Making the Sliding Deadmen for My Workbench – Part 2

This post is part two of two of how I made the sliding deadmen for my work bench.  You can find the first part here:

Making the Sliding Deadmen for My Workbench – Part 1

I knew that I wanted to dress up the deadmen with something more visually appealing than the simple rectangular shape that they currently are.  To do this, I traced the outline of the deadman onto a piece of paper and experimented with a couple of designs.

I drew two possible profiles to see which I preferred.

I drew two possible profiles to see which I preferred.

The design on the right is a Roman ogee and is based upon arcs or quarter circles.  The design on the left is a Greek ogee and is based upon ellipses, instead of arcs.  I drew both out to see which I would prefer.  In the end I decided upon the Greek ogee.  This is the exact same profile that I used on the back fence of my table saw cross-cut sled.  I still had the template that I used to make it and it served perfectly here.  Once I had decided upon a design, I drew it upon the sliding deadmen.

The chosen profile pattern, drawn on the blank.

The chosen profile pattern, drawn on the blank.

I like to start the cutout of these patterns at the tablesaw.

Cutting in the shoulders of the deadman at the table saw.

Cutting in the shoulders of the deadman at the table saw.

I find that cutting in the shoulders of the transitions this way first, yields a far crisper profile in the end.

This makes sure that the transition in the ogee remains crisp.

This makes sure that the transition in the ogee remains crisp.

I then move over to the band saw to complete the pattern.

The rest of the cuts were made at the bandsaw.

The rest of the cuts were made at the bandsaw.

The bandsaw cuts were a little rough, but they are easy enough to clean up with a rasp and some sandpaper.  At least now I have a vise to hold them in.  I’m starting to like having a workbench already.

As cut on the bandsaw.

As cut on the bandsaw.

Here it is all cleaned up:

After rasping and sanding the profile.

After rasping and sanding the profile.

With the profile of both deadmen cut, I installed them in the bench to see how they looked.  I think they fit well with the overall design of the bench.

Both sliding deadmen shaped, finish sanded, and put in place.

Both sliding deadmen shaped, finish sanded, and put in place.

Now I need to put some holes in them.  I laid one of the deadmen on a piece of paper and traced around the perimeter.  I drew three vertical lines to represent where I wanted the centerpoint of the three columns of holes.  I then drew in 24 horizontal lines that were spaced apart by ¾”.  I then went back and circled the intersection of row one, column one; row two column two; etc. etc.  I did this, alternating columns for every row down the template.

A paper template to locate the holes.

A paper template to locate the holes.

I used some masking tape to attach the template to the deadman, and then marked the selected intersections with an awl.

I cut out and taped the template to the deadman.

I cut out and taped the template to the deadman.

I looked through my drill bits and found that I do not have a ¾” brad point.  My options were a spade bit (no chance I’m using that) or my Wood Owl auger bit.  I wanted to drill these holes at the drill press, but the auger bit has a lead screw and will not work in the press.  What I should have done was wait and order the Colt Twinland ¾” brad point that I wanted.  But I didn’t want to pay shipping for a single drill bit and they didn’t have them on amazon.  Plus, I was impatient!

I ended up using the Wood Owl Auger in the cordless drill.

The Wood Owl ¾" auger.

The Wood Owl ¾” auger.

I took a fine drill bit a drilled a small pilot hole in each of the awl marks.  I then clamped the deadman and a piece of backer wood in the vise.

I marked pilot holes with and awl and fine drill bit.

I marked pilot holes with and awl and fine drill bit.

I augered through the deadman and into the backer board.

I clamped on a backer board and drilled the holes with the auger.

I clamped on a backer board and drilled the holes with the auger.

Some time, and a lot of chips latter, they looked like this:

Here's how it looks before finish.

Here’s how it looks before finish.

For the finish, I went with the same as the rest of the bench.  Four coats of hot danish oil. I wont bore you with another recounting of how I apply it, as I’ve done that several times here already.  One slight difference here is that I used a leather dyer’s dauber to apply oil to the inside of the holes.

I applied a coat of hot danish oil.

I applied a coat of hot danish oil.

After the fourth coat had been sanded-in and left to cure for a few days, I applied two coats of mahogany paste wax.  This gives a very slight warming effect.  I made sure to get a good coat of wax in the V-notch so that the deadman will slide nicely.

After four coats of oil, I added two coats of wax.

After four coats of oil, I added two coats of wax.

With everything done. I installed the deadmen.  Here’s the finished product:

The finished sliding deadman installed on the bench.

The finished sliding deadman installed on the bench.

In the next post, I’ll drill the dog holes in the benchtop.

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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4 Responses to Making the Sliding Deadmen for My Workbench – Part 2

  1. You must be getting real impatient being this close to the finish line. It seems a shame that you didn’t have a crappy piece of scrap to use as a backer for drilling the holes.

  2. Steve says:

    I’ve been reading through all your posts about the workbench and have been really enjoying them. Just a quick note though; on your index page for the build, you’ve mis-linked this page. The link for “#58 Deadmen part 2” goes to “Dust collection part 2” instead of this page.

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