Popular Woodworking 2009-11 № 179, страница 27

Popular Woodworking 2009-11 № 179, страница 27

where your pinky finger joins your hand. That will be a good height for most hand-and power-tool operations. Ifyou work only with power tools, you might consider raising things 2". If you work only with old-style wooden-bodied handplanes, you might consider lowering the benchtop about 2".

Once you determine the final length of your legs, crosscut them to length and lay out all the half-lap joints on the four legs. The leg that will get the leg vise will get a few extra cuts, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Put all the chippers from your dado stack on the arbor of your table saw. Raise the arbor until it is 15/s" high - exactly the thickness of all the stretchers. Lock the saw's arbor

in place and make a test cut on a piece of scrap LVL.

If your saw breezes through the material, then you are good to go. If, however, it balks at the task by slowing down, you'll need to first remove most of the waste using a band saw.

Removing the waste using a dado stack is simple work. To determine the stopping and starting place for each cut, we used the stop on our table saw's miter fence. Then we lifted the stop and wasted the remainder between the start and stop points on the legs. It really is simple work. Just keep alert and watch that cabinetmaker's triangle for guidance.

The Kitchen Test For Workbenches



Joint and glue. Joint the inside face of each of your leg pieces and glue them together. When the glue dries, joint and plane the legs to their final thickness and width. Planing the legs to width ensures they will all be consistent.

Triangles and squares. Note the "cabinetmaker's triangle" scrawled across the tops of the four legs. This helps you keep all the legs oriented as you mark out the half-lap joints for the stretchers.

I wish there were a simple test to separate a good workbench from one that should live the rest of its life as a plant stand. You know, something simple like an instant pregnancy test, but without having to drag your bench into the lavatory.

I developed such a test for my book on workbenches. I call it "The Kitchen Test," but I need to come up with a better name for it. In a nutshell, here it is: Pretend you have three pieces of woodwork in your shop and you need to secure them on your workbench so you can work on their faces, edges and ends.

One piece is a kitchen cabinet door that measures 3/4" x 18" x 24". The second is a kitchen drawer that is 4" x 18" x 18". The third is a piece of baseboard for the kitchen that is 3/4" x 6" x 48".

Now pick two (or 10) workbench designs and pit them against one another. Which bench would grip these three pieces of work in each of the three positions (for working the faces, edges and ends) with the greatest ease?

Some benches require a lot of extra accessories (bench slaves, bench hooks etc.), and some don't. But it really is quite surprising how a lot of benches fare in this test. There are significant differences. Some bench designs can handle all nine operations. Some can easily accomplish only about half. — CS

How high? This high. The actual height of the dado stack isn't important. What's key is that the cutters be just as high as your stretchers are thick. Place a sawtooth at top dead center and compare it to a stretcher.

The whole stack for half-laps. This is a lot of meat for a table saw to remove, but our cabinet saw was up to the task. If your saw isn't, a band saw will remove most of the waste and the dado stack can clean up the cuts.

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