Portable Work Bench (Part 13) The Top Gets Wider

Bottle of glue.
Bottle of glue.

This was a power weekend for the work bench. We managed to glue up all of the remaining layers to make the rest of the planks for both halves of the top. seriously people, do not go through this headache, its really not worth gluing up all these little pieces! I won’t be showing pictures of that portion, they are all starting to blend together for me, and show nothing more than what you have already seen. We went through nearly two full bottles of glue this weekend, I think we will need to buy more to finish the project.

All of the planks were run through the planer to get the glue squeeze out off and make them reasonably flat. The only surfaces we didn’t do where the top and bottom most as we will need to thickness plane both stacks to be the same and there was no reason at this stage to make it any thinner than required.

Stack of the five planks that will be used for the back work surface.
Stack of the five planks that will be used for the back work surface.

We went through each stack of five, turned, spun, twisted, and rearranged multiple times so that we would minimize the double up of butt joints. We did end up with a few, but they were minimal and acceptable. We roughly squared up the left side of all 10 planks. This helped facilitate which way the boards where to go together for the glue up. We also cut them to approximate width for the same reason.

We managed to get three of the five planks for the back board glued together. This felt like a huge accomplishment. The remaining two need to have extra steps done to them in order to get the holes for the pegs and captured bolts to line up perfectly.

Glue up of the top most layers of the back work surface.
Glue up of the top most layers of the back work surface.

Note there are a lot of clamps in use for that glue up, none of which where over tightened, as I wanted to make sure we didn’t starve the glue joint to much. I am lucky to have access to this many clamps, but the sad thing is one can never have to many, note how empty the wall gets when we have this many in use.

Nearly empty clamp rack
Nearly empty clamp rack, you can never have enough.

This lead to conversations about layout for the legs and the stretchers. A bit of scribbling on the wood gives us approximate dimensions. It feels good to be working on something other than gluing little boards together.

Front right leg layout. The slight gap in the wood is the edge of the end vise.
Front right leg layout. The slight gap in the wood is the edge of the end vise.

Back right leg, note the gap in the glue up is ok as its not the top or bottom layer.
Back right leg, note the gap in the glue up is ok as its not the top or bottom layer.

This might sound like a piddly weekends worth of work, but we busted our tails to get what we did complete, and I am thankful for all of the help I had. While my hands and back are sore, they can not fathom doing this without the help of David and Brad, thank you.

Top most three layers of the back work surface coming out of the clamps.
Top most three layers of the back work surface coming out of the clamps.

For the record, the bench will not be complete for Gulf Wars, but we are still hoping to get it to a usable state. Next to implement the pegs and holes for the captured bolts in the back board and to continue gluing up the planks for the work surface.

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