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After you cut your tenons, lay them directly on your work and use the edges like a ruler to mark where the mortise should start and end

After you cut your tenons, lay them directly on your work and use the edges like a ruler to mark where the mortise should start and end

Now use your tenons to lay out the locations of your mortises. See the photo at right for how this works. Clamp a piece of scrap to your drill press to act as a fence and chain-drill the mortises in the legs. Make your mortises about 1/16″ deeper than your tenons are long. This will give you a little space for any excess glue.

Once you’ve got your mortises drilled, use a mortise chisel to square the round corners. Make sure your tenons fit, then dry-fit your base. Label each joint so you can reassemble the bench later.

Bed Bolts

There’s a bit of a trick to joining the front rails to the legs. Workbenches, you see, are subject to a lot of racking back and forth. A plain old mortise-and-tenon joint just won’t hack it. So we bolt it. First study the diagram at left to see how these joints work. Now here’s the best way to make them.


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Showing 3 comments
  • REFFI

    My garage/workspace is extremely limited (the 400 bd. ft. of lumber and two motorcycles doesn’t help) so all my current equipment (which does not include a bench) is on casters. I’d like to build this bench on casters so I can push it under a wall cabinet for storage. Would locking casters be solid enough to take the thrust from planing? Should I, instead, consider casters that actually raise the bench for movement and lower the bench for work? If I want to add a tail vise at some point, will this bench accept it, or am I forever locked into the bench dog/wonder dog configuration?

    Thank you,

  • awatters

    I am really looking forward to building this as my first true workbench! I do not see any details for how to attach the benchtop the base. If anyone has built this before please let me know how you did it and if it worked well. Thanks!

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