A Frame and Panel Lid for the Workbench Base – Part 6

All of the wooden parts of the workbench base are done and it is time to move on to the hardware.  In fact, I have been building my workbench for about six months now and there is not one bit of metal in it yet.  Well, that changes today.  The first bit of hardware that I will install is a flush ring pull in the lid.

I searched online for a flush ring pull that I liked.  I ended up ordering a Deltana FRP25. I selected the PVD finish, which is supposed to be a more durable and long lasting coating. It should be superior to lacquered brass and should stay shiny without chipping or dulling.

I want to mount this ring pull so that the top of the plate is flush with the top of the lid. This means that I need to mortise out a rectangular area for the plate and some deeper areas where the ring pull and hinge recess below the surface.  To start, I laid out the point that represents the center of the dome, and made a pilot hole with an awl.

I determined the location of the deepest part of the ring pull and marked it with an awl.

I determined the location of the deepest part of the ring pull and marked it with an awl.

I used three different forstner bits to drill the needed holes.  The large bit was used to make the hole for the bigger ring pull circle.  Then I switched to a slightly smaller bit, but stayed with the same center hole, to drill little deeper for the domed part of the ring pull.

I then used a much smaller forstner bit to drill two side by side holes to accommodate the hinged portion of the ring pull.  I cleaned up those holes with a chisel.

I used a forstner bit to drill a hole.

I used a forstner bit to drill a hole.

With the holes drilled, I pushed the ring pull in and traced the perimeter of the plate with a knife.

The ring pull is pushed into the hole and the perimeter marked with a knife.

The ring pull is pushed into the hole and the perimeter marked with a knife.

You can just see the faint line left by the knife.

A smaller bit deepened the large hole. A much smaller bit was used for two holes at the top.

A smaller bit deepened the large hole. A much smaller bit was used for two holes at the top.

I then chiseled a line all the way around the inside of the knife line.  I kept about 1/16″ inside the line and rapped the chisel sharply to create a definitive break in the wood grain.  This chisel line will ensure that I don’t split out the wood from the panel lid when I use the router plane in the next step.

I chiseled a line inside the knife line.

I chiseled a line inside the knife line.

I set my small router plane for a light cut and removed a layer of wood from inside the chisel lines.  I deepened the cut and repeated until I the depth of cut equaled the thickness of the ring pull plate.

I used a small router plane to mortise in for the flat part of the ring pull.

I used a small router plane to mortise in for the flat part of the ring pull.

Once I reached the final depth, I went back with a wide chisel and cutting right on the knife lines, removed the last bit of waste wood.  Here’s what I ended up with:

The inside looks a little scruffy, but the perimeter line is crisp.

The inside looks a little scruffy, but the perimeter line is crisp.

The crappy forstner bits that I used left the holes a little ragged.  These holes aren’t going to win a beauty contest anytime soon, but they’re getting covered by the hardware, so I’m not sweating it.  The important part, the knife lines, came out very crisp and clean.

A test fit to ensure that I had routed to the correct depth.

A test fit to ensure that I had routed to the correct depth.

I think the depth is just right.

I think the depth is just right.

I used a self centering drill bit to make pilot holes for the screws.

A center finding pilot drill bit.

A center finding pilot drill bit.

I don’t think that you can go wrong with this little gadget, I get perfectly aligned holes every time.

The center finding bit drills perfect pilot holes every time.

The center finding bit drills perfect pilot holes every time.

I used the screws that came with the hardware.  I’m not thrilled with these and may change them out for real brass screws later.  Although, brass will dull and tarnish and the ring pull will not.  I may have to leave it as is.

The screws installed.

The screws installed.

I put the shelf/lid onto the workbench base so that you can see how it looks now that the gaps between the stretchers and the lid have been filled.

Looking good. Hinges next.

Looking good. Hinges next.

Here you can see one of the boards I fitted to fill the gap beside the lid.

Here you can see one of the boards I fitted to fill the gap beside the lid.

Next up will be to install the hinges.  They are a little unusual and will take a fair bit of chisel work.

More soon.

 

– Jonathan White

 

About Jonathan

I am a woodworker and hand tool restorer / collector. I buy too many tools and don't build enough - I need help!
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2 Responses to A Frame and Panel Lid for the Workbench Base – Part 6

  1. Roy says:

    I really like how you put chamfers on the legs and rails. It’s a nice design touch that softens the bulkiness of the material. Good job! Just a thought…I wouldn’t put too many things in your new storage compartment that you need to get to often. I imagine that before too long you will have things stored on top of the lid which makes getting to them a pain. I’ve a few of those great storage/ hard to get to spaces in my shop. I tend to look for alternatives rather than move the stuff to get to open the cabinets. Enjoying your build!

    • Jonathan says:

      Hello Roy,

      Thanks for your comments. I too like the stopped chamfers, they add a nice design element and also help to break the sharp edges. You’re right about the storage compartment, it will be awkward to get at things if I load up the top of the shelf. We’ll see how it goes in use. With the lid closed, there is only about 4 1/2″ depth of storage, so I’m not sure what I’ll store in there in any case. I built it this way simply because I liked the design and had plenty of wood make it with. The challenge of the frame and panel lid also appealed to me.

      All the best,

      Jonathan

I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, or questions.