The only thing difficult about building this workbench in two days is not building the whole thing in only one day.
I had only about four or five hours of shop time today because we’re packing up our oldest daughter to head off to college on Monday. Despite this, and going to three record stores and a pizza dinner (A Tavola, my favorite), I had to restrain myself from just building the whole workbench start to finish today.
This morning I broke down all the stock with a circular saw, jointed all the boards’ edges with a jointer plane and glued up the top. Then I ate a jelly doughnut.
I clipped the corners of the front and back aprons with a handsaw and then glued a 1×10 spacer to the inside of each apron. This spacer, which is an idea I swiped directly from “The Naked Woodworker,” is one of Mike Siemsen’s moments of pure genius on the DVD. The spacers add rigidity and set the location of the legs.
Then I removed the machine marks from the legs and drilled all the holes for the knockdown hardware. The surface-mounted tee-nuts are a snap to install. They press into a 31/64” pilot hole; prongs stop them from rotating. Then No. 6 x 1-1/4” screws make sure the tee-nuts never fall out when the wood shrinks. I was impressed by how easy these metal bits were to install.
And when I cinched up the legs to the aprons with 3/8” x 3” hex-head bolts and 3/8” x 1” washers, the assemblies were rock solid.
Note that the order of assembly here doesn’t appear logical at first. But I have a good reason for it. More on that tomorrow.
— Christopher Schwarz