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Simple Workbench

The goal of the Simple Workbench project is to build a small "drafting and laptop surface" for my studio using reclaimed pine lumber from an old bed frame.

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April 1, 2024

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After the glue up of the benchtop panel was cured, I flattened the final surface with a hand plane, since it was too wide to fit through the woodshop's jointer or planer.

A large wooden panel takes up the bulk of the frame, angled towards the bottom right corner. Sitting on top of the panel is a #4 hand plane, with a wood shaving hanging out of the mouth. The upper left corner, where the bench surface under the panel is visible, is covered in many more shavings.

This was my first time flattening a panel by hand, and was relatively successful. I got the hang of feeling out how the plane engaged with the wood, but in terms of a technique for acheiving true flatness, there's still a lot for me to learn. However, this panel is more than flat enough for its purpose.

March 30, 2024

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Started a new project today: a simple workbench for my studio. The bench design will be two upside-down "U" legs on each side, with support spans between all legs except the front. A bench-top panel will provide a flat work surface. The top panel was my starting point.

Three 60-inch by 5-inch bed slats sit side-by-side on top of a workbench under a large tool rack.

Using three old bed slats roughly 60-inches by 5-inches, I cut them down into 20-inch lengths on the chop saw, and then ripped them to 1 1/2-inches wide on the table saw. These strips will be turned on their side when glued up into a panel, so the 1 1/2-inch width will be the depth of the final panel.

Centered in the frame is an industrial planer, with six long thin strips of wood coming out onto the outfeed table, and a large stack of the same size strips on top of the rollers. In the background, you can see a shop vac, a CNC table, trash cans, and a table saw.

Once cut to length and width, all of the strips were flattened first on the jointer, then the planer to have flat and parallel surfaces. It does not matter if they are the same thickness, because they will be glued on the "faces".

Twenty-seven strips of wood are laid out next to each other on a workbench, creating a roughly 1 1/2-inch thick 20x24-inch panel of wood.

Once all of the strips had flat and parallel faces, they were ready to glue up into the bench top.