Workbench Book Highlights

Notes from Workbenches book.  It’s dense with great knowledge.  A must have if you’re building a workbench.  Here are just a few of the things I highlighted.

  • Southern Yellow Pine, 2x12x12 untreated (2×12 or 2×10’s, not 2×4′ – they are the worst for knots, bow, etc.)
    I don’t have Southern Yellow Pine here in OR so I used Douglas Fir – from what I can tell it’s pretty similar:

    Southern Yellow Pine Doug Fir
    E Value (stiffness) 1.93 1.95
    Specific Gravity (weight) .67 .48
    Janka (hardness) 690 660
  • Driest wood for anything with a tenon, wettest for anything with a mortise. Wet mortises will shrink on the dry tenons.
    So wettest for top and legs
  • At least 5′ long
  • 24″ deep
  • 0 top overhang
  • make front stretchers flush with top
  • face vice on the left
  • rear jaws of vice flush with front of top
  • dog spacing should be 3-4″, 3″ recommended
  • the line of dog holes is usually nearer the front edge than it is to the centerline of the top
  • Top of table saw is usually 34″ from the floor, so a slightly shorter workbench makes a great outfeed table.
  • Height: From the floor to where your pinky joins your hand.
  • Thickness: 4″ or more
  • Gallon of slow setting glue like Titebond Extend
  • Spread the glue with cardboard
  • Make sure grain is running in the same direction since you’ll be hand planning later
  • Plan sections so bow faces the inside of the assembly
  • Use plywood spacers to create tenons in your legs
  • Plane a 1#4″ x 1#4″ chamfer on the bottom edge of the legs to keep them from snagging when sliding the bench
  • attaching the top – lots of notes.  I found this topic oddly missing from numerous other articles.  Tenons go half way through the top and are attached without glue.
  • mark high spots with chalk then plane them off

After looking at numerous plans I decided on the $175 Workbench plans as my main guide.

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