It has been a little while since I last posted on my workbench build. I have been gone on vacation for a couple of weeks and am just now getting back into the shop.
When I left off, the breadboard ends had been fitted but not yet attached to the tongue. In my last post about the bench, Larry made some suggestions about my idea to draw bore the joint. He raised some really great points that I hadn’t considered. The tongue on the workbench top is quite short and could possibly split out of subjected to too much force. Also, a very tight draw bore joint could affect the distance from shoulder to shoulder on the side pieces that are being dovetailed into the ends. All of this left me to conclude that if I do draw bore the joint, I should only do it with a very small offset.
I went to my local hardware store in search of some ½” oak dowel. They had plenty of ½” dowel in other wood species that were softer, but no ½” oak. For oak, my choices were 3/8″ or 5/8″. The 3/8″ looked too thin for what I need, so I picked out two pieces of 5/8″ dowel that were straight grained with no runout.
When I got it home, I ran into two problems. First, the 5/8″ dowel just looks to thick for the project. Secondly, and most importantly, I discovered that I don’t have a 5/8″ drill bit.
I decided to cut some lengths of dowel and mount them in the lathe to reduce the diameter to ½”. At a garage sale last year, I found a Shop Fox mini bench top lathe for $50. It was quite rusty and I completely disassembled it, cleaned, lubed, and waxed it. Other than that, I have never done anything with it. I figured that this was as good a time as any to try using a lathe for the first time.
I periodically used a ½” open end wrench to check the diameter of the peg.
Once I had the peg to an even and consistent ½” diameter, I added a taper to one end and cut off the stub.
So… here’s my first ever attempt at turning:
I didn’t cut the oversize bit off the other end of the peg as I figured that it was going to give the mallet a bigger surface area to hit, when I drive in the pegs. I made three more pegs.
I laid out where I wanted the draw bore holes and chucked up a ½” drill bit in my new drill press. I found that the quill stroke length was not enough to drill through the 4 ½” breadboard end in one go, so I drilled as far as I could go and then raised the table to finish the hole.
I put the bread board ends back on the workbench and marked the center of the holes on the tongue. I bored the holes in the tongue using a brace and ½” bit. I offset the holes toward the shoulder by a very small amount (no more than a 1/16″).
The breadboard ends went back on, and the holes were checked for proper mis-alignment.
I drove in the pegs without any glue.
This was a good morning in the shop. I was in the groove an everything went well. Nothing split and the joint came together nicely. I wish all woodworking days went this well.
I’ll leave the pegs long for now and trim them off later when the sides have been glued on.
Next up will be to glue on the dovetailed side boards.
More to come soon.