The Ultimate Workbench – Part 6

I’m finishing up the last few items before I can glue up the base, which will be exciting (and I’m a bit nervous about it too). I’ll be drilling dowel holes in the legs for the tenons, drilling three 3/4″ dog holes in the right leg, and drilling out the hole for the Benchcrafted Glide M leg vise screw in the left leg.

While I am left handed, I do some things left handed, some right, and sometimes it doesn’t matter, I can use either hand. I thought about it, and decided to go with the leg vise as standard, on the left side of the bench.


Meanwhile, I try to think about, and double and triple check each thing I do, so I don’t make a crucial mistake. For example, it wouldn’t do to drill three dog holes in the right leg and get them on the wrong side of the leg, they’d be useless in that position.

I ended up making a jig to drill the holes for the two dowels through each tenon, that way each hole would be spaced evenly apart, and evenly away from the edge of the leg. It’s basically three pieces of plywood, two pieces glued to one with two shallow dado slots cut in it. Everything 90 degrees, so when putting the drill bit in the corner, the drill will go in perpendicular.  Only this jig had two corners to drill the two holes. That worked out great for four of the mortises, but then I found out, it wouldn’t fit on the other 4 mortises, as that was on the other side of the leg, and my spacer block to put it in place so far away from the edge was really in the wrong spot. Oops. At least if I was going to make a mistake, let it be on this cheap jig that really had no other use once these holes were drilled.

I used my twelve inch 3/8″ drill bit to drill these holes, which left plenty of room for the bit to follow in the corner of my jig.

The jig to align both dowel holes sitting on one of the legs.

Anyway, I ended up getting the two dowel holes drilled for each of the 8 tenons. Christopher Schwarz’s book says to make these dowels holes 3 3/4″ deep, and put in a 4″ dowel (cutting off the extra).

I also went ahead and drilled the three dog holes in the right leg. I used a 3/4″ brad point bit to drill these holes. For a lot of the easier holes I was using my DeWalt drill/driver set, which does an awesome job on most everything. But then I remembered in the workbench book, Chris had mentioned that dog holes and large forstner bits are better being used in a corded drill. I switched over to my corded drill after wearing out a couple of batteries pretty quickly with the DeWalt drill.

Drilling one of the dog holes in the right leg. This is a 3/4″ brad point bit.

After that, I drilled a hole for the leg vise screw, but first made a larger 1/2″ hole for part of the Benchcrafted Glide M leg vise I am installing. I used my router with the guide collar in it, and the half inch up cut spiral bit. I made a few passes getting deeper each time. The forstner bit has a dimple in the center, I used that with the brad point 3/4″ bit, and finished drilling through the leg. Each time I drill through a piece, I am clamping a small board on the opposite side, so the bit doesn’t tear out the wood when coming out.

A hardboard template for my router with a collar on it to stay inside, so make the larger hole needed for the leg vise screw.

The parts needed for the base are all done, it is now time to glue up the base next!

Equipment Used:
Dowel Plate:
12″ Drill bit set:
Router Bit:
Chisel Set:
Forstner Extension:
Bubble Level:
3/4″ brad point bit:

Big Tools I use:
Table Saw, SawStop PCS:
SawStop Industrial Mobile base:
Overarm dust collector:
SawStop 80 tooth blade:
SawStop 40 tooth blade:
SawStop Dado safety cartridge:
DeWalt Dado:
SawStop Cast Iron Extension:
Bench Dog Router Extension:
Router Lift:
Band Saw:

Smaller Tools I use:
DeWalt Drill/Driver set (very nice!):
Bessey REVO Clamps:
FastCap Glue Bottle:
Chisel set:
Brad point drill bits:,180
Forstner Bit Extension:
Bubble Level:

Sharpening Stones:
DMT 8″ Course (D8C):
DMT 8″ Fine (D8F):
DMT 8″ X Fine (D8E):
DMT 8″ XX Fine (D8EE):

Camera Equipment:

3M 100:
3M 220:

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