March 29, 2013

New Yankee Workshop Workbench update - benchtop & tray parts

I made the benchtop out of 2 pieces of 1/2" plywood laminated together, cut the tray bottom to size and got the groves cut for the tray to fit into.

Here it is ready for some glue.

I put on a generous amount of glue, put the second piece on, put in some 1" screws in the middle and then clamped the hell out of it.  I am hoping that this will make the top conform to the 2x4's underneath.

Yep, I used almost all of my clamps for this!

I cut the tray bottom down to its finish size on the table saw.

I set my dado stack for 1/2" wide and 1/4" deep.

I set the fence to cut a groove 3" from the top of the board.

The grooves have been cut!

I think that I am going to have to notch the plywood bottom for the tool tray.

I marked the notch on the plywood

and cut it out with my cordless jigsaw that I totally suck at using.

March 26, 2013

New Yankee Workshop Workbench update - cutting the plywood benchtop

The plans called for making the benchtop out of 3/4" plywood.  I've had this sheet of 1/2" plywood in my garage forever.  I planned out all my cuts and I was able to make the bench top and bottom shelf with 2 layers of the 1/2" plywood.  I made the tray bottom out of 1 piece.

I set up the 4x8 sheet on my 2 sawhorses with 2x4's running the length for support.  I also set up a straight edge to run my cordless saw along.  This end will be cut off here and then cut into two matching pieces to make the bottom shelf.

 I also set up two scrap pieces of 2x4 to support the wood when I cross cut it.

I checked the far corner and it is pretty square so I clamped a 1x3 down to use to cut the piece for the tray bottom.  I gave it a couple of extra inches and will cut it down to size on the table saw.  This will make sure that the side cut with the 1x3 ends up being square.

My table saw came with a 28 tooth blade.  I bought a 40 tooth blade a couple of weeks back and I am finally getting a chance to try it out.

Here is the tray bottom and shelf top cut to size.

The 2 pieces for the benchtop have been cut to size.

I cut the hardboard to width using the same settings that I used on the plywood.

I didn't want to have to deal with the leftovers of a full sheet of hardboard so I bought 2 smaller pieces that fit in my car.  I bought 2 because they were not long enough to cover the length of the benchtop.

All cut to size.

I cut the hardboard so that the seem would be located where I need to cut the top out for the moving dog block.

Here's the first dry fit.

March 14, 2013

Zero clearance table saw insert

I had put off working on the New Yankee workbench because I didn't have an insert for my table saw that would work with the dado stack that my wife  bought me for Christmas.  I saw Steve Ramsey make one for his new table saw so I figured that I would give it a try.

I cut a piece of 1/8" hardboard down to rough size and used some duct tape and  hardboard spacers to stick the new insert to the old one.  I then used a cut off bit on my router to shape the new insert.  Steve double sided taped his stock insert directly to his new one but I was nervous about accidentally hitting the metal with the router bit.

The insert is only rests on the actual table by a small lip at each end.

Of course, one is thicker than the other.

The hardboard was too thick so I used a 1/2" straight cutting bit to cut grooves in the ends.

I cut one end slightly deeper to fit in the thicker lip. 
This end has a shallow bevel coming after the insert.

This side fits snug.


This is the end with the shallower cut.  I may have made it a little too deep.

Here is the fit on the stock insert on the side with the shallow bevel.

The stock one sits down a little low too.

Unfortunately, I can only fit 1/2" of my 13/16" dado stack in the table saw.  That is all that the arbor will safely hold.

I don't have any kinds of clips figured out yet so I held the insert down with the rip fence and a scrap piece of wood so that I could raise the spinning blade into the insert.

I made my first rabbet with my new dado stack!

March 11, 2013

New Yankee Workshop workbench update

I was able to get quite a bit of work done on the bench this weekend.  On Saturday I fixed all my dado mistakes and assembled the frame.  On Sunday I was able to get all the plywood and hardboard cut down to their proper sizes.  This post will cover the building of the frame and I will cover the plywood on the next one.

I did a dry fit of the leg assembly and discovered that I made the dados for the bottom shelf on the wrong side.

I used an existing leg to mark out the cuts on the new ones.

I made sure to mark where I needed to hog out the material this time.

I also rebuilt the dog assembly.  I had left the dado stack set at 1/2" when it was supposed to be 3/8" deep and I made them the size of a 2x4 wide instead of 1".  I also left out the dog holes at each end because I couldn't properly hold the pieces when I was cutting them the first time and it wasn't very safe.  I'm sure this will come back to haunt me.

I cut a piece of 2x4 on the mitre saw at 4 degrees to use to set my mitre fence when I cut the dog holes.

There was no mention of this piece in the plan on the NYW book so I marked the corresponding piece to the right and then cut this one.  It turns out that I made it 1/4" too long.  When I dry fit it together I could not get this part of the assembly to fit square.

It took me a while to figure out that my mistake was in using this mark to measure the size of the new piece.  I made the mark in the middle of the board which was 3/4" when I needed to account for the depth of the dado which was 1/2".

The new legs are ready to go!  I am going to use the old ones to build an outfeed table for my table saw.

I cut 1/4" off the crossmember.

Now everything fits and is square.

I also cut the groove in the rear 2x4 for the tool tray.  It doesn't say anywhere in the book but I think that I am going to have to notch the plywood 1/4" to account for the ends of the 2x4's.

Glued, screwed, and flipped upside down.  Time to install the legs.

Almost ready for the bottom shelf.

The first leg has been glued and screwed in.  I used my carpenters triangle to square it up first.

The bottom shelf and foot assembly is done.

It's starting to look like a bench!