Woodworker's Journal 2007-Winter, страница 20


Clean and finish the joint with a paring chisel. Test-fit the joint before you try to glue it up and join it permanently. It should fit snugly but not too tight.

Bar clamps and hex-head bolts with captive nuts connect the end caps to the benchtop. Note the installation of the benchscrew nut in the short end cap.

top and the end cap assembly. Rout spline grooves on three sides of the block and dry-assemble it. Then, mark the finished length of both end caps at 8/2" past the back edge of the top, and cut them to length on a miter or radial arm saw.

The final step before gluing on the end caps is to rout the dovetail sockets in the ends for the backboard. Frank used a simple router jig similar to the one for the tail-vise dovetails (see photos, next page). The jig uses a 1/2"-diameter straight bit and a 5/8" template guide bushing.

Glue-up isn't difficult, but it is somewhat complicated, so it's good to have a helper, if possible. Start by turning the top over, with a couple of beams underneath it to raise it off your assembly table. Do a dry run first, to make sure you have everything you need, including all the clamps, bolts and splines.

Frank used a brush to spread glue in the grooves and a small disposable paint roller to roll it onto

the various surfaces quickly. White glue is a good choice for this application, as it allows more open time than yellow glue.

Get all the parts assembled before clamping them, because they must be tightened in all directions at once. At the shoulder vise end, clamp the big dovetail first with one long clamp lengthwise and another squeezing the joint itself. Then use another clamp to pull the vise arm and the shoulder block tight against the top and two more to clamp it to the end cap. Now, clamp both end caps at the same time with two 8-foot bar or pipe clamps, and tighten the bolts to pull both caps into tight contact with the ends of the top.

The final step of this main glue-up is to install and tighten the threaded rod with washers and hex nuts at each end (see photo, page 22). When the glue dries, plane or belt-sand all the joints flush.

Next, mill and install a solid strip of hardwood behind the row of dog holes. This encloses the holes and provides a larger clamping surface under the front lip of the bench, where you are always clamping workpieces. The backboard and tool tray are next on the list.

Frank likes to use a special piece of wood for the backboard, since it is so prominent on the customer side of the bench. Cut the backboard to the correct width and length to span the end caps. Then, clamp it temporarily to the ends so you can lay out the dovetails. Cut the dovetails with a band saw and clean them up with a chisel.

Now, plow a 1/4"-deep groove in the backboard for the tool tray, at a height equal to the thickness of your benchtop. Rip your plywood for the tray to a width that will underhang the benchtop by about an inch when fully seated in the groove in the backboard.

Glue the tray into the backboard, then install the assembled parts to the bench, gluing and screwing the tool tray to the underside of the bench (see bottom photo, page 23).


Workshop Projects

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