Monday, March 07, 2011

Done (For Now)

I finished the main portion of the bench today, and I'm pleased as punch.  In all, it took about 3.5 8-10 hour days of work, so I spent about 28-35 hours on it.  Not too bad, I don't think.  Outside of driving a couple of fasteners with my new impact driver, it was all handtools.  This is the first time I've done so much heavy hand tool work for such long periods of time multiple days in a row, and I could definitely feel the cumulative fatigue in my shoulders especially after boring all of the dog holes in 40 minutes.  The majority of the work was really in the joints to join the legs to the top, after which the mortise and tenons for the stretchers felt like child's play.  It's like Chris Schwarz once said: You know you've been building a roubo when a 3/4 x 3 x 4" mortise feels small.  Eventually I'll be adding a floor and a lid to the stretchers below, and I'll probably add a drawer under the far right side of the bench.  Eventually I'll also need to replace the jaw for the vise, because the Douglas Fir that I used is a bit flexible.  I think I could get a lot more clamping force out of a stiffer wood.

Due to a dumb mistake, I made the frame for the tool tray three inches two short (by forgetting to add the thickness of the sides to the total length of the back piece), and it was easier to cut three inches off the end of the bench than buy more wood and make a new piece.  Good thing I saved my energy by never drilling that last dog hole.  In an earlier fit of dumb, I misaligned the back stretcher so it will take some jury-rigging to make the floor and lid properly supported all the way around.  The back stretcher is about an inch too high, because I marked it off the wrong point of the angles for the side stretchers.  Oh well, it's a workbench.

Now I'm trying to devise some sort of brilliant 5th dimensional portal that will allow me to store all of the clutter in my shop in a void in space to allow me a little more floor room.  I suppose I could settle for some decent shelving of some sort.

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