Portable Work Bench (Part 17) Surface Attachment

Why all this bolt and peg stuff? As many of you know or have probably figured out, I tend to over think things from time to time. Many may think this is no exception.

Final layout for holes in leg assemblies and top.
Final layout for holes in leg assemblies and top.

The top needs to be removable, thus allowing it to be portable. The bolts are there so when someone grabs a hold of the top to move it, yah right, they don’t pull the top off the legs. I doubt they will be overly tightened, there is really no reason too. The nuts and bolts are captured so they never get lost in transit, you know they will get lost otherwise. The pegs are there to help with the alignment when setting the top sections onto the legs, they will be tapered so they should drop into the holes easily. The nuts and bolts are stainless steel to minimize the discoloration that comes from steel and oak tannin combining to make ink (see previous posts on ebonizing oak). So hopefully I didn’t over engineer it too much.

WP_20150216_001Here you can see some of my research. A couple of design ides for the holes and the location of the nuts and washers. There are also prices for the different options for the stainless steel hardware. I was fortunate that we have two Menards in town, as neither one  had enough stock to get the bolts in one stop and I didn’t want to special order them.

Best drill for the job.
Brace and bit, the best drill for the job.

Once the layout was done, it was onto the actual drilling. First things first was to drill a marking hole all the way through the cross brace and into the top registering the exact location we wanted the bigger holes. We used a couple different sizes of Forsner bits, usually for larger diameter holes like counter boring for the washers. We also used a brace and bit, this is such a simple tool and yet so amazing. It allows you to control the angle you drill at better than any other tool.

Here you can see some of the different diameter holes we drilled. Large one for the washer, smallest for the diameter of the bolt shaft, and one to capture the nut. On the left you can see the nut captured in the board. On the right is a relief cut into the board below the nut just in case it ever gets to tight.

Counter bore for washer and relief drill for bolt.
Counter bore for washer and relief drill for bolt.
Stainless steel nut captured between layers of the top.
Stainless steel nut captured between layers of the top.

I have always enjoyed capturing nuts in the board like this. Its simple, its elegant and its strong.

Next we get to glue the rest of the top layers together.

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