Saturday, July 18, 2009

Workbench: Top Glue Up Update

I'm making some serious headway on the top glue up. Only took me about a 1 1/2 gallons of glue and a little over a week. One of the worst things about working on a bench is that you probably lack a decent place to do your work. Especially your planing work. My current workbench is a 4' Harbor Freight bench that weighs about 50 pounds soaking wet. If you look at this photo you can see what I had to do to brace up my bench so I could do some planing on part of the workbench top.

I know what your thinking..."Where can I get a set up like that." Hopefully this setup will be available for purchase in the near future. Make me an offer I can't refuse!

Making this bench top has been a work out for all my tools. Someday I'll get my dust collection pipe run to all the tools so I don't have such a mess. Believe it or not, this shop was cleaned up before starting this project. As you can see it is certainly in need of maid service...

Have you ever started a project and had a few tools that just come in so handy? I had a few tools, under-appreciated tools, that really come through for me in a pinch. In the picture below you will see a few tools on the right. Its a Sandvik scraper, Crayola sidewalk chalk, and a Do It Best square tooth spreader.

If you haven't used one of these carbide scrapers your missing out. In my opinion this is the best scraper on the market. Chalk is a fairly new concept for me in woodworking. As a kid we always used it in our upholstery shop. It just never crossed my mind that it could be useful for wood also. This is from a box of Crayola sidewalk chalk. It works wonderfully. Its large enough that it doesn't break all the time. In addition to general marking I have been known to cover a board with chalk before planing it so I can see exactly what the blade is removing. I just place the chalk on its side and mark. You can cover a board in a few seconds. It has been a help for me when learning some new hand plane techniques. Finally the flat tooth spreader. I happen to stumble on this while I was at the hardware store. This made covering the boards with glue a snap. It was messy, but it got the job done. I never had any issues with my glue trying setting up on me. I felt it might be nice to pay homage to some of the under appreciated tools in the shop.

So far this is as far as I have gotten with the top. It is still in two pieces.

The top is measuring about 26 3/4", a little more than I had planned on. I have run both pieces though the planer and I'm ready to get them joined together. A little trimming and it should resemble a bench top.

David B.

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