Workbench TWO – Day 13

The objective for today is flattening the bottom and milling the 6 rails. Lot of hand work with my planes. Been out of the shop for a few days.  It was good to get back to the workbench build.

The first task was to get the top out of the clamps.   I had to lift the top to put support blocks under it to free the clamps.  This thing is heavy.  I can lift one end at a time.  Once the clamps were free I had to turn the top over.  I had been working with the top side up.   I needed to work on the bottom side.   Well, one person !!!  I clamped some stop blocks to the side of the workbench so I could lift one side without it sliding off the bench  ( Sorry no pictures ).   This worked by really showed me how careful I need to be moving this slab of maple.  It is now just under 26″ wide, 88″ long and 3 11/16″ thick ( call it 3 3/4″ .)

The bottom was planed flat with a  LN #8.  Diagonal passes several times, using a Veritas Aluminum Straightedge. This took about 1 1/2 hours.  Not bad.  It is not perfect finish, but is flat.  I had purchased the LN #8 two years ago, knowing I would need it for this project and lots of future projects.  I was going to purchase a #7, but my friend Steve Quehl ( former Woodcraft Atlanta store owner ) recommended that go to a #8.  “Why not ?” he asked.  I am very happy with the decision.  A little longer and heavier it just works great.  It is a pleasure to use and a lot of work !!

Next, I got the plans out to find dimensions for the front, back and end rails.   These are all 1 3/4″.  Front rails are 4 1/4 and end rails were 3 1/2.  This was a process of  cutting stock to rough length and doing a four square process on them.

After machine milling, I wanted to plane all the machine surfaces to be ready for the final finish.  This was a hand plane adventure.  All of this “soft” maple has grain going in both directions on many of the surfaces.  So the LN 5 1/2 and 4 were really tearing into some grain.   I then remembered by LN # 4 1/2 55 degree frog.  WOW, did it work.   So using all three planes I was able to get these parts milled and finish planed.

Nice shaving from 4 1/2.

There are a few pictures showing my planer setup routine.   I can now set this up in about 2 mins.

I did discover a small problem with the tail vise and a dog hole, but thanks to good engineering my Hovarter, I think I have a solution.


On to day 14.

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Please enjoy the full set of day 13 pictures with detailed comments: