Escape to the Bat Cave Boy Wonder!!

Things go up and things go down. That is the circle of life but the truth is you don't necessarily have to feel happy about it when you hit the downs. Sometimes those circles move in different directions at the same time.My trusty PC, the one that has been through hell and back with me, finally coughed and sputtered and kicked out some bad news, It was caught in a loop with a windows update and there was no working my way through any backdoors to clear it. My option was not a favored one, reboot the PC to the beginning and start from scratch. Thank God I back up at the start of each month, but it being late in June, I will lose a months worth of work on it, not to mention I'm now stuck reinstalling the antivirus and msoffice and firefox and a dozen other programs. Very frustrating and time consuming. Part of me is thinking about saying piss on it and going to get a new laptop. If I have to start from scratch anyhow . . . if I had the money I would have decided already. But never fear, while I get things reset on my PC I do still have the wonderful access to my wife's laptop, and that will keep this blog rolling.

So what does one do with all kinds of pent up tech frustration? You retreat to your inner sanctum, your hide-out, your fortress of solitude, the place you can put it all behind you. You pull the head on the little statue that opens up that sliding bookshelf in your study and you go riding down the fireman's pole to the bat-cave. "To the Woodshop Robin!!"  Actually with all the hand tool work I've been doing lately I feel much more like I'm escaping back to the 18th century. (Well the fact that I'm in the middle of reading "The Jointer and Cabinet Maker" might have a significant influence on that feeling as well)

I am so close on the joinery bench I can taste it. I finally got back down to the shop to make a dent on Friday, I had some repair and clean up work to do on it. One of the cleats that holds the legs in place went Epic Fail on me as the glue in the dado failed, upon inspection I found that I didn't get that good of coverage to start with, so I did a light re-plane on both surfaces and reglued the effort. Once I have the hickory I am wrapping the top with on it will add some support to the cleats I won't have to worry as much. I also had to complete the assembly and glue up on the other leg frame (to see the drawboring technique used check my previous post HERE)

Once the frames were complete I worked on the bottom brace that would keep them in square to the bench top. What I may have to remind readers of at this point is that this bench is being designed to knock down for smaller transport so I can take on the road to do hand tool woodworking demonstrations at Medieval and Renaissance Faires. I plan to just set up and build a six board chest from scratch, so that may explain some design choices when it comes to this.

I ganged the legs together and cut out a notch to drop in the bottom rung.

I then selected a straight section of 2x4 and planed it to square. I used the cleats as a guide to set the location of the notches. The notches in the legs I made 3/4" deep and in the cross bar they're 1" deep. I will clean up the ends of the cross bar before the project is over, maybe a nice round over or an ogee profile, but for now I'm all about utility.

I then set legs in place and drilled a single hole through both cleats and the leg to accept a carriage bolt with a wingnut. I think the weight of the benchtop will hold things together nicely but the one bolt on each leg will make sure the construct stays together when it's being moved or set up.

Well at this point you just can't help but set the whole thing up and see here you're at. So I assembled the baby and flipped her over, As you can see from the picture, I desperately need a bigger shop. :)

I am concerned with how top heavy the bench will be, I am thinking I will make some heavy stakes out of re-bar to literally stake the bench to the ground where I work, I'm hoping this will solve that worry. but I won't know for sure until I get to use it in full force.

From here I start to wrap the top in a beautiful hickory board that I bought just for this project, but to see that you will have to tune in to the next episode faithful viewers, (to stick with a cheesy theme here) Same Bat Time - Same Bat Channel. 




  1. Download a copy of one of the live linux CDs (Ubuntu for instance) and you can read your hard disk to retrieve things before you wipe and re-install. Makes things much less traumatic.

  2. I wish I had your advice before. The wipe is complete and the rebuild is in progress. This has not been a very relaxing weekend. Thank God I only lost a month of work.



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