Woodworker's Journal 2007-Winter, страница 17


Selecting Lumber for the Workbench Top

Next, make the main part of the benchtop. The top of the bench consists of a long section, usually made of two hefty 7"-wide boards, and a short front section that becomes the fixed jaw of the tail vise. (See the Drawings on pages 18 and 19.) The front piece of this shorter section is 4" high and contains a series of bench dog holes that align with opposing holes in the tail vise.

Begin by letting your lumber acclimate in your shop for a week or so before you start milling it. Then rip, joint and surface all the pieces.

The legs are attached to the feet with fox-wedged tenons.

It does not matter if there are some rough mill marks or defects on the underside of the top, because these will not affect the utility of the bench. Frank recommends using the band saw to rip lumber that is more than 2" thick, because a band saw blade cuts through thick lumber much more efficiently than a table saw blade.

Making the Bench Dog Holes

To make the bench dog holes, cut slots in the front lip of the bench before gluing it to the other short section of the top (see the Pinup Shop Drawings). You want the dogs to tilt 2° toward the opposing bench

Use a table saw sled with a 2° auxiliary fence to cut the bench dog slots in the tail vise face. Reverse the fence for the opposing slots in the front lip of the bench. A guide strip tacked to the sled ensures equal slot spacing.

Assemble each trestle section with white glue and clamps. Here the author uses a mallet to drive the fox-wedged tenons home (into the bottom of the legs).

dogs, so the slots must be at an 88° angle to the bench surface.

To cut the slots in both the front strip and the tail vise, Frank used a table saw sled that works like a box-joint jig, with a 3/4" dado blade and a tapered auxiliary fence that skews the workpiece 2° from perpendicular (see photo, left). Reverse the tapered fence for cutting the tail vise slots, because they need to slope 2° in the other direction.

After you make the first cut, tack a strip of wood the same thickness as your dado blade to the base of the sled at the appropriate hole spacing — in this case 5%". After cutting the first slot, you can cut each successive slot by indexing the previous slot on the wood strip. Note: the last slot, at the end of the strip, has a different spacing. See the Pinup Shop Drawings for more details about this slot.

Winter 2007


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