Month: December 2009

A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 7

In the last post I finished off the cut out for the granite plate insert and I’m ready to start the glue-up. One last detail I took care of before beginning to glue the frame was to plane some rabbets into the lower cross stretchers. I didn’t get any shots of the process but they’re shallow rabbets about 1/2″ wide and only 1/8″ deep. Their purpose is to create a small lip to register a shelf against later on. These could be eliminated and simple batons screwed to the shelf bottom would act as guides but they only took...

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 6

With the frame assembly dry fit and the bench surface placed into the leg joinery, I carefully place the granite insert on top to establish its permanent location. My initial thoughts were to install it off to one side but after laying it on the work surface and imagining how it would function in daily use, I decided to center it. This decision was based on the under carriage bracing system and the drawer hanger locations. I also felt that it would be more comfortable centered while in use and may keep the bench a little more balanced. So...

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 5

In my last post I finished the leg to bench surface joinery and can now get into the rest of the mortise and tenon joinery to complete the frame work. As mentioned, the stock is 1 1/2″ square so I’m making 1/2″ tenons and mortises. It’s a work out chopping through the Ipe but my mortise chisel is up for the task. Remember I usually bore out the waste with my brace and bit but this wood wreaked havoc on my vintage augers and they only went in about 1/8″. So lots of hammering and sawing and fitting the...

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 4

I mentioned in the first post that I’m using some ‘off the shelf’ hardwood for the bench frame; this was great for my budget but not ideal for my hand tools. Because it was ‘dimensioned’ at the mill (and I use that term very loosely) I have to re-dimension it all again before I can start laying out my joinery. They’re definition of square must be a little different than mine! The Ipe is an extremely dense South American hardwood and is very unforgiving to hand tools- perfect irony isn’t it? Here I am making a new sharpening bench...

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