My 18th Century Workbench in progress 14


This weekend I started doing further work on the long stretchers, which included final hand planing of the swarthout cleats you’ve met before. In the pictures below you can see how my shop made winding sticks came in handy.



Between working on the stretchers I got so tired of drilling out waste with the brace and bit that I decided to giving the electric drill a go using a spade bit. I first set the drill to it’s slowest (and therefore strongest) speed and realised that it actually made short work of the waste removal. The drill did not even heat up at all, but never the less I did the drilling in many short bursts between other work. Of coarse the downside was that I realised how much religious baggage I still carry, as a peculiar guilt fell over me when the electric drill completed the job I started with the brace and bit.  Luckily it did not manage to get much of a hold on me before moving on to other hand tool work.




My shop made panel gauge again came in handy to mark out the area on the inside of the long stretchers where I had to remove some Witpeer to accommodate the cleat. I removed the bulk of it with my Festool router and tidied up the mess left with a Stanley no 78 rabbet plane and my shop made shoulder plane. These tools leave a much better finish and enables you to dial in slowly to the absolute exact size of the rabbit needed.




The next rabbit is meant to accept the endgrain of Kaapse Swarthout boards sitting diagonally on top of the cleat to form the shelve. I used the same sequence of tools used.





While all this was going on I set up the second part of the twin-top in order to saw and chisel out the sliding dovetail dados. You will notice that I used the cleats temporarily as braces for the Darwinian saw horse as they were a bit wobbly when I did the same to the other part of the twin top. It made a massive difference.


Once again the Festool Domino enabled me to line the additional strip of Witpeer up perfectly with during the lamination process. As per usual, I used the Proletarian sanding contrivances to get rid of machine marks on the glue surfaces.



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