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 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.
With the holes drilled, I pushed the ring pull in and traced the perimeter of the plate with a knife.
You can just see the faint line left by the knife.
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 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.
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 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.
I used a self centering drill bit to make pilot holes for the screws.
I don’t think that you can go wrong with this little gadget, I get perfectly aligned 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.
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.
Next up will be to install the hinges. They are a little unusual and will take a fair bit of chisel work.
– Jonathan White