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How to build a workbench

Back in high school, when I was a member of a black metal band playing the guitar, I never had the notion I would be even remotely interested in woodworking. Now, as a marketing manager, I like to unwind from the pressures of my job by putting in some woodworking on the side.

It has been fun, but the most challenging project I have had to work on was the DIY workbench for my DIY workshop.

The materials are pretty much what any woodworking project will need. I got some Douglas fir in different dimensions, along with LVL joists, which resemble huge pieces of plywood. My table saw had to be fitted with a fifty-tooth combination rip–crosscut blade.

I also worked with some medium density overlay panel for the shelf and back panel of the desk, but these are optional.

Other items that I got included washers, nuts, galvanized carriage bolts, 12 in all. I also needed six galvanized lag screws plus a 7-inch woodworking vise with bench dog and accessories, sandpaper, wood glue and some Danish oil finish.

 

The actual work started with cutting. To do this, I set the saw fence exactly three ⅛ inches to make the first ripping pass. Using a push stick was essential as I approached the end of the cut I was making. Each of the six pieces or LVL joists had to be given a rip pass.

I used the woodworking square plus a straightedge to ensure a flat and square ripped edge.

I had to reset the fence to 3 inches after shutting the saw off, then I took each of the six already ripped pieces, positioned the freshly-sawn edges against the saw fence and then fed the pieces through once more.

After getting six pieces of LVL, I had eliminated minor imperfections along with the factory edge.

 

After that, I ripped the remaining LVL pieces to widths of 3 inches. When you do this, make sure the freshly-sawn edges are placed against the table saw fence. You should pick the best fourteen pieces having 3-inch widths, carefully examining the face of each.

Any small bumps can be removed right where 2 pieces of veneer overlap. I fed each piece through a planer, and a benchtop model was best for this purpose. I executed an extremely light cut.

To complete the benchtop, I had to glue the pieces together using a foam paint roller and then clamped the pieces together with the rest of the benchtop pieces utilized as a reference plane and clamping block in one.

I had to align, clamp and bore holes on the benchtop. Once that work was done, I proceeded to make the base.

I started on this component by crosscutting two by 4 and four by four lumber using a stop block and a miter saw. The shortened sections had to get reduced in thicknesses by feeding them through a planer.

After that, I had the 2 x 4s at just one ⅜ by three ⅜ inches. The 4 x 4 became three ⅜ inches both ways.

Utilizing some scraps from the four by 4 to test the setup after installing a dado blade in the table saw, I cut the notches and dadoes in the bench legs. I clamped the legs, sanded and finally did finishing work on them.

 

I wish I could have taken pictures as I made the workbench, but I hadn’t thought I would be working on this blog either so forgive me for that ‘non-oversight oversight.’ I hope you can make your own workbench too.

 

 

Categories: My DIY

Brian