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:
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.
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.
I like to start the cutout of these patterns at the tablesaw.
I find that cutting in the shoulders of the transitions this way first, yields a far crisper profile in the end.
I then move over to the band saw to complete the pattern.
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.
Here it is all cleaned up:
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.
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.
I used some masking tape to attach the template to the deadman, and then marked the selected intersections with an awl.
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.
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 augered through the deadman and into the backer board.
Some time, and a lot of chips latter, they looked like this:
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.
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.
With everything done. I installed the deadmen. Here’s the finished product:
In the next post, I’ll drill the dog holes in the benchtop.
– Jonathan White