Portable Work Bench (Part 23) Work Surface Registration

Early on in the design stages for this work bench I decided to make the bench portable, which meant it has to come apart into manageable sized pieces. No, I didn’t say they had to be light, or even easy to carry. These massive pieces are just heavy enough to make it challenging to move around on my own. At design time I opted to include a peg near each bolt to help with registration when setting the work surface onto the leg assemblies. My thinking was, if the peg was bullet shaped and if there was a mating hole in the bench top that I could drop the bench top on pretty quick and simply tighten the bolts.

Peg installed on left leg, rectangular hole has been roughed in for the bench dog.
Peg installed on left leg, rectangular hole has been roughed in for the bench dog.

Fast forward a bit and after a few times of setting it up and using it, I found it fairly easy to assemble without the pegs. Will the pegs make it any better, ehh maybe but only slightly. Since I already have the holes drilled, making the pegs and dropping them into place should be very little trouble and might be an improvement. But I think the improvement will be in sharing the wear on the wood pegs and not putting strain on the bolt holes, so I think it’s still worth the time.

Close up of peg and bolt hole.
Close up of peg and bolt hole.

I selected a nice piece of oak, that was straight grained and a bit dark. The darkness was from extra resin in the wood, this particular piece of oak is very hard and will work perfectly for this situation. I cut a couple of rough lengths to put on the lathe and Brad turned the pegs to what I had envisioned. All of them went in with a small dab of glue on the permanently attached side and a few taps with a hammer, they were tight. We then put the top on and tightened up the bolts to make sure they all lined up while the glue dried. One of the holes was originally drilled at a bit of an angle, that one will take a little bit more clean up but its close.

Registration peg on right leg near the future end vise.
Registration peg on right leg near the future end vise.

This step is now complete, now onto making the vise chop.

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