Workbench: Days 19 and 20

Last night, I marked out the dog hole calculations from the other day to the workbench top.

Then, this morning, feeling tanned, rested, and ready, I started boring the holes. I clamped my drill guide to the bench to drill a small pilot hole. Then I put my 3/4″ auger bit in the brace, and… UHHHH, wow, beech is just a wee bit tougher than that fir! Setting the brace to ratchet made the job much easier.

It took a while, because I was being extra careful to get all of the holes straight, but eventually got all of them done in a day:

I do not think that I would have been able to do those holes if I had not sharpened that auger bit. I also think that I may be able to do a better job sharpening it, but it’s not my primary concern right now.

So what are these things good for, anyway? Well, this:

The thing on the right that’s doing the clamping is a Veritas Wonder Dog™. The dogs on the left and background are the dogs that I originally made for the Workmate®. Not too surprisingly, they actually work a lot better in this bench. I still need to chop a face into the dogs.

Since I clamped that board in there, I thought, “Hmm, I wonder just how much better this is for handplaning?” So I pulled out my jack plane (that I hadn’t sharpened for a while), set for a thin shaving. Okay, I don’t want to ever try handplaning without a stable bench again. It was spiffy, to say the least.

I also bought a vise for the front today. I’ll need to do some measuring for that, but it’s not a pressing concern, and it shouldn’t take much time.

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