The first appliance necessary for the boy's workshop is a workbench. The average boy that desires to construct his own apparatus as much as possible can make the bench as described herein. Four pieces of 2 by 4-in. pine are cut 23 in. long for the legs, and a tenon made on each end of , 1/2 in. thick, 3-1/2 in. wide and 1-1/2 in. long, as shown at A and B, Fig. 1. The crosspieces at the top and bottom of the legs are made from the same material and cut 20 in. long. A mortise is made 1-1/4 in. from each end of these pieces and in the narrow edge of them, as shown at C and D, Fig. 1. The corners are then cut sloping from the edge of the leg out and to the middle of the piece, as shown. When each pair of legs are fitted to a pair of crosspieces they will form the two supports for the bench. These supports are held together and braced with two braces or connecting pieces of 2 by 4-in. pine, 24 in. long. The joints are made between the ends of these pieces and the legs by boring a hole through each leg and into the center of each end of the braces to a depth of 4 in., as shown at J, Fig. 2. On the back side of the braces bore holes, intersecting the other holes, for a place to insert the nut of a bolt, as shown at HH. Four 3/8 by 6-in, bolts are placed in the holes bored, and the joints are drawn together as shown at J. The ends of the two braces must be sawed off perfectly square to make the supports stand up straight.
Illustration: Details of Construction of Homemade Workbench
In making this part of the bench be sure to have the joints fit closely and to draw the bolts up tight on the stretchers. There is nothing quite so annoying as to have the bench support sway while work is being done on its top. It would be well to add a cross brace on the back side to prevent any rocking while planing boards, if the bench is to be used for large work.
The main top board M, Fig. 2, may be either made from one piece of 2 by 12-in. plank, 3-1/2 ft. long, or made up of 14 strips of maple, 7/8 in. thick by 2 in. wide and
3-1/2 ft. long, set on edge, each strip glued and screwed to its neighbor. When building up a top like this be careful to put the strips together with the grain running in the same direction so the top may be planed smooth. The back board N is the same length as the main top board M, 8-1/2 in. wide and only 7/8 in. thick, which is fitted into a 1/2-in. rabbet in back of the board M. These boards form the top of the bench, and are fastened to the top pieces of the supports with long screws. The board E is 10 in. wide and nailed to the back of the bench. On top of this board and at right angles with it is fastened a 2-1/2-in. board, F. These two boards are 7/8 in. thick and 3-1/2 ft. long. Holes are bored or notches are cut in the projecting board, F, to hold tools.
Details of the vise are shown in Fig. 3, which is composed of a 2 by 6-in. block 12 in. long, into which is fastened an iron bench screw, S. Two guide rails, GG, 7/8 by 1-1/2 in. and 20 in. long, are fastened into mortises of the block as shown at KK, and they slide in corresponding mortises in a piece of 2 by 4-in. pine bolted to the under side of the main top board as shown at L. The bench screw nut is fastened in the 2 by 4-in. piece, L, between the two mortised holes. This piece, L, is securely nailed to one of the top cross pieces, C, of the supports and to a piece of 2 by 4-in. pine, P, that is bolted to the under sides of the top boards at the end of the bench. The bolts and the bench screw can be purchased from any hardware store for less than one dollar.