We built our
bench from poplar, but maple, birch or virtually any hardwood would
be a good choice. CAUTION: Due to the high propensity of
plywood and man-made materials such as particleboard, MDF or flakeboard
to splinter or crumble -- and the fact that they do not turn well,
we do NOT recommend using these sheet goods for this project.
Start by cutting
the benchtop and ends to size, as shown in the drawing. Next, configure
your dado set to cut a 3/4" x 3/8" deep dado, centered in each of
the two ends, as shown. Lay out the shape of the feet
on the top and bottom of each end and cut these profiles out using
your bandsaw or scroll saw. Use a small Drum
Sander to sand the inside profiles of the feet smooth.
Lay out and
use a 1"
brad point or 1"
Forstner bit to drill the peg holes in the benchtop. Use a small
piece of fine grit sandpaper to smooth the edges of your holes ON
BOTH SIDES of the benchtop. We wouldn't want any splinter-caused
boo-boos, for our little tots, would we? Sand all edges of the benchtop
and ends to eliminate potentially dangerous splinters.
Next, we suggest
that you turn the pegs three at a time. Be sure to make each blank
11-1/2" to 12" long to allow enough extra stock on each end of your
blanks for your lathe centers. IMPORTANT: Be sure to stop
frequently during turning to check the snugness of the fit of your
pegs in the benchtop holes. If you make them too small, they'll
fall right through the holes…and if you make them too large, they
won't pound in, even with a sledge hammer!
turned the pegs down to their required 1" diameter, use your bandsaw
to saw them off to length. Then, tilt your bandsaw table to 45 degrees
and using your bandsaw's rip fence, miter gauge, or a strip of wood
clamped to the table's surface as a straightedge, make a V-Block
setup to cut the relief kerfs half-way down each end of the pegs,
offset 90 degrees to one another, as shown. Sand the ends and edges
of the saw kerfs carefully to eliminate splinters.
the mallet head and handle, as shown and sand carefully. You can
attach the handle to the mallet head with a saw kerf-and-wedge approach
like a conventional hammer, or by simply gluing the tenoned end
of the handle into a stopped hole.
all remaining pieces. To get rich, varied colors on the bench ends
and pegs, mix non-toxic food colorings (two parts coloring with
one part water) and apply them with a brush or rag. All pieces should
be fully colored and dried prior to final gluing and assembly. Once
everything's glued-up and dried completely, apply a non-toxic seal
coat such as liquid
salad bowl finish, Preserve
oil finish or a wax-type
salad bowl finish to all parts.
View Assembly Drawings: Assembly
Plans, Mallet Assembly
Continue to Wooden Toy Top Project