stevenbunn Tue, 03/29/2016 - 19:19

Build a Shaker Work Bench

 

Drawer Dividers and Drawer Runners

 

I seated the drawer dividers into the dovetailed dadoes using a dead-blow mallet and a block of scrap wood to prevent breaking the edges of the dividers dovetailed pins. I added the drawer runners, slipping the tenon, cut on one end of each runner, into one of the two mortises cut into the back of each divider. This is a dry joint without any glue. The tenon is seated loosely in it's mortise. I left a 1/8 inch gap between the divider and the tenon shoulders. The runners were screwed to the center stile of each bent. This way the frame members can move with the seasons without pushing any of the dividers out of plane with the rest of the bench front.

Fitting a drawer runner tenon into the mortise milled in the back edge of one of the drawer dividers.

 

stevenbunn Tue, 03/29/2016 - 07:08

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Installing the Drawer Dividers

 

Cut sliding dovetail pins on the ends of each drawer divider, using a router with a dovetail bit and a shop-made jig.
 
Before installing the dividers, I cut two mortises in each the divider's rear faces to accept floating tenons milled on one end of each of the drawer runners. I left the drawer dividers unglued so that I could slide them out when screwing the top in place. This gave me access to the inside of the drawer bay to drill and screw the top on. With that done the dividers were glued in place.

 

stevenbunn Mon, 03/28/2016 - 08:02

Build a Shaker Work Bench

 

Assembling the Base (Cont'd)

Add the second bay to complete the glue up of the base frame.
stevenbunn Mon, 03/28/2016 - 07:54

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Assembling the Base (Cont'd)

 

Glue and clamp the first bay by adding the middle bent, front rails and the paneled back.

 

stevenbunn Sun, 03/27/2016 - 16:06

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Assembling the Base

 

Glue together each of the three bents.
stevenbunn Sun, 03/27/2016 - 15:42

Build a Shaker Work Bench

 

Drawer Dividers

At this point you think you are ready to start assembling the bench base. But wait. There is one more thing to do before assembly. Sliding dovetails secure three drawer dividers to the front face of one of the two bays formed by the bench legs. Sliding dovetails are milled on the ends of each divider. These in turn, slide into dovetailed dadoes cut on the inside faces of the two legs that form the sides of the bay you have chosen to be the drawer rank. Lay out the location of the three dividers on both legs. I clamped the two legs together and used a temporary fence clamped across both legs to center my router and dovetail router bit in the centerline of each divider. I then cut a dovetail profiled dadoe across both legs in a single pass. I repositioned the fence and cut the remaining two pairs of dadoes in the legs. Quick, easy, and safe. Do this before gluing up the base. Mark the mating leg faces to be dovetailed. Then recheck to make sure that you have correctly marked the right faces.

 

Cut dovetailed dados for the drawer dividers with the pair of legs clamped together and marked out. One pair of grooves has just been cut.
stevenbunn Wed, 03/23/2016 - 06:58

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Building the Base (Cont'd)

Then stand each panel on edge and make straight cuts to create the tongues.
stevenbunn Tue, 03/22/2016 - 20:02

Build a Shaker Work Bench

 

Building the Base (Cont'd)

 

To determine the dimensions of the raised panels, I dry assembled the base frame, first fitting the legs, center stiles and rails together to make the bents and then adding the stretchers between the bents to complete the frame. This allowed me to check my 'as built' dimensions against the 'as planned' dimensions. After taking measurements for the panels, I marked out the locations of the panel grooves on the frame members. I marked the locations prominently to prevent myself from cutting a groove in the wrong face of a frame member. With the layout complete, I disassembled the base and plowed the grooves for the panel grooves with a dado blade on the tablesaw.

The raised panels were glued up from 5/4 soft maple and thickness planed to 7/8 inch. I cut the raised panel profile in two steps on the tablesaw. I use a simple to mill 45 degree beveled profile on all my raised panels. I have also made the profile in several different ways. Tim is a stickler for saftey, and objected to my standard set up, where I form the tongue on the panel first using a dado set, then cut the beveled edge of the profile with a fine toothed blade set at 45 degrees. For this series of photos I cut the raised panel profile first. Then cut the tongue on each panel using a shop-built sliding panel jig to cut the tongue.

Raise the panels in two steps. First cut 45 degre bevels on all four sides.

 

stevenbunn Tue, 03/22/2016 - 19:20
Build a Shaker Work Bench
 
Building the Base (Cont'd)
Mortise and tenon dimensions. For ease of construction all of the mortise and tenons are milled to these dimensions.
 
stevenbunn Mon, 03/21/2016 - 10:05

Build a Shaker Work Bench

 

Building the Base (cont'd)

 

Cut the tenon shoulders on each rail using a crosscut blade and a sled. Clamp a stop to the sled
to establish the length. Make four passes, one for each face.
 
 I used a crosscut blade and sled to cut the shoulders of my tenons. All of the tenons on the base components are sized identically to make construction easier. Cut the shoulders in two setups. On the sled set up a stop so that the length of the tenon is one inch. Set the  crosscut blade to the depth of the tenon's SIDE cheek, 3/4 inch. Then cut the shoulders of the SIDE cheeks on opposite faces of each part being tenoned. Reset the blade height to 1/2 inch and cut TOP and BOTTOM ( FRONT and BACK on the verticle dividers) shoulders of the tenons on the remaining two faces of the stock. I then changed blades and installed a dado set, to waste out material and create the tenon's four faces. I used a miter guage with a temporary fence and the T-square fence to reestablish the tenon length, Repeat the two step operation used in cutting the tenon shoulders. Cut the tenon cheeks with the dado set at one height, making a series of passes over the blade to form the cheeks, then reset the blade height and cut the remaining two cheeks of each tenon. Clearly mark the faces of all stock. I went to trouble of setting all the components being tenoned with the same face up or down, so I would not get confused and cut a tenon to the wrong depth.

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