Shop bench

Is 98% done. It’s assembled, the top is screwed down. Some notables:

I disassembled, modified and reassembled my tablesaw guard to accommodate ripping the bench legs. On a full size saw with a 10″ blade, I couldn’t raise the blade high enough to clean up the glued edges, so I did half at a time (4 passed for each leg). I took the guard completely off and then sat down for about 15 minutes to think about how I could make the cut safer.

Oftentimes in woodworking, 90% of the time is setup, time to build a jig, time to make sure everything is ready to make the cut.. and then measuring and remeasuring before any cutting tool touches the wood. I guess it’s really about risk. Climbing history is filled with stories of pushing through and making the summit… and then losing all your fingers or toes. Is anything worth that? In my opinion no.  Victory is fleeing. I’ve always believed the adage, “he who down climbs and runs away,  lives to climb another day.”

I had to put a spacer bolt onto the guard body to raise the splitter past the rivet pin so that the shop legs could pass through – on the first cut the wood bound right as it hit the anti-kick pawls and I shut the saw off and stepped away (unplugged saw) and then extracted the wood from the pawls. Once I found out what was going on, I added the spacers and tried again – then I realized that because I wasn’t making a through cut (wood was too tall), the splitter was just hitting the top half of the leg and stopping. I then had to offset the splitter so that I would pass the left edge of the wood and not try to split the cut. Once these mods were done, all cuts were made with the guard on. After finishing the legs, I reversed all the guard mods and cut the side panels.

Final construction went well. Everything squared up nicely, I glued, clamped and screwed the mortise and tenons. The nice thing about this bench is that the sides are 3/4 birch screwed to the legs so it’s possible to disassemble it and move it. The top is a piece of 3/4 birch and 3/4 MDF screwed together and attached with pocket screws from underneath the bench.  It’s sold and probably weighs around 150+ pounds.

Last 2% is to add a hardwood edge around the perimeter to protect the MDF, drill the bench dog holes and attach a Jorgensen vise. After that… I’ve got a long list of cabinets I need to build. Projects I’ve put off for far too long.

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