Hand crafted keepsake boxes and other treasures..

Mar 2012

Flat Top

No not a Rockabilly haircut, truing up the bench top. As if you hadn’t guessed.

After drilling the circular dog holes I noticed that my top had moved a bit. Quite a bit actually. 3 or 4mm out at one end.

So i decided to re shim the slabs to get them as level as possible then attach the top with the router sled.

It was surprising how little needed taking off.

The front slab was pretty flat and the back, with the new dog holes, had bowed in the centre. Anyway the sled trick does not take much time at all.

The centre cap is ideal for parking the router when you one the sled

I also go to try out the new Clear Vu cyclone attachment for the shop vac. It seems fine although i would recommend siliconing the cyclone on to the bucket lid for a leak free result. Does anyone know why there are two buckets??


With the top in shape i used a cherry plank I had left over from the dining room dresser to make the gap filler. Short so that I can post rubbish through the slot into the bin below.


Next time must be the deadman.

Oh and I sold the old Anke bench today on Ebay. Withe the Veritas twin vice £610. Not bad, At least it pays for the ash on this one.


Them Dog Holes

Time to drill the circular dog holes for the hold downs and Veritas bits and bobs.

I made up a guide on the drill press and then used two bits in the hand drill for the job.

The one on the left, a fluted bit used at slow speed for the first inch or so then the Rockler bit on the right and finally fluted one again as you get virtually nil tear out on the underside of the bench.

With that done I adjusted the blocks on the bottom of my protective cover for my old bench. It is just a sheet of ply with a block that gets held by each vice.

A real top saver.


Base and top meet

You will remember we missed a week with Jane having a problem with her back. After a bit of an emergency we are back and she is bolted together again.

Today was the firs day I could work on the bench some more but had been planning the base assembly and routing the mortices for the top whilst I was away.

The base went together fine with the knock down hardware supplied from Benchcrafted. All square and no surprises.


I then gave it a smooth over and used a 45 degree bit to chamfer the base.

To make the mortices I made up a jig and used the router. To fine tune the fit without lifting the top off all the time I made a trial mortice to fit over the tennons like this..


Then on to the underside of the top for the routing


And after routing out the slot for the dead man it was on with the slabs



A bit of adjusting here and there and it all works. It is great to have just one bench in the shop now. Space again.

I shimmed up the underside of the slabs to get them as level as possible before bolting them down with a couple of shim washers.

Next time we need to get on with the deadman and centre section, which I am going to find some contrasting timber for.

You can se my old scrap bin fits and like Marc I am going to keep the gap stop short so I can post scrap down the slot into the bin.

See you all next time when I will tell you how my new japanese chisels have faired.



You’ve been framed

Last thing today after a very eventful day with a back specialist and Mrs CC I set about gluing up the frame ends. Making sure to add a dado with the router table and the fantastic new Woodpeckers router lift for the base sheet supports.


This was the first use for the new bench tops and tail vice and they work a treat and dont need hardy any pressure to hold the work rock solid for cleaning up the tenons.
Using the same drawbore technique with the 10mm dowels the glue up went pretty smoothly and I am now a convert to the drawbore. No clamps required.

I then set about drilling the holes for the knock down bolts in the long rails. However you do that, unless you have some monster drill press, the holes can wander a bit. This I learnt the hard way.

The first captive nut hole was not centred on the bolt, so had to be enlarged.
I then made sure that I used the bolt to sight along to position the nut hole on the remaining three.


There will be a short break whilst we sort out Mrs CC and her back.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...


We all have Vices

Today was another day out of London. Not so much fun though as I had to go with Jane (Mrs CC) to hospital to see the specialist about her back.
We had the MRI scans and needed someone to interpret them.
The answer is a prolapsed disk and an operation the recommendation. If anyone has experience if these give us a shout to tell us what you know. So after that I busied myself with the chop.
First off was to size and roughly shape the chop and run it through the planer.

Then rout the mortice.
I am not a great fan of routed mortices when I have a morticer but as this runs out or the bottom of the chop and is fairly big bit of wood i mobilised the Festool. (the other problem is that the new bench tops are in front of the morticing machine)
Then the supporting rail thingy was set out. I went for hard maple for that. It was the first time I had tried the off set dowel technique to pull the joints together. It works a treat with 10mm dowels.

Next up the roller supports.
I bandsawed the recesses for the wheels and gave them a bit of a wack with a chisel.

Here is the rough fit.

Then on with fitting the vice hardware. All following the Benchcrafted instructions.

I imagine it is so much easier doing this with the led off.


Going on ahead

I am having a morning in the workshop as got a bit fed up with the commute into london this week and got down to fit the tenons. Actually they did not need much fettling.IMG_0711IMG_0712
and with that going together nicely I though shall I wait for the next video or go freestyle. No waiting we ploughed on with the vice .
Now I only had 2” ash in my pile so thought I would laminate a bit of 70 year old oak on the face. So I did!
Loads of glue and clamps and leave until tomorrow.

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