Workbench (9/00)

I needed a new bench, for woodwork, and used it as an excuse to try some joinery.

Of course, we had to make some other stuff on the way. This is a router fence, made by Dingbat with plenty of 3/4" MDF and biscuit joints. We didn't actually need it to finish the bench, but we started on it because the improvised fence we used for the leg dovetails was so nasty.

And all this hardwood dust would need some collection, so I made a little cyclone. The suck comes from an old dometic Hoover, whose bag catches the finest dust. Remarkably little gets past the cyclone, though. It's made of a chunk of ventilation ducting, with a welded-on base and a loose lid (suction holds it on very well). The lid seal is from an old DEC disc pack. I'm proud to say that the only non-scrap components in this are the plumbing fittings.

I've used it for router dust extraction, cleaning swarf from machine tools, and even sweeping the floor. It works very well.

Inside view, showing the lack of parts & general simplicity of the thing. Don't seem to need the conical funnel-shaped bit that cyclones usually have.

The completed frame, on first test-fit. It's made of Iroco, and held together with wedged dovetails (and nothing else - no glue or screws). These joints took ages - 4 or 5 days.

Joint detail. I still need to trim the tenon ends.

Attached to the top (two layers of 3/4" plywood glued together, a sheet of MDF for a replaceable top surface, and teak strip edging) and installed.

And now, with drawers. They took *ages* to make, and consumed two whole sheets of ply. Don't make drawers unless you really have to.

Bench is still covered in crap, of course.

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