Shaker Workbench - Base Joinery, Panels, Dry Assembly

Continuing on the base for the Shaker workbench...

 

Stopped-  and through-groove joinery on the legs, stretchers, mullions:

Stoppedgroovesontablesaw
Stoppedgroovesontablesaw

Making the 15 soft maple panels (with tongue and groove joinery) that will wrap around the sides and back of the base:

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20200707_112141

Using the router table to cut decorative beads on the edges of the panels:

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20200710_112946

Doing some dry test assembly and making some fine adjustments to make sure the pieces will easily fit together when we do the actual glue-up:

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20200710_115323

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20200710_141113
20200710_141113

Next up:

Surface prep, milk-painting the panels, and the big base assembly!

 


Base Frame Tenons, Dry Test Assemble

With the leg mortises done, it was time to move onto making the tenons on the stretcher beams, end stretchers, and back mullions.

 

Test cuts, test fits, and cutting shoulders on the table saw...

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20200622_153610
20200622_153610

Cutting the tenon cheeks for the large stretchers on the bandsaw...

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Finessing the shape and size of the tenons using a chisel, block plane, and sandpaper...

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Doing a dry test assembly...
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20200625_115526
20200625_115526

That's looking like a pretty beefy base frame!

 


Leg Mortises

The Shaker workbench will have a pretty beefy frame, and the main joinery between the legs and rails will be mortise and tenon. Here we are getting the leg mortises cut...

First - mark the layout lines, and hog out the mortises using the Festool XL:

Capture
Capture

Then finesse the mortise walls with chisels to clean up the ridges:

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20200606_133700

Drill out the peg holes that will be used for the drawbores on the tenons that fit into the mortises...

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Electric Fence

So, this spring I have a handful of house/yard projects to get worked in between stints on the new workbench build.

Last summer late, some of the local deer re-discovered our gardens, and in one night almost completely wiped out everything that had been grown, wasting a whole season's worth of labor by Hannah. So this year, we decided to install an electric fence around both gardens to deter them from coming back.

 

Making up the insulator mounts and installing them on the fences, installing the polywire...

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20200418_122259
20200418_122259
20200418_122259
20200418_122259

Installing the ground rod and solar fence charger...

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20200422_150054
20200422_150054

Running underground cable from the solar charger to the fence wires...

Solarchargertofence1
Solarchargertofence1
Solarchargertofence1

Ready for action...

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Shaker Workbench, Parts for Base Frame

I milled up all the cherry timber-frame pieces to final dimensions for the Shaker workbench...

 

Jointing, planing...20200427_111207
20200427_111207
20200427_111207

Cutting to final width, length...

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20200429_143530

Gluing up some double 8/4 for the beefy legs and front and back stretchers...

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Drum sanding, planing to final thickness, widths...

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Arranged, sorta...

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20200504_185520


Starting on the Shaker Workbench

Well, the decision is in - I plan, Lord willing, to build the "Ultimate Shaker Workbench" by Fine Woodworking magazine. I will be making it a few inches deeper and will probably adjust the drawer arrangement, but basically the same plan.

Shaker workbench fineww

I obtained some 8/4 thick cherry and 4/4 soft maple yesterday for the timber frame base and the side and back panels.

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Today, I put the miter saw and table saw to work, rough-cutting the blanks for all the structural parts of the bench base. After all that cutting, there was a marked scent of cherry wood sawdust in the air!

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20200425_153852
20200425_153852


Next on the Horizon: a Workbench

Now that the farmhouse dining table is completed, it's time to move on, Lord willing, to the next big wood project - a large piece of "shop furniture" - a proper workbench.

Initially I wanted to build a version called the Jack Bench, a bench designed by Charlie Kocourek. I really like the adjustable height feature (its hallmark) which would allow me to use it at a low height for doing assemblies, at a medium height for joinery and table saw outfeed, and a high height for doing close up detail work. This is a very nice, solid bench that is ergonomic. You can view the Jack Bench website at https://www.jack-bench.com/

Jack bench

However I realized that I am definitely going to need a lot of storage in my bench (for tools, jigs, etc.), which is prohibitive with the jack mechanisms inside this model.

So, now I'm leaning toward a Shaker style bench, somewhere in the neighborhood of these photos from Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking, and Woodsmith:

Shaker workbench fineww
Shaker workbench fineww
Shaker workbench fineww

Still noodling on it; hope to pull the trigger soon...

 


Dining Table Delivery

Getting the table all wrapped up the evening before...

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Arrived at our friends' house (pre-stay-at-home order!), ready to heft it from the van into their dining room...


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20200329_174325
20200329_174325
20200329_174325

Unpacking and assembling the legs back on...

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Resized-101638 Resized-101638
Resized-101638

Turning it upright and setting in place...

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20200330_103355
20200330_103355

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20200330_151301
20200330_151301
20200330_151301

A happy, godly family; worth it all!

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Resized-104651

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
(Col 3:17)

Sola Deo Gloria


Final Steps on the Dining Table Top

Pre-finish prep for the top: block planing & scraping edges to remove scoring marks.  Sanding at 120 & 220 grit, then burnishing with a maroon 3m pad (to help the stain absorb a little lighter)...

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Staining with GF Antique Oak stain, with help from two skillful wiper-downers :) ...

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Applying 6 coats of GF HP Flat water based topcoat, buffing between coats...

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Installing tabletop fastener clips to attach the apron to the underside of the top. Re-fabricated some extra-long z-clips for attaching at the ends...

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And that's it - the farmhouse dining table is all finished!  All glory to the Lord!

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20200327_095857

 

Next up: the delivery!

 


All Done with the Dining Table Apron

Sand, sand, sand with 120 and 220 grits:

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Stain with General Finishes water based Antique Oak stain (with a lot of help from my daughter :)  ):

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Resized_20200313_134320
Resized_20200313_134320

Apply 5 thin coats of General Finishes water based High Performance Flat topcoat:

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20200317_140756
20200317_140756

Test-attach the apron and legs:

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20200318_111454
20200318_111454

Next up: sand-stain-finish the top; assemble; done!