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I was wandering around some estate sales in the fall and came across a few grand finds. First, I came upon an older Wilton vise that I thought would be great to have–just in case. It ended up being quite cheap and I couldn’t pass it up. Later, I found an old children’s play table and set of benches. It resembled a picnic table and was covered in a thick layer of plastic resin but was constructed in solid butcher block maple. The top was 1-3/4 in thick, 30 inches wide and 48 inch long. A perfect small bench was in the works for my garage workshop that I’m desperate to get together.
I took the table and bench apart and went about designing a sturdy base. The bench seats were cut to size for the base legs. A belt sander took care of the old finish there but it wouldn’t touch the plastic resin coating the table top. With a rough chisel and hammer, the thick plastic resin easily popped off the surface. I then purchased two 8/4 thick maple boards to make the feet and stretchers to complete the bench base.
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To keep the construction simple, strong, and fast, I decide to make all the leg and foot mortises on the tablesaw with a flat bottom cutting dado blade. I cut the dados with stop blocks to define the ends and made each piece identical to its mate. I glued up the halves to make both the legs and feet. I shaped the feet and glued and pegged all the joints for strength on the leg uprights. The stretchers were left unglued. Next, I made offset 1-in. holes and used a 1-in. diameter oak peg to pull the tenon shoulders tight to the legs. With the large size of these pieces, this joint is incredibly strong and I can knock down the bench should I ever have to move it. And I probably will. The top gets bolted to the leg assemblies with lag bolts.
All in all, I’ve spent less than $100 on this small bench and now I don’t have to rely on my tablesaw top for all my hand planing and assembly tasks. Now I just need to get the Wilton vise installed this weekend so I can forge ahead with some of the furniture projects I’ve been contemplating.
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I have a question about using recycled materials for projects.
I recently came across 120 bf of long leaf pine which is 80-100 years old. It is painted. I have a couple of concerns:
1. the paint might be lead based. What is the best way to remove it and dispose of it. Is there a test for lead paint?
2. Can I run the boards through my planer to remove the paint and dispose of the sawdust or will that ruin the cutter heads?
No,gsm627,blogs like this makes your brain neurones wake up from letargy.
As far as I know - the ability for images that are in the gallery sectino at the top of posts to appear in "print-to-PDF" has never been available. In-line images - or images that appear within the body text-- do appear, however, this post only has gallery images.
A very nice little bench with a great vise for an even better price.
I made my first router table form a crummy desk left on the curb with a "free" sign attached. The top was 2" think MDF with a melamine finish.
Our county dump has a section for things people doon't want that still work. Local yard sale, etc. All great sources.
Hi John_Moran: sounds like you need to update your Adobe Acrobat. Just checked the PDF files - and all load and print as they should.
No, gsm627, it isn't a useless blog at all.
However, what is very annoying is finding out that when you print the article to a pdf file, the images are missing!
So, excellent article, shame about the back-up systems.
Kind regards - John Moran
Thanks for the post. It's good to be reminded that, regardless of the project, re-purposing lumber is always a good idea. Good work on the bench. Love to see it with the vise.
This looks like a great, small bench. Easy enough to build even without any plans. It shows that with a little imagination one might be able to find the materials without buying a pile of new lumber. And with this design, even if you did have to buy the lumber, it wouldn't break the bank.
Thanks for a great idea. I'm going to look at the "treasures" at estate and garage sales a bit differently now.
Now, all I have to do is go find all the same material at an estate sale so I can build one too! This is a completely useless blog.
Go on a lumber run with Matt Kenney and he'll show you how he reads a stack of lumber to help him find the perfect board
Make something fun while learning new skills
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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