Hi, I have decided to build myself a workbench for woodworking and would like to focus on more hand tool joinery. I have made smaller projects so have all the hand tools required, the part that's new to me is laminating the wood for the top as well as the legs. Most of the videos I have watched they use a planer/thicknesser to clean up the slabs after the glue up, can this just be done adequately with hand planes/sanding? Also what wood would more experienced woodworkers suggest I use or will pine be ok to use?
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Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @mike79. It's amazing that you've joined us, and many thanks for your question.
It is possible to use hand tools to square up the benchtop and legs after glueing. However, depending on how out of square they are, there could be quite an extensive amount of planing to do. Ideally, you'd want to use timber that is dressed all round with square corners on it. If you choose timber sections with rounded corners, that will be an additional process of removing them. You'll also need to have enough clamps to stop the benchtop warping during the glue-up. The benchtop warping will cause the most headaches as quite a bit of planing will be required to correct the issue if it is particularly bad.
You might like to check out our Top 10 most popular garage and shed projects for some great inspiration and other ideas to include.
From the discussion I am going to make a number of assumptions and assume a free standing workbench. As normal youtube creates more questions than answers and the timber used is not available here in Au. do. you have a thicknesser or do you have access to one?
For the bench top I would make the top in sections ie.
1.Timber Mountain ash or Tas Oak as they are hardwoods around 50 x 75, length as per bench length, dressed for ease.
2. work out how many lengths need to suite width of bench.
3. glue 3 or 4 length together repeat the process with the rest
4. although the timber is already dressed you will need to redress all section as there will be variations in the timber
5. this is where it gets a bit harder you have a choice of drilling all sections and joint all section with threaded rod or glue and clamp all section together.
The same process can be used for the legs.Or use solid timber 80x80 pine if you like.
once you have the top completed grab a shooting plan and plan the high spots.(best results)
I would used all hardwood but its your choice as there will be a cost factor greater than pine
hope this helps
Thank You @MitchellMc & @r23on for the quick response i think laminating boards will be the go, i have two ozito uni jaws workbench sawhorses and im going to pick up 6 or so heavy duty irwin clamps. I like the suggestion of using dowel as well as glue for the laminating.
I was planning on two separate sections for the top 400x1500x90 with a tool well/slots running down the middle 40x1500x90. (the thickness of the top im not set on yet as im still deciding on the types of vices to include)
Originally i thought of laminating the legs as well but i saw 100x100 Merbau solid posts and wondered if they would be a good choice then using pine for the rails/bracing.
The Irwin heavy-duty clamps would be a good choice for this project @mike79. You'll also be able to re-use them for a multitude of other projects, which you'll no doubt build on your new workbench. The Merbau posts would certainly be a solid choice for the legs, and with bracing, the whole table should be rock-solid.
Have you done any sketches of your bench? I trust our members would be interested in seeing them.
A point of interest if you are going to use dowels make sure that all holes align correctly with the mating part other wise you will have a lot of reworking to do as most doweling jig on the market for multiple holes will not cut the mustard dowel alignment is critical.