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A few weeks ago I got a call from Pat Huxta, a teacher at the day-care center that Kodak* Press runs for employees* children. It seems the school-age kids wanted to build a birdhouse. The center had a pile of scrap wood and a few old hand tools, but they needed a proper bench to work on.
Pat showed me a picture of a flimsy-looking child's workbench in a mail-order catalog. I knew 1 could do better, so I designed this one. It's sturdier, costs less and only took me a weekend to build.
The bench is 24 in. high—just right for the 6- to 10-year-olds at the day-care center. To start the kids off right, I added a small V-175 Record hcnch vise- (available from The Woodworker's Store, 21801 Industrial Blvd., Rogers, MN 55374, 612-428-3200).
I made the bench out of wood 1
Get Kids Started Right With a Workbench That's More Than a lot/
had handy in the shop—soft maple for the top, oak for the frame and drawer fronts, poplar for the drawer sides and backs and some picccs of birch plywood. There's no need to get fancy with the joiner)' for this type of project, so I kept things simple.
Making the Support Frame
Begin by cutting the legs, stretchers and rails to the dimensions in the Bill of Materials. Cut the ends of the legs at 85°.
Next, lay out and cut all the mortises I'm in. deep and perpendicular to the stock. There's no need to angle the child's workbench
Cut Vl-In. x VMil rabbet along inside lower edges.
Drill and counterbore holes for screws.
(Right drawer not shown.)
Notch to fit around legs.
Cut V4-in. groove for drawer bottom on both sides and front
Rout finger pull with cove brt.
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