Workbench Wednesday – Tim’s Walnut Bench Part 2

There’s actually a bit of overflow from Day 1 but this is mostly about Day 2 activities.

The regions of epoxy/sawdust fills had hardened, and then flattened with a variety of tools like Surform, Auriou, and Vixen files and rasps.

We started off by spacing the legs on the top.  This was easy enough as Tim was going to use his sublime Studleyesque piano-maker’s vise as the tail vise for the bench (of all the piano makers’ vises I’ve seen it is the closest one to Studley’s).  We set that in place and laid out the leg joints accordingly to be symmetrical.

Tim was so taken with this German horned toothing plane I made sure to send it home with him. I liked it a lot too, but I have another dozen toothing planes.  Still, if I find another one like that one…

Since I do not possess the industrial scale machines to flatten and square the slabs we had to do all that by hand.  Our goal was not to accomplish pristine smooth slabs but rather get them square, flat and true, at least in the regions of the joinery.  For the most part this was done with scrub and toothing planes, the final surfacing will be done by Tim next spring after the bench has been up on its feet through the winter.

Once again, with timbers this massive the Roubo winding sticks were worth their weight in gold.  This started out with a wind of ~1/8″ and is now just a whisper from finished.


Once the first slab was trued we really got to work.  I did the layout for the joints and cut the dovetail shoulders, demonstrated the first mortise and dovetail and Tim got to work on them while I worked on the other slab.

This is a favorite picture of two stout fellows hard at work during the hottest week of the decade, music blaring throughout the atmosphere.

Up next: fitting joints.