Woodworker's Journal 2007-Winter, страница 19


Assembling the Top

Assembling the top involves several steps. Before you can glue the various parts together, you need to drill the hole for the threaded reinforcing rod that goes through the full width of the top at the shoulder vise.

To do this, clamp the two planks of the long section together and drill a 9/16" hole through the first into the second. Then clamp this section to the next section and repeat the process, drilling the hole progressively through all the parts, including the block and the arm of the shoulder vise. Use a spade bit with an extension attachment to do this.

Once you have drilled through all the pieces, rip grooves for the splines with a dado blade on your table saw. Glue up the 13"-wide section and the short front section separately. Use 1/2" x 1!2" plywood splines and glue to join all the parts

of the top, including the end caps and shoulder vise block.

Square off the short section and glue it to the long section, making sure that all the holes line up and that the splines don't interfere with them. Finally, trim the ends square and rout the grooves for the end cap splines (see photo, above).

Attaching the End Caps

Before you can attach the end caps, you'll need to first join the long end cap to the arm of the shoulder vise. This is a simple through-dovetail joint that you can cut on the band saw and clean up with chisels and rasps (see photos, below, and on page 20). Make an angled ramp, clamped to the band saw table, to tilt the shoulder vise arm when cutting the dovetail socket.

Dry-fit this dovetail, then disassemble the parts and rout or rip the spline grooves in both parts,

Cut the large dovetail that joins the shoulder vise arm to the end cap with a band saw. Note the angle ramp clamped to the band saw table.

Use a router with an edge guide to cut the spline grooves in the ends of the glued-up benchtop. These grooves will match the spline grooves you'll form later in the end caps.

stopping the grooves so they won't show when the parts are assembled. Cut the groove in the short end cap also. All the spline grooves should be centered on the thickness of the top.

Notch and drill the short end cap for the benchscrew nut at this time. You will need to drill a hole in the inside face with a Forstner bit for the cast-iron nut, then a smaller hole the rest of the way through for the screw itself. Then trace the benchscrew flange around the larger hole and rout the end cap to the depth of the flange. (A typical installation is shown in the bottom photo on page 20.) Repeat this procedure for the shoulder vise benchscrew nut, and install both nuts with the appropriate sized screws before glue-up.

Next, drill the 1/2" holes through the end caps for the hex-head machine bolts that will reinforce their connection to the top (see Drawings). Start the holes from the inside of the end caps, centered on the spline groove. Then dry-assemble the caps to the top and drill the long holes into the endgrain of the top. Remove the caps and continue the holes to their full depth. Drill or rout pockets in the underside of the top for the hex nuts, as you did with the rail joints in the base of the bench.

If necessary, trim the shoulder block for a perfect fit between the

Winter 2007


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