Sunday, 25 November 2012

my bench

Finally after all these years, I've  actually got round to  starting my new bench. It's always been on my To-do list but as many of you will know when as you go through your married life,  mortgage,  kids car repairs you know the usual, a luxury like a cabinet makers bench just gets shoved to one side.

off cuts left for  tail vices etc
First I'll tell you a little about the bench I intend to make, I want to keep it as traditional as possible, but, with a difference, I am in desperate need of tool storage space and extra vices fitted.

I like to work around my bench from both sides and from the ends at times depending on what I'm working on. I've been pondering different designer  bench now for some time  My bench will be sort of a Heinz 57 version of some ideas pinched from them all  with a few  ideas of my own worked into the build as it progresses.

The new bench  will have two York (tail vices) and one York shoulder vice, a line of dog holes along both edges and possible other dogs hole  across the bench top for  cramping purposes.

This morning I made a start and machined  the core for the top, the pieces are temporarily clamped together overnight.

core boards cut  marked for biscuits
I decided to build the top from American Oak ( just my choice)  no other reason,  with a softwood base (still to be sourced), the carcase for the tools stowage to be  made out of 18mm and drawers from 12mm  birch ply.

Last week  I sourced some nice American  Oak pieces  2  @ 3.6m x 195mm x 80mm   plenty enough to make the top from, overall sizes approximately  2m x 600mm  with the core of the top being 50mm thick,  the edge skirt  somewhere about 70mm to give that  extra thick look, the oak arrived yesterday.

waiting for  assemble

I  ordered the ironwork from Axminster tools for the bench,  as mentioned above but these are out of stock till next week , but, that's not problem at the moment for me.

biscuits glued and waiting for assemble

25/11/2012    End of day today all 264 biscuits cuts machined out and ready for gluing,  I only have eight sash cramps, so I'm going to glue  the core boards up  in pairs  when I have  three pairs  all glued then I will glue  the first pair and second pair together, when there set, I'll glue the last pair to the first four boards this then forms the  main core to the bench top.

1st boards glued
Please note,  the biscuits cuts to  the outer edge of the 1st boards  this will be to glue the skirts around the main bench top core to house the dog holes, this I will deal with later in the thread.

26/11/2012   Showing in the foreground the second pair just glued up  on top yesterdays pair in the back ground the last pair later today or early tomorrow maybe, 22 biscuits  in a double row  it takes quite a lot of pressure to cramp these together.



 
27/11/2012   As seen above  the  final pair of core boards now glue together plus day 1 and 2  also  tomorrow  the final  glueing to the core boards.

I'm not going to  machine the  core top  to it's final finished level  yet till its fixed to the base unit, I'll deal with that later in this thread. Tomorrow I'll start machining the side  skirt boards for the  dog holes etc. 

First casualty today oops,  as seen in the above last photo    just giving that extra squeeze   in the final cramping and  ping, totally knackered one of a set of eight, bummer Grr. 

28/11/2012   Today another casualty  a second clamp broke not one of  those I used yesterday  but one of the heavy duty cast iron one as used in the lower picture  suddenly a chunk of cast iron flew  off t the back end of the shoe ,it's still usable  as yet not sure how badly damaged  the clamp is till I remove it tomorrow. 

All the core board to the top are now glued together,  remove clamps tomorrow and  start  a cutting list for the skirt and  various parts for the vices, got an e mail to day  telling  there's a three week wait for the iron monger y  on all three vices, now that could  be a nuisance. 

  

01/12/2012  Today, ooh... it was colder in theworkshop this morning than it was outside, I waiting for a few hours till the sun moved round and warmed things up a bit still cold in the workshop but not so bad when you got going. Machined the side skirts and boards for the dog hole.      02/12/2012  I machined the side skirt today, cut all mitres and machined a load more biscuit cuts, ended the day with a dry dummy run fitting the skirt boards to one side of the bench. I machined out the groove for the tail vice guide.

 05/12/2012 Dry run with both side skirts fitted. Finally arrived aboard a slow boat from china the ironwork for the three vice that will be fitted two tail vices and one shoulder vice for ease of use from all four sides of the bench.



Here are both the  York tail vice. I have never fitted one of these so I had better do some research first It's  quiet a complicated vice to manufacture and assemble, although fitting the iron work I think should be straight forwards enough.

The Chinese  engineering on these thread screws are to a very high standard I'm  very impressed  with them. Next to follow a shoulder vice  screw thread again never fitted one  but I feel it's a straight forwards to fit  as well.

Also ordered at the same time some bed furniture bolts  which the photo explains what there intended for.

Ok  it's back to the workshop this afternoon  after the Christmas and new year festivities.

I made as start  as seen in the above  photo on the bed bolts to hold the  oak  carrier that will  do several things really ie to help hold the bench top flat when fully glued, it primary use is to form part of the vice on the corner of the bench,   as seen in the  last photo  it still  only a dummy run,  those four biscuits  will be fitted  above the four bolts when all is glued together I used the same centre line  to line everything up nicely.   I'll  start on the same piece on the other end of the bench tomorrow.

As you can also see from the last photo  the oak carrier has been left long, the reason being that end will also form part of the  tail vice itself, it will have a tenon cut onto it  which will be  running through a groove  to help slide and hold in place the tail vice at the correct level/height to the bench top,  (more on that later in the thread.)