The Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench
I started this workbench in March of 2014 with locally harvested Douglas Fir that I had been drying for 18 months. I documented every part of this build from start to finish with meticulous detail. I must be mad, or at least a glutton for punishment.
The bench was completed in April of 2015. Should you want to build a similar bench, I am creating this page, as an index of sorts, to all the blog posts that I wrote along the way. You may find the posts aren’t in the optimal order for exactly how to build the bench, but they are in the order that I did things and wrote the posts.
Click on the titles below to read the post.
Stacking and drying the lumber and a discussion on plans for the bench build.
Some odd things discovered during milling.
More milling and some glue-up of sub-assemblies.
Cutting Sapele edging and pin-striping for the benchtop.
The benchtop finally gets glued into a single slab and the ends are trimmed to length.
I cut up a 6/4 Sapele board to make breadboard ends for the benchtop.
The Sapele side boards get dovetailed into the breadboard ends.
The workbench top gets tongues that are sized to fit the breadboard ends.
After a month of tool restoration and World Cup binge watching, I get back the workbench build. Starting with half-blind dovetail pins on the breadboard ends.
The breadboard ends get no glue, and are instead held in place with drawbore pegs.
While gluing on the first of the two Sapele benchtop edges, I break the middle dovetail pin.
Gluing on the second side, and initial flattening with hand-planes.
Cutting and fitting a couple of patches to fix the dovetail pins that I broke during glue-up.
With the benchtop done, I turned my attention to the milling the parts for the workbench base.
The stretchers are cut to size and glued up.
The stretchers are joined to the legs with mortise and tenon joinery. Here, the tenons are cut.
A little whining about the fact that Grizzly has no instructions available for the vises that I plan to install on the bench.
Cutting one end of the legs square and laying out the mortises.
The title says it all.
Fitting all the joinery and drilling the off-set draw-bore holes.
All the double tenons are cut.
Glue up time.
Milling the lumber and cutting the tongue and groove joinery for the workbench base shelf.
More joinery is cut and the boards are installed in the base.
Selecting and milling the lumber for the frame and panel lid. joinery is started.
Mortise and tenon joinery is complete.
Gluing up the panels and making the wedges.
Gluing up the frame and panel lid, wedging, and trimming.
Filling the gap between the lid and the stretchers.
Installing the ring pull.
Roubo Gas Springs?
Hinge and gas spring installation.
Applying finish to the underside of the bench.
I was not happy with the fit and finish of the Grizzly Vises as they came out of the box. I stripped and refinished them.
Design, template, and gluing up the blanks.
The blanks are cut out and shaped.
Making a template to accurately drill the holes for the vise chops.
These cover the vise hardware under the benchtop and provide extra support for the guide rods.
All four vises get bolted in place.
Title says it all for this one.
Cooking up some finish for the vise chops.
A hot wax concoction to seal and lube the holes in the vise chops.
Applying a wax mixture while the handle spins in the lathe.
Starting the mortises from the under side of the benchtop.
Changing the 20lb gas springs for 30lb springs fixed the lid problem.
Hot danish oil goes on the underside of the benchtop and also the base.
Completing the finish on the vise chops.
Rubber tire inner-tubes glued to the bottom of the legs.
The through mortises are flared out on the top side for later wedging.
Making wedges for the wedged mortise and tenon joinery.
The most stressful moment of the bench build. Attaching the top to the base.
Fitting and fine tuning the vise skirts.
Planing the vise chops for a perfect fit.
Hand planing the top of this massive workbench.
Glue-up, milling and joinery.
Adding some design style and the peg holes.
All 84 dog holes are drilled.
More hot danish oil.
I made my benchdogs from Sapele.
A tip on using the drill press quill to press-in the bullet catches.
I bought a half hide of book-binders leather to line the vises.
Completed at last.
I hope that this index proves helpful in navigating all the blog posts in this project.
– Jonathan White