Taking a small break from actual construction, my brain can use a workout in thinking about final design and tools for the workbench. Random thoughts below.
I’m planning on using 3/4″ dog holes for the top and legs, but I hadn’t considered what I’d be using in them. I think I’ve decided on forged holdfasts from Gramercy Tools. I was considering making them myself or having a local blacksmith do them, but the price is pretty cheap just to go ahead and order them when the time comes. They look fantastic, and at $32 for a pair plus shipping, I can get three pair for just over $100 and that should be what I need. One on each leg, and four available on the top should suffice. You can see them at the Tools for Working Wood link below.
In that vein, I’m wondering if I need to incorporate a little rack or auxiliary dog holes for them to reside in. I can’t find anything that shows something like that online. Since my bench will have to double as an assembly table, they can’t just stay on the top. I suppose I’ll have enough dog holes in the legs where they could go. Yes, I’ll stick to that unless something else comes up.
I’m considering adding a shelf to the top of the stretchers, it would give me a space to potentially set those holdfasts along with other things. I am concerned though that it will be a crap and dust collection area. I’m leaning toward it, but that also brings about this thought – out of what, and do I need to plan for that now? I think the best thing to do would be just to build it as is, then take a sheet of 3/4″ plywood, cut to fit, and just simply place it on top of the stretchers. Should be strong enough, and won’t move if cut properly.
It occurs to me that I may have made my first potential mistake with the bench – making the leg tenons too narrow. My shoulder cuts made it rather small, and I wonder if the introduction of the dowels will hurt the integrity. I suppose we shall see.
I am still planning on using the Veritas Twin Screw vise for the front of the bench, but it will be an “add on.” While I could easily pick one up on Wednesday, I don’t think it’s necessary to get one now and it would be more responsible to wait until finances are just a little bit better. Perhaps some birthday money could help with that cause. I will be sure to check it out at Highland on Wednesday, though. Get a good idea of how it works.
I need to put a chamfer on the bottom of the legs, to prevent any blowout while moving it. I have a few tools at my disposal to accomplish this: table saw, router, router table and planes. I think I will use my block plane and make it as even as possible. Like I need another reason to use that wonderful tool, right?
The dog holes will have the smallest roundover I can possibly put on them. I’ll do this with my laminate router and a 1/4″ shank bit. Dead-simple and quick work when the time comes.
What finish to use on this beast? I’m heavily leaning toward boiled linseed oil. I don’t think I want a slippery surface, so I will skip mixing in a wax.
Oak dowels – don’t particularly want to splurge $50 on a dowel plate, so I may employ alternatives. But that $50 would be well spent over the course of my woodworking hobby career…
Hope you enjoyed my randomness today.