Building The Anarchist’s Workbench – Part 1: Benchtop, Legs, and Stretchers – Woodworking

The bench will be made of southern yellow pine construction lumber Using a circular saw to cut 2×6 stock to roughly 6' long for benchtop Making more careful measurements to cut 25" and 29" sections to make legs Once everything is rough cut to length, I plane it all to 1 1/4" thickness Once planed, I stack everything to let it continue to dry a little more. Arranging the benchtop pieces as I want them to be in the finished product. I number them to remember their positions and which side faces up. Laminating the benchtop in 3 sections of 6 boards. These are much easier to manage. I leave them clamped for about a day. Using a block plane to clean up excess glue and knock down any particularly high spots. Gluing the three laminations together and leaving them clamped for another day, making sure all glue has plenty of time to set before I stress the joints.

Another quick block planing. Using a No. 5 jack plane with a cambered iron to traverse the benchtop until it is roughly flat. Using a No. 7 jointer plane to bring it to it's finished flatness. Using a straightedge and a circular saw, I start the cut to square off the ends. I finish the cut with a panel saw, and clean up the end with a block plane. Marking out and cutting a section from one piece of each leg. The void this creates in the glue-up will make the mortise for the stretchers to fit into. Setting up the leg laminations. I use blue tape to mark where the walls of the mortise will be, so that I don't apply glue there. I mistakenly put glue on the face of the tenon here. Luckily, I had plenty of time to wipe it off before it set. Marking and cutting the 2×4's that will make up the stretchers. Gang cutting to ensure they are the exact same length.

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Marking where the shoulder of the tenons will be, and laminating the two halves of the stretcher together to make a dead simple tenon..

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