Correa Wood Works
Craftsman furniture featuring full integral mortise and tenon joinery. 100% solar powered!

Maple work benches and the Lie-Nielsen #7 1/2.

After picking up some massive  maple slabs from my local hardwood purveyor I have begun to build two proper workbenches for the local Tucson Woodcrafct store classroom. The tops are made from two pieces of 12″ wide 16/4 hard maple  The base features a stout ash assembly of 5×5″ legs and 8/4 rails.

The past week has consisted of filling all of the split and checked slabs with black epoxy adhesive. I used a very thin mix of epoxy to fully penetrate all of the hair line cracks and help stabilize the wood. After pouring a gallon of epoxy in 10 different applications, I sanded off the excess epoxy and cleaned up the slabs in my planer. With a quick pass on the jonter to remove the rough edge of the slabs, I clamped them up in my leg vise and got them ready to finish by hand. Everyone  should have at least one leg vise.

The first step in jointing the edge of the slab is to get the surface square.

After checking the edge to determine what needs to be done I  set my bevel up jointer plane to take about .005″ shavings and make full passes untill I get full length shavings. 

A bit of beeswax on the sole will make the plane glide through the cut. If you dont use wax on your plane soles you need to start.

Once I have the square edge I want, I can move on to the next slab.

With all of the edges flat and square I fit them together and fine tune the fit of the glue joint until it is as perfect as I can manage.

With a bit of Titebond II extended PVA glue and a random assortment of clamps I glue the two halves together and make one large benchtop.

After the slabs set for a day or two I will surface join them by hand to get them ready for wide belt sanding.

-Sam

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