Gather around the fire, kids and let ole Woody tell you a story … well, fake fire… this is a woodworking shop after all! My goodness! Who would use hardwood for a fire?
The workbench has been delivered and our customer is a happy camper. However, we still owe you build updates. Here is the much belated next installment ….
We used beefy loose tenons to attach a huge laminated Mahogany cross brace to the legs. They probably didn’t need it, but we tend to over build because our customer’s deserve no less. That was attached with epoxy and allowed to try while we worked on the tool tray/shelf that goes on the bottom.
The tool tray was built as a stand alone unit and then attached to the work bench legs and rested on the attached “shoes” which are now acting as cleats giving additional rigidity to the base. Woodworkers will use relative dimensioning over measuring any day of the week. Why? Well, humans hold tape measure and human eyes read them. Slight errors are going to occur. No way around that. If you can put the piece that needs to be measured into the place where it’s going to live, and mark it that way, there is way less error. This results in tighter joints and just looks better all the way around.
The tray sides are also “L” shaped. We created those using our favorite loose tenons, lots of epoxy & clamps. After the sides dried, we put them back on the legs and used relative dimensioning to measure the length of the sides and cut them accordingly. We then put them back in place to get the width of the tray bottom boards, thus giving us the width of the tool tray itself. We locked those in place with mortise and tenons on each end. The now 4-sided box frame (open a the top and bottom) was pulled off the legs and put on the table saw (a perfectly flat surface) for addition of each hand-fiktted plank.. All of the tray plank boards were first dry fitted, marked for length & trimmed. A tongue was routed on one side the and mating grooves on the other. The tongues were cut to allow for non-visible wood movement but also provided tons and tons of long grain to long grain gluing surface. Each of the boards was attached to the tray by tenon. We finished the tray with some molding to hide the purposeful slight gaps (that allow for wood movement)…. not to mention it just looks complete. One of the many benefits to custom woodworking. Things look pretty beside being useful and strong!
Once the tray was allowed to completely dry, we muscled it back in between the legs. It was a nice tight fit and there was only minimal cursing, we promise . Once in place, tenons were called into the game once again. Ain’t nothin’ going to pull this tray apart! The tray was finished off by putting the ends on and completed molding.
We next added some sides and a back piece. The back was attached with through tenons. These three pieces (2 sides and 1 back) served to further lock everything together. Some finish molding was added to most of the transitions. We know this isn’t really necessary given this is a workbench and will be in the garage, but it doesn’t take that much longer, doesn’t cost us that much more and let’s face it …. the piece looks way better! I guess it’s like saying you don’t have to comb your hair to go to church. The Lord loves you regardless, but isn’t it a nice gesture?
The next step was to get the back pigeon holes in place. We created them by tenoning the upper and lower pieces to the back. Which made a square bottomed ‘U’. We added in the dividers using wood glue. The back was left a little longer thus creating tabs of sorts which would give us a great place to attach it to the back legs. It’s a little hard to describe here in writing. I keep pointing at the screen and doing air drawings like you an see me. I’m rolling my eyes at myself. Have a look at the pictures and I think you will see what I mean. Yes, I got under the table and took pictures for you while it was drying. See how much I love you, dear reader?
We also attached the drawer front while we were at it. Just a simple round over was routed along the edge, but we think it complements these classic lines nicely.
We will leave you here for now. The next entry will finish everything up. I’ve included a boat load of pictures on this one. Hope you enjoy them!