Almost there…

The workbench is nearing completion. I’ve spent the past 8 hours in the workshop, sanding, routing, gluing, sawing, and sanding some more, underneath cloudy and now rainy skies.

First thing was insetting the end vise so that it was flush with the end of the bench and it will soon have a set of blocks on it to brace any projects as needed.

With that done it was on to several hours of sanding and removing excess glue from the assembly and filling any gaps with epoxy along with hammering in some shims into the sliding dovetail leg joints. Once that initial sanding was done, I milled the 1″x1″ cleats and glued and nailed them to the stretchers in preparation for building the shelf.

You can tell from the images that the oak dowels have been fitted into the mitered tenons of the stretchers. That was probably the most straightforward thing I’ve done with the entire project.

I’ve always liked the way a sanded oak peg looks in contrast to a lighter wood, in this case the poplar of the legs and the cedar stretchers. It should really shine when I apply the finish.

Lastly I milled, planed, and cut the rabbets for the soon to be ship-lapped boards of the shelf. I’ve got a good amount of cedar pickets lying around from the when we replaced our privacy fence earlier this year and they fit the bill for the workbench shelf.

I’m almost there now. I’ve still got some epoxy and sanding work to take care of and I’ve finally decided that I will indeed install a face vise, most likely the Wood Vise Screw Kit from Lake Erie Toolworks. Beyond that, I’ll need to finish the wood and I’m planning on using boiled linseed oil and thinner for that. Nothing fancy, just something to bring out the grain. The goal is to be more or less finished before the weekend so that I can take care of those last minute Christmas presents that have been waiting in the wings.

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