We’re in the home stretch now!
Since I had the top boards ready-to-go, I started the glue-up. Each board is held in place by two half-lap joints on the top of the legs. The short cross rails that hold the base together created a platform to support the top boards across their width. Gluing up these joints was straightforward; I just needed to ensure that the half lap joints were closed tight and that the top boards were sitting flat on the rails.
I wanted some insurance on all of these half laps since the sawbench will be treated roughly over its lifetime. So, I decided to peg all the joints with dowels. I used an auger bit to bore out two holes in each joint. The auger bit leaves a perfectly-sized hole with no tear out. I cut the pegs from a 3/8” cherry dowel rod, added a little glue, and tapped them home with a hammer. I left the dowels extra long until the glue dried and then I trimmed them flush.
The final surface prep was easy. I used a block plane to flush up all the surfaces around the joints, and I applied two coats of Tried and True Original Wood Finish. Once the finish dried, the sawbench was ready to work! This was a fun project to build, and it’s a useful tool to have in the shop.