Workbench Wednesday – Tim’s Bench II

As Tim and were discussing his new bench he expressed a strong interest in a bench that was both oversized (10-feet long) and would serve as a “partner’s bench, in other words both faces would be front faces set up fully for use.  Since the bench was two-faced I needed to make sure that both aprons were double thickness to accommodate holdfasts.  Normally I only double one face for a Nicholson bench.

In addition, since the bench is going into a shop modeled on a late 18th C working space my usual method of tossing one together with decking screws was not an option.  Instead I ordered several lengths of #14 flat head slotted wood screws from my reliable supplier, Blacksmith Bolt.


I still used decking screws when assembling the pieces, but only to tack things together until I was ready to drive home the #14s.  I almost always start with the legs and did so again here.  I will admit to using PVA glue since the environment for the bench might be a bit dicey at times.  I slathered on the glue and clamped the two pieces together with decking screws and fender washers  It is a system that is fat and works perfectly, allowing me to maneuver the clamping pieces easily.

I wanted the edges of the boards to be nice and clean so I planed them once the glue was dry and the decking screws were removed.

I also planed the faces to get rid of the planer chatter from the original mill.  If the pre-hand-planed surface is any indication it must’ve been a rough day for the machine.

The apron bottoms needed to have crisp corners too.  The corners were really rounded, so I tossed them onto the apron of an eight-foot Nicholson and got them cleaned up.

Before long I was assembling the front and back sides of the bench in preparation for attaching the inner aprons, the end aprons, and the ribs.  I predrilled and countersunk all the holes then sank in the flat head screws.

Stay tuned.