Sunday, April 5, 2015

"Paralysis by analysis... Definitely time to build!"

"Wood is good." I'm comfortable attempting my first bench work. I've read books, studied articles and made mental notes on layout visits. But most of all, I'm comfortable with the required tools, techniques and materials as a background in architectural studies and a lifetime interest in home remodeling gives me a solid foundation. I think, probably... well hopefully.

The basic plan is to use 1" x 3" kiln-dried clear pine and build simple grid sections 20" deep that vary in length from 80" - 96". Sections will be bolted together and screwed into the wall. Diagonal struts anchored at the room's baseboard will support the bench work and provide plenty of freedom from wandering feet. The peninsula is very similar, but will have leg units that mimic the diagonal struts.

Clamps and temporary legs, plus the ledger strip, allowed me to install the bench work sections one at a time all by my lonesome. So far, so good. No need for the magic tripod yet, but some outlet covers would be nice.

The peninsula end was crafted somewhat differently than the rest of the orthogonal sections, but easily bolted into place. The temporary brown paper valence is in place in the background while a 1"x 3" ceiling support for the lighting system is evident above the peninsula. More on that in our next post. 

The 5/4" x 2" strut is rock solid. Two screws do the trick up top,
while the bottom is screwed into the baseplate through the baseboard.

   The struts are spaced about every 4' and are chamfered to fit snugly 
   against the baseboard.

The peninsula legs did eventually get adjustable screw-in 'feet.'

 The magic tripod was pilfered from my daughter's closet while
 she's away at college. It held a mannequin for a high school  
 class in fashion design. I dispensed with the torso and slipped
 part of our patio umbrella shaft onto the tripod's adjustable
 shaft for extra length and substance. Presto, a third hand and
 a leveling agent all in one. Thanks, honey.
Once the basic bench work was in place, I leveled, plumbed, tightened and braced where need be. But I was anxious to resolve my lighting issues before going any further.  Tomorrow on the OML... "You light up my life." Until then, best wishes to those celebrating Easter Sunday.
True or false? The author has been accused of being "way too neat" by his railroad friends who also claim that he "dusts his bench work."


  1. "Dusts his benchwork.". I love that line. I wish I thought of it.

  2. I bet he DOES dust his benchwork. MAN, is that neat carpentry! It's a shame to cover it all up with a railroad.

  3. Chuck - I believe that line came from a GSD member... and Gerry, hopefully that won't be the sentiment once I actually DO cover the bench work with a railroad.