Building my workbench – Part II (The other half)

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This post form part of the Building my workbench series.

Yesterday was to be dog-hole day, but lost the opportunity to chasing a replacement bearing for my flush trim router bit. The day began with a quick fifteen minute trip to my local hardware shop which stocks Carb-i-tool bits. I assumed they’d have spare bearings. As it turns out they didn’t and after trying four different stockists, I was still out of luck. It was at this point that logic should have won over, and simply ordered one direct with overnight shipping. Instead I fell victim to the sunk cost falacy. I did eventually get one, but drove about 70 km, and took four hours, and lost a day in the workshop. Oh, and the real kicker? The closest size match I could find was 3 mm larger than required. So my flush trim bit worked, but no longer trimmed flush.

Today then became dog-hole day, and the reason I needed the flush trim router bit.

The first order of business was to enlarge the dog hole template I had made by 1.5 mm on in all dimensions.

Once the template was cut out, I attached two guides that fit snugly on each side of the timber stock.

I did ponder how close to the edge of the bench to run my dog holes as Frank Claus has his pretty close, which I thought odd, and wanted to confirm that the dimensions on his plans weren’t a mistake. A bit of research online, showed that the overwhelming preference was to have them as close to the edge as practical, so my second length of timber it was.

I marked the hole spacings at 100 mm, noting that more often than not, people wish they’d not skimped on the frequency when using large spacings. I also started my first hole 50 mm from where the end vice will sit.

The process was then fairly simple; clamp the jig, route our the recess, and move onto the next one. And yes, I do appreciate the irony of using a power router to build a hand tool work bench. But I’m not a purist, so don’t feel conflicted at all.

The dog hole profile came out really well, and the measurements were pretty much spot on with Frank’s plans; the base at 27.5 mm, the top 32 mm and 18 mm deep.

Then it was a matter of running over all the edges with a chisel to remove any furries left by the router, and ease the front and back corners, though as it’s going through the thicknesser anyway, that was probably superfluous, but thereputic reglardless.

Then, just because I could, I put it in place to enjoy the result. I should mention that I was paranoid about routing out the holes upside down, or facing the wrong way. As the holes are angled a couple of degrees off vertical, that would have been disasterous. So along with much chalk marking, double and tripple checking, it was a relief to note that it had in fact all turned out as intended.

Glue time. Like the other half, I did a dry fit first, and again for some inexplicable reason was drawn the view of the stagoraurus that got Beam-Me-Up Scottied at the same time as a tree.

A couple of observations.

  1. Despite my plans to ensure the biscuits missed the dog holes, in the end the risk of missaligning my “custom” biscuit slots outweighed the extra effort of simply chopping any biscuits that protruded into a dog hole. I’m not glueing the biscuits, so they should be simple to chop out.
  2. I ended up glueing the opposite sides of the boards so that the back of my dog hole timber was the glue side. That way as I was spreading the glue, it wouldn’t find its way into the recesses.

And that’s it for another day! I’m really pleased with how the dog holes turned out; it’s been worying me a little bit, so with that behind me, I can turn my attention to the next stages.

Aug 2019

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