Monster Bench...(Part II)
Monday, February 22nd, 2010
The majority of projects I build
for my shop are completed without the use of plans
or sketches; the same practice holds true for the bench that
I am building. Still, the construction of the
bench had to incorporate the following design
construction using post and rail ends connected
with strong stretchers for strength and rigidity.
beneath the work surface to accept future tool
of traditional woodworking joinery thereby
minimizing the use of mechanical fasteners and
to build; base constructed using common
Glue-laminated 3" thick hardwood bench top.
pleasing yet fully functional.
The base of my new bench is
constructed using dimensional lumber. The
symmetrical top and
bottom rails of the ends are glue-laminated
and machined to a finish dimension of 4½" x
5½" and the 2 posts for each end, also
glue-laminated, are machined to a finish dimension
of 3¼" x 3½". The
ends are assembled using large
mortise and tenon joints and glue.
Additionally, sacrificial feet are screwed to the
bottom rails to cope with uneven floors.
The stretchers are 2½" x 3¼"
and connect the 2 ends together. For added strength
and rigidity cross members of a similar dimension,
both top and bottom, were added at equally spaced
intervals. Mortise and tenon joinery was used
throughout the assembly process. Oak dowel pins were
also added at the cross members for additional
The ends of each rail were
miter-cut to eliminate the sharp corner and the
edges received a 45° chamber for aesthetics
and to prevent splintering. The completed base
measures 34" wide x 68" long. See Figures 1-7 below:
Figure 1 Figure
Figure 3 Figure
Figure 6 Figure
The next phase of the project was
to attach the base boards and add corner blocks to
the top. The base boards (Figure 8), or lower shelf
boards, are 2x8 dimensional lumber jointed, ripped
to a standard width and planed to 1¼" final
thickness. Before being pre-drilled and screwed to
the stretchers the top edges of the shelf boards
received a slight 45° chamber.
The corner blocks (Figures 9 &
10) were installed for added strength but more
accurately for a place to attach the top when
completed. The corner boards themselves were screwed
to the cross members from the underside using 4
pocket holes and specialty screws (Figures 11 & 12).
Holes will then be drilled in the center of each
corner board and lag bolts will be used from the
underside to secure the top to the base.
Figure 8 Figure
Figure 11 Figure
I have been very pleased with the construction of
the bench to date. I was able to incorporate the
design features mentioned above and so far cost has
been minimal. Traditional mortise and tenon joinery
has been used extensively throughout the bench,
however, the use of screws was necessary for the
shelf boards and corner blocks. Needless to say, the
use of mechanical fasteners and hardware has been
kept to a bare minimum.
If you have any
questions or comments about this blog entry please
do not hesitate to
send me an e-mail. Thanks and be
safe when working with tools!!!