“Ode to Roy” Part III (tool well, end caps, and finished vise)

Its quite amazing how wonderful it can feel to finally have a workbench top to plane on and a shelf to lay tools in. Trying to plane and chisel on rickey saw horses was making me go prematurely white headed, and I nearly lost a toe to a falling chisel once. Now with the bench top sitting on its legs, I had at least a flat surface that was relatively stable, and the shelf paid for itself the first minute of using it.

Enough gloating in having a bench shaped object, onward to the finish! My wife has learned that any project will take at least twice as long to complete as I first guess, and I really need this bench ready to go ASAP.

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This bench was the first ever time I have used many tools bought in the last years and stored while I worked and saved pennies. My simple garden variety wedge arm plow plane was no exception. I generally start a new tool out by only doing what is really necessary to get it working, and progress the restoration along as needs be. This plane took chattery bone jarring cuts after a simple honing of the iron, so a nice long flattening of the skate sole with a 12″ mill file was in order. She cuts quite well now, even against the grain. Here I am plowing the groove to accept the sliding deadman.

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Here is my very simple deadman, which slides in grooves top and bottom and can be easily taken out when in the way.

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The tool well bottom was six sided, T&Ged, rabbited, and banged together. Really makes a man appreciate when entire 4000+ square foot houses had their entire floors made by hand with Match planes, in oak!

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One change I made on the bench was a much larger tool well, and more substantial end caps. Roy had a 4/4 skirt rounding a single board on his tool well that simply pinched a stubby nubbin like tenon thing coming out from each end of his bench top. I went with a two board well bottom, 4/4 back wall and two 8/4 end caps draw bored onto tenons basically like large bread board ends. To appease the woodworking gods more than to ease my mind of wood movement I elongated 3 of the 4 peg holes on each tenon with a rat tail file, letting any travel of the bench top do its worst.

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My first ever dovetails ended up being these on the end caps. I went with wedges driven into the pins to maintain my “no glue nor metal fasteners hold her together” rule set down at the beginning of the build.

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Everything went together quite well, and with a first bench dog made from 3/4 dowel and clothes hanger wire the bench is mostly usable. I hope anyone who made it this far enjoyed the process, I know I did! Please check back with us as many more things are coming down the pipe!

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2 Responses to “Ode to Roy” Part III (tool well, end caps, and finished vise)

  1. Mad Respect. Good for you for staying true to your rules. Looks great.

    Like

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