, 5 per slab.

    With that done, I could make a start on something more interesting, namely the sliding deadman. I first laminated a thin strip of purpleheart between two blackbutt (?) boards to get the width I needed and to echo the racing strip of the leg vise.
















































































































    When that was dry, I used my little Bosch drill to drill a 5" (127mm) hole all the way through. The PBD40 proved up to the challenge. I used the slowest possible setting and I was very careful with my feed rate. I also had to flip the piece over and attack it from the other side due to the depth of cut.



































































    I then used my table saw to cut the legs of the sliding deadman. I could have used the bandsaw but the table saw leaves a cleaner and straighter cut.






































































    I then glued a block on the back of each leg. When that was dry, I raided the kitchen and used a cast iron elliptical crock pot to draw what to me was an aesthetically pleasing curve. I was then faced with the problem of transferring the same curve on to the other leg. I couldn't just used the crock pot again because a slight misalignment or using the wrong part of the pot would result in a completely different curve. I pondered on how I was going to do this and the solution below is what I came up with.

































































    First, I went over my layout lines a few times so that there was a thicker graphite deposit. I then placed a sheet of A4 over the leg making sure I had points of references that I could use on the other leg. I then raided the kitchen again and use the back of a spoon to rub on to the A4 sheet. The resulting image was faint but enough for my needs.






























































    I then taped the A4 onto the other leg and used an awl to punch a series of holes......

































































    ......and the result.


    Before I could cut the curves, I first had to the slot for the runner/foot. This was going to be easier to do with the sides and ends still square.






































































































    I cleaned up the slot and cut the corresponding slots on the runner/foot. With the foot dry-fitted I could then position the deadman into its groove to get its final length.


















































    I used table saw to trim the deadman and to cut the shoulder line for the top tenon. I then used my bandsaw to simultaneously cut the curves of both legs.

























































    When I say "curve" what I actually meant was a series of straight cuts and "nibbles" to "approximate" the curves. Yep, you guessed it, I was too lazy to change blade and I made do with the 32mm resaw blade. I made sure to stay well away from my lines. I crept up to my lines using a combination of hand rasps.






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































    Next up is to shape the sliding deadman, cut the back rebate for the top tenon, and drill the holdfast holes but that'll be on the next post. Hopefully the 3m long M32mm MDF strips I plan to use for the router sled rails will have turned up so I can flatten the slab.



    Cheers,
    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #52
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    I've finished shaping the sliding deadman......

























































    First, I used my plunge router to cut the sides. Then I used a handsaw to cut around the curve and crept up to my lines using a selection of rasps.























































    The chisel plane was very handy to get right into the corners. Ordinary hand chisels wouldn't do because their handles prevented them from lying flat against the side of the deadman.



























































    I then used my LN skew block plane to cut the rebate for the back of the tenon. The shoulder was done using the trenching function on my SCMS. The table saw is a better tool for this task, which is what I used to cut the front shoulder, but I couldn't use it for the back shoulder because the curved legs prevented the piece from lying flat. With that done, I could test the fit.




















































































































































































































































































    The fit was perfect but the deadman was looking a bit too thick and chunky. I considered thinning the legs but in the end I decided to chamfer the edges. I used my plunge router where I could and then rasps to get the areas where it couldn't reach.




























































    Do I get bonus points for using a sliding deadman to secure a sliding deadman ?






























































    I used a very sharp chisel to pare the inside mitre chamfers. I'm very pleased with how they turned out and for a while I felt like a "proper" woodworker.
































































































































































































































































































































































































































    IMHO, the chamfers do help "lighten" the deadman visually especially when viewed from oblique angles. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably make the legs 5~10mm narrower and probably 50mm shorter. I would still chamfer the edges because I think it adds some interest to the piece. What do you reckon?


    So, apart from applying some finish, the sliding deadman is finished.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by KahoyKutter
    ...IMHO, the chamfers do help "lighten" the deadman visually especially when viewed from oblique angles. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably make the legs 5~10mm narrower and probably 50mm shorter. I would still chamfer the edges because I think it adds some interest to the piece. What do you reckon?


    So, apart from applying some finish, the sliding deadman is finished...

    Lovely crisp work on the deadman, Mike. Fully agree that the chamfers visually lighten it significantly. Once you get the finish on the deadman I think it will merge back into the gestalt of the workbench, and the proportions will then look about right.

    One little worry that I have is the short grain where the sled mortices into the feet of the deadman. This could be a potential weakness if there is any imperfection in the gluing. It might be worth reinforcing this - perhaps a dowell or even a screw from the back - perhaps other Forumites have a better idea?

    Deadman.jpg PS: Two dowells of that purple timber ????

  10. #54
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    Thanks Graeme. You've convinced me. I'll add a couple of screws from the back. They'll be invisible so there's no reason not to go with the added insurance. Cheers.

  11. #55
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    The tool holder that goes between the two slabs is pretty much done. I laminated two wide SG decking boards with some purpleheart trim.





































































































































































    It is still too tall sitting proud by about 15mm. I've still to cut the notches where it intersects the top rails of the base and I will still shorten it once I've flattened the top. My goal is for it to be only 10mm proud once it is finished so that it can act as a planing stop when dimensioning 12mm boards. The piece is also a bit tight and I'll take another mm off with the thicknesser to increase the clearance. With that job done, it was time to take it off the mini "saw-horses".























































    First, I made a dolly trolley using the 1400mm long rubberwood top and six casters from the stainless steel workbench trolley I used for my SCMS station.














































































































    Then I removed the rollers from my pair of crank-adjustable stands to jack up one end of the bench. I supported this end with an acro prop and used the stands to jack up the other end until I had enough clearance to slip the trolley under the bench.














































































































    I can now spin the bench around and position it wherever I want with ease. I've just got to prep its final location and lay some rubber matting. Then I can proceed with the task that I've been looking forward to the least and have been putting off for some time, and that is flattening the slab. I'm still deciding whether to go the handplane path and use my LA jointer, or use my plunge router and a router sled. But that's a job for the weekend.

    Wish me luck.

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  13. #57
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    Hi KK. Hand planing will keep you warm but it's do-able. The best bit is running your hands over the surface as you feel it getting flatter and flatter.

  14. #58
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    Keeping warm isn't much of a problem in Brissie this time of the year. It's not the hard yakka that's putting me off hand planing (I could do with the exercise), or the large surface area, but it's the interlocked and reversing grain of the Spotted Gum. I suspect I'll get a fair amount of tear out. I'll give the LA jointer a go and if I find that I am getting too much tear out, I can always resort to the plunge router.

  15. #59
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    Since my last update, I've re-jigged my workshop, laid down some rubber flooring and plonked the workbench in its final position. Again, I used my height adjustable stands and acrow props to lower it down. I'm pleased to report that it went without a hitch and there wasn't even a creak or groan from the bench even when it was only supported on opposite corners.














































    I pulled out this bad boy and had a go at flattening the top by hand. It was going well for a while, but as I predicted, I got some really ugly tearout. I tried sanding it out but this only resulted in low spots. Frustrated, I decided to try the router-sled method. It's what I had planned on originally doing, which is why I didn't pay much care in the grain direction when I laminated the top. I don't think it would have made much difference because I had reversing grain on several of the boards.









































































































    One of the disadvantages of the router sled method is if you get your set up wrong, e.g. the rails not coplanar or are not straight, there's no way of telling if everything is all good until you've done a complete pass and taken off the rails. This is what I feared the most so I was very meticulous with my preparation. For the rails, I used two lengths of 32mm MDF on each side. The inner pieces are sacrificial and their main purpose was to prevent any break out on the edges. These were screwed to the sides. I could do this because the two outer boards are still to go on. The two outer lengths of MDF are what the router sled will be sliding on so they needed to be straight and coplanar. I have a 2.4m spirit level that came in handy for this task. I used a spool of venetian blind cord to make sure that rails were in the same plane and that there weren't any twists.































































    I pulled out the Triton from my router table along with its height adjustable mounting plate. I then put some low-friction tape to help it glide along the sled. The surface planing bit is 2" in diameter. A collet extension is needed to get the necessary projection.

































































    Here's the set up mounted on the sled. The sled was also made from 32mm MDF with the base glued and screwed to the 210mm tall sides. The reason I made the sides so tall is so that the sled doesn't sag in the middle. This risk increases the greater the span and in this scenario it's about 900mm.


    And below is the result after 3 passes.....






























































































    It took a while to get the process down pat. I first started with clamping the sled to the rail on both ends, but then discovered that this wasn't necessary. By the third pass I had it figured out. I only really needed 2 passes but the locking mechanism on the triton had come loose half way through the 2nd pass so I had to do a third to make sure everything was OK. I reckon by the 3rd pass, I got it down to about half an hour. I was overlapping each stroke by 20mm making the cut width effectively 30mm. If my maths is correct, that would mean that my 2700mm long top needed about 90 strokes per pass. That's not a bad rate.















































    Here's the top with all the router tracks smoothed away. I wasn't going to make the mistake with my ROS, so I re-jigged my sanding block from earlier in the thread, I first re-jointed the face to remove a slight twist, and then I re-positioned the handle towards the rear, and then I added a knob at the front. With 40 grit taped to the face, I present the world's first sanding jointer!! I might patent it before Veritas steals my idea .


    I can now tidy up the ends and start on the end caps.....


























































    Here's the right end cap with a bit more purpleheart.....













































    ....and here it is out of the clamps. Some of you may recognise what it's from. The clamping feet on both ends are still to be trimmed off......but that's for next time.







    Cheers,
    Mike

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    Looking good KK.

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