My 18th Century Workbench in progress 13


This weekend I finally managed to do the last massaging work needed to fit the short aprons and stretchers to their respective legs. You can see how well it all came together. Thank you David Charlesworth for all the tips in those DVDs that made it possible for a novice to get it done like this. As you can see I added quite a few layers of leather to one face of my heavy dead blow mallet during the previous week in order not to damage the work while tapping these gargantuan tenons home. Once assembled I positioned the legs on the two parts of the twin-top for marking out the through tenons and sliding dovetails.


I consulted the installation instructions of the Lie-Nielsen twin screw vise to make sure that the position of the legs does not interfere the positioning of the vise. Of coarse I did not keep track of the fact that the table was now upside down and that I needed to consider this when placing the legs and twin screw vise. After I did all the careful marking out and stood back, it dawned upon me that my twin screw face vise would end up on the right hand side of the bench once it is flip over onto it’s legs. Bugger!! So I had to start all over, but still prefer this to not realising and stuffing up the bench completely.


Once the various areas were marked out for the second time, I carefully transferred it to the opposite side and clearly indicated the waste to be removed.


In order to have a slightly more stable top beam to work on I clamped the two part of the top (first picture) together with two pipe clamps. Then I used my Lie-Nielsen tenon saw to cut the sides of the sliding dovetail dado (not sure if this is the correct terminology, but I am sure the pictures will make it clear). The pictures show the sequence of cuts I made in the waste area.


The chisel did the rest as you can see.


I thought I could use my Lie-Nielsen router plane to clean out the bottom of the sliding dovetail dados but it did not have the required reach.


Drilling out the waste from the mortises had to be done by hand as a 1″ drill in a handheld drill would surely destroy the motor in no time. This was thus the first job ever for my new purchased no 923 10″ Stanley brace. It is such hard going that I had to engage the ratchet mechanism to allow me to pull only, rather than trying to go through the full 360º, which is simply beyond my strength.



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