Bench – ready for finishing

One the base had dried for 24 hours it was time to fit the top.  I cross cut it using a clamped block and a large backsaw, leaving 3.5 inches of overhang on each side.

Since this was the last time for adjustments, everything was carried up stairs to make sure it would fit under the table and in the entry way (it’s final home once the dining chairs are complete).

Luckily I had left the top a bit thick because there was some tear out that I removed with the planer.  Then the top received a chamfer on all edges (probably around an 18th of and inch) and the top of the base was planted down flat.  

At this point I realized that the pocket hole jig and my drill were not going to work because the bottom cross memeber was in just the wrong place.  After quite a bit of fooling around I ended up using my small brace for held of the depth and then would swap back to my drill for the final depth. 

I attached the top, cut the legs to final length as then removed any imbalance with my Shinto saw rasp.  Then I used a low angle block plane to apply a roundish chamfer to the bottom of each leg.  When I remove the top for finishing I will elongate the holes to allow for wood movement.

Bench in the white

Speaking of finishing, like many woodworkers I dread this part.  When I started the project I found an ash table on Pegs & Tails which I wanted to duplicate and Jack Plane was kind enough to give me some direction.  After a lot of experimenting I have a stain that looks close.  It’s a mixture of three TransTint colors plus some vandyke crystals and some Cyprus Umber Warm (which I think is the same as turkey umber) pigment.  I’m out of blo but a coat of raw linseed looks pretty good.

dye no oil. going with middle stripe

I’ve sprayed the bench with some water to raise the grain and identify any stray glue.  Once it dries I will sand with 320 in preparation for the dye.

5 thoughts on “Bench – ready for finishing

  1. Great progress!

    Might I suggest you do not sand the ash as far as 320 grit: I seldom sand past 220 on any species and with ash, I rarely sand past 180.

    The problem is, that when using water-based stain, ash can become somewhat hydrophobic, resulting in poor take-up of the stain.


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