Workbench TWO – Day 16

The objective for today was to finish the mortises in the leg.  There are 12 to do.

So I selected tools,  Veritas PMV11 Chisels, 1″, 5/8″ and 1/2″.  Mallets,  Starrett 6″ square and of course my well used calipers.

I started with the large 1″ wide drilled out holes.   This was a very big learning process for me.  I quickly learned that a lot of force could and should be used.  The chisels where all very sharp and performing well.  However, when cutting across end grain for a 2″ depth,  force is required.   I quickly put on my now trusty yellow rubber line gloves.  This allow me to grip and control the chisel, both on the handle and the blade.  I got better and better, developing technique as I progressed.   The last hole I did a quick video, so you can see the process.   I stopped the video when my back side blocked all the real work.

So I thought I was ready to sizing and cutting the end rails.  Well, remember, measure twice, cut once !  I started setting up the legs and measuring.  On both ends !!  The width of the bench is about 1/16 larger on one end.  STOP and think about this !!

I tried to plane the faces… It was not and EPIC fail, but really did not produce the results I needed.

That started a whole chain of events.   Now from a great comment I got on ( my favorite forum ) I need to 4 square the entire workbench top.  This means I have to find a way to lift and position the top on the floor or some supports.

NOTE: Day 17 will be in about a week.   Spending time with the grand kids and Easter at church with my wife.   I will have a lifting solution by then.

Bench Build Blog Index


Please enjoy the full set of day 16 pictures with detailed comments:



  1. says

    I would start the 4 squaring with the front edge of the bench with the dog holes and make that my reference edge. Go nutso here and get that edge straight and square. Then square everything off that.
    Is the mallet in the pics homemade or store bought? I really like the look of it.

    • Bartee says

      Agree with you on the 4 square process. I am going to get a chain host and straps so I can move the top to the floor level so I can accurately plane the surfaces.

      The mallets are Blue Spruce. These have been ” infused with acrylic resin”. They are incredible hard and durable. Both have a great feel. Not cheap, but a lifetime purchase.

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