Finishing the bench base.
With the milling and the joinery done I decided to apply a finish to the parts before assembly. It is easier to do this now than after the base is assembled. I used a favorite home brew finish that I have been using for years. It is a mixture of bees wax, boiled linseed oil and mineral sprits. I slathered it on. Let is soak for a few minutes and wiped the excess off. Then buffed with a clean rag. WARNING!!! DISPOSE OF LINSEED OIL SOAKED RAGS AND PAPER TOWELS SAFELY. THEY CAN SELF COMBUST. HANG THEM OUTDOORS IN A SINGLE LAYER TO DRY. After drying over night the base was ready to assemble.
Assembling the bench base.
When the finish was dried on the base side assemblies I attached them to the long aprons and stretcher using 3/8″ hex head lag screws and washers through holes and counterbores that had been previously drilled, as can be seen in the pic above.
Here you can see the levelers that I used on the legs.
Level bench tops are something I insist upon. I want to be able to set things down without having them roll off the top. To this end I installed a leveler in the bottom of each leg. As can be seen in the pic above. These consist of a rubber foot with a 3/8-16 threaded shank. This shank screws into a 3/8-16 t-nut that is installed in the bottom of each leg. There is a clearance hole for the shank of the foot and the foot is locked in position, after adjustment, with a locknut.
Drilling the blocks that will attach the top to the base.
Hardwood blocks are used to attach the top to the base.
The benchtop is an old kitchen island top that I got for free out the dumpster at the woodshop. It was removed from a kitchen that was being remodeled. It is particle board covered with high pressure laminate. The price was right and it was a good size. I found the top and designed a base to fit it.
I used 6 hardwood blocks to attach the top to the base. Two in front and in back and one on each side. The pic above clearly shows how the blocks are attached. Two screws hold the blocks to the aprons and one screw into the top holds the top securely to the base.
The shelf attached to the bench.
Next the shelf supports were attached to the bench with 3 screws into the benchtop. Three screws hold the shelf securely in its dado. There is about 3″ of shelf support above the shelf to keep things from falling off of the shelf.
The shelf back being attached.
In the above pic you see the 1/4″ plywood shelf back attached with screws. This makes the shelf assembly very sturdy and, with the shelf supports, encloses the shelf on 3 sides preventing things from falling off.
Assembly of the bench completed.
Vise Mounting blocks installed.
Now it is time to make and install the saw vise mounting blocks. These blocks were designed to allow the vise jaws to just clear the edge of the top and rise above the top just enough to allow clearance for tooth filing.
The vise mounted to the blocks.
The pic above shows the new saw vise securely attached to the bench. Time to bring it to its home and set the bench up for work.
Bench assembly and setup complete.
With the saw bench assembly completed it was leveled and a task light installed. This bench was designed to place the saw tooth line at a comfortable height for me, seated in this chair. It is truly a purpose built bench.
As always, thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.