Dreaming of Wood

Are you the type of person that obsesses about projects/trips etc.? I had a hard time sleeping last night because of thinking about a better way to make the table legs for my new workbench. I’ll be making them using 2″x4″x8′ construction lumber that literally measures 1 1/2″x3 1/2″x96″. My legs were going to be 32″ long and I’m laminating two of them together to come up with 3″x3″x32″ legs. The problem was that a 96″ board will only yield two legs out of that 8′ length because the saw kerf is 1/8″ wide times two boards, leaving me 1/4″ short for that third leg. I decided to simply shorten the 32″ length to 31 1/2″ long legs to get the extra board from that 2″x4″x96′ original. Since each leg’s final dimensions are now 3″x3″x31 1/2″ long it take 8 of those to wind up with 4 completed legs. I trimmed 1/2″ off the 4 boards I had already cut and tipped both side to the desired 3″ literal width for assembly, being careful to make the lengths exactly 31 1/2″ long. Any small differences will be hand planed off after the legs have been laminated to their square shape.

All this kept me awake for a while last night planning the step by step workflow to pull this off. You see, once the legs are completed and the edges slightly rounded over, I can begin the assembly of my workbench. Keep in mind that the top and bottom support frames are already constructed. I’m getting relatively close to getting my new bench. On April 12 I can go ahead and place my order for the new butcher block birch benchtop from Global Industries. By the end of April I should be working on my new workbench. It’s a plan! 🙂



I have a mental image in my mind what I want my new workbench to look like. The closest concept design I could find is pictured below. It’s a small Roubo split type bench with thick top and plenty of bench dog holes for grasping wood. I’m making the final dimensions 5′ L x 31 1/2″ W x 2 1/4″ thick on the top. I’m going to be ordering a solid birch bench top from Global Industries that measures 1 3/4″ thick. I intend to place this top atop a 3/4″ thick sheet of flat MDF. That will allow me dog holes just over 2″ deep, plenty for a couple of holdfasts. I think I’ll go with a small woodworker’s vice on the end and a portable moxon vice I can clamp on the benchtop.

The dimensions will be scaled down a bit from what the picture depicts. My legs will be laminated 2″x 4″s giving me about 3 1/2″ square legs, plenty strong to support the lighter 2″ thick top. I intend to cut my butcher block top in half with a 1 1/2″ slit in the middle for a board that can be raised for use as a clamping surface. I’m not sure if I’ll settle for round dog holes or square ones. Round are easier to drill and easier to make dogs.

The storage shelf I have planned will hold my table saw when not in use as well as my ShopVac for sawdust collection. If there’s room left I’ll put my Rockwell Roadrunner 2 jigsaw table on the shelf as well. I may attack a heavy plastic tarp to cover the storage area.

I’ve started the build and simply awaiting the funds to finish the workbench and order that top. I also need cash to order the hardware to build my portable moxon vise. It’s going to be a thing of beauty when completed.

Moxon Vice by Benchcrafted

Moxon Vise Plans

Concert For A Small Split Top Roubo Style Workbench

Spit Top Ruobo Workbench Concept

Share Your World – March 20, 2017

Share Your World – March 20, 2017

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Old enough to know better but too old to care!

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

My umbrella is the Tilly hat that I wear everywhere, come rain or come shine.

Bob Shooting In Portrait Orientation

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone?

Like the Energizer Bunny I don’t need recharging, I need replacement! LOL

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend  to have in common.

1 – We love to ride motorcycles a very long way!

2 – We love to eat at restaurants that serve great food!

3 – We love just hanging out together!

I miss you Warren!!!

Warren 1_Leica

Taken with my Leica V-Lux 20.

Enjoy A Dip In The Pool

Samudra is the older brother to Lily, the Oregon Zoo’s youngest Indian elephant. He was born in 2008 to Tusko & Rose-Tu. The Oregon Zoo complete Elephant Lands, an ambitious project that took years to complete. Once open to the public visitors could walk all through the elephant exhibit looking at their environment from raised walkways. One section of the elephant’s environment includes a giant outdoor poor that looks like a natural pond in the wild.

Elephants love water! I remember little Lily running full speed into the older pool used before Elephant Lands was completed. I’ve seen teenaged elephants put their heads and faces directly into the high pressure fire hydrants used to fill the old pool. The elephants look for any excuse to get into water.

I was just sent a notification of a new video on YouTube showing Samudra frollicking in the new larger elephant pool in the Elephant Land exhibit. I find these short video clips delightful. I hope you enjoy this latest addition.

Progress Report

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I skipped lunch and the festivities at my Senior Center today as I don’t care for crowds and today was the busiest day of the year. Our chef, Lynn McPherson, made corn beef and cabbage, a traditional St. Patty’s Day meal. She broke from the regular fish luncheon made on Fridays because of the holiday.

I kept busy right from sunrise, getting out to do some shopping at my local CVS pharmacy for fish oil and vitamin D capsules. They had a two for one half price sale on these items. It still cost me $50 but I now have a year’s supply of both. Even over the counter medications are expensive. Still wish I had a Costco nearby because I know they could beat that price.

Anyway I dove into completing a few woodworking projects. The first thing completed was my crosscut sled for the new table saw. I still haven’t taken the time to pretty it up but it’s a working, functional tool at this point.

Next in line was the start on my new workbench. I used that crosscut sled to cut all the 2″x4″ pieces for the top and bottom frame that will support the top as well as a utility shelf below. Once installed those flat boards will add tremendous rigidity to the bench. I must still assemble the bottom shelf frame and 4 legs before finalizing the build. I may just wait and order my new butcher block birch bench top and complete the 5’x30″ version of the final bench. Otherwise I’ll waste the 2’x4′ MDF top I’m presently using. I could use that board for a separate saw table with storage. That would save time & money.

So below is my first photograph of my actual saw with the crosscut sled on top. It’s a start!

DeWalt DW745 & Crosscut Sled

Crosscut Sled

After lunch at our Senior Center today I dived into my first woodworking project with my new table saw. I was determined to complete my crosscut sled that rides in the miter gauge slots on the table top. I glued and screwed custom cut oak slats 3/4″ wide and 3/8″deep. I ran into a snag when I noticed the rails ran smoothly until the neared the front edge of the saw. There both rails bogged down and stuck. It was a manufacturing defect in the slots tapering at their end in front. I had no choice but to take more oak off the slides to get the sled to run smoothly the whole length of the slots. After getting close I used candle wax to ease the final friction, getting the sled to move easily. Ta Da, one each crosscut sled competed. I then proceeded to finish the sled, cut a groove down the center to be used to register future cuts and secure the front and rear fences making sure the front one was exactly 90 degrees to the saw blade. I then tried it all out cutting two 2″x4″s for my new workbench. Perfection!

I also managed to buy a reduction fitting for my saw’s dust collection port. With the coupling I connected my shopvac to the saw and used it while making the cuts for my workbench. Success!


The Saw Is Here The Saw Is Here

Finally, after weeks of waiting for the delivery of my new DeWalt DW745 table saw I have it in my hands. It was delivered a day late by FedEx yesterday afternoon. The delivery driver was in a rush to catch up on a lost day due to our blizzard Tuesday. She dumped it on my doorstep and didn’t even bother to knock on my door to let me know it had arrived. When I opened the front door I saw her scurrying down the sidewalk with another package. At a 53 lb shipping weight the saw was not light for her to transport I’m sure. I had to drag it into my apartment as the box it came in was huge and awkward. I carved the saw out of the box with a box cutter. It came completely assembled so with one mighty effort I placed the unwrapped saw on my tiny workbench. That will change.

One of my first projects is to use my new saw to build a new, sturdy workbench measuring 2’x4′ by 36″ high. I just happen to have a sheet of 3/4″ MDF exactly that size from my old bench. Even that is likely to be temporary as I intend to order a birch butcher block style bench top that’s 60″x30″x1 3/4″ thick. I’ll simply center the bigger, thicker top right in the middle of the newest bench. That larger, thicker and sturdier top costs $166 from Global Industrial Supply. Obviously I’ve been doing my homework. It’s all part of my master shop plan and you know I love it when a plan comes together! LOL

Today is the first full day with the new saw. I intend to finish my crosscut sled for the saw that will make building my 2nd bench much easier. I already have all the materials for that sled and have started building it. I cut two solid oak runners for the saw table miter slots. The saw works perfectly and the hand planes I bought made short work out of dialing in the exact width and thickness of the runners. I already have the sled base sitting on top of my new saw waiting for final alignments to affix the runners. The rest will come together quickly.

I won’t bore you with the same pictures I posted in my “It’s All Coming Together’ post from a few days ago. I will take the time later today to photograph my actual saw and when the sled is complete I’ll capture in on camera as well. The new bench might take me a few days. I’m not as young as I used to be so I work until I’m tired and then take a nap. 🙂

DeWalt DW745

Share Your World – March 13, 2017

Share Your World – March 13, 2017

Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

I generally push the elevator button only once. I want to make sure I don’t inadvertently go twice as high/low. 🙂

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I’m a planner. I go to extremes sometimes in planning a road trip, checking out where I will stop for meals, sights and motels. In woodworking I’m an extreme planner, looking at dozens of YouTube videos on a variety of designs before choosing for for unique ideas.

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words.

My friends that know me will laugh at these words I’m sure. Chatty – I do tend to talk people to death. On a job interview once my brother in law warned me just to answer the questions, not to elaborate or embellish. Articulate – I tend to have a very good vocabulary and understanding of words. I will tend to adapt the choices in my conversation to the listener. No sense in using 25 cent words when talking to a Redneck. LOL Cheerful – I tend to be a jolly sort of fellow. I can be entertaining and informative at the same time. Humble – There go my friends, laughing at this choice for a descriptive word for myself.

If you had a choice which would be your preference salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert? 

Hot water tub – I don’t like hot weather, bugs or people. That leaves me in that solitary hot tub all by myself. 🙂

The Aftermath…

Basically the blizzard of 2017 is over. This Nor’Easter didn’t dump as much as the prediction but everything else was pretty precise. We got winds around 50 mph with gusts up to 70 mph. The snow fell 3″ per hour after 11:00 a.m. and was furiously combined with the high winds. I’m guessing that we got about 8″ of snow by this afternoon. It’s up to 34 degrees at 3:30 in the afternoon so we’re seeing some rain and a touch of sleet falling right now. I finally hear the plows cleaning out the parking lot as I type this. There was no reason to plow before that furious snowfall ceased. We continue to be lucky that the snowfall totals over the past three snowstorms have underproduced their forecast totals.

Even though my table saw is just 20 miles from where I live I don’t expect FedEx will deliver it on its scheduled today. That’s alright, as I don’t want anyone hurt trying to make it here in blizzard conditions. I’ll look for it tomorrow or Thursday.

3_14_17 Blizzard