It started with a bunch of good promotional videos and blog posts over at Lost Art Press and the need to outfit our community shop with a decent hand tool area. It continued with a conversation with my buddy, and fellow NCCW member, Charlie.
Being hand tool enthusiasts we both knew the shop needed a workbench made specifically for handwork. The current shop surfaces are fine for sanding or routing but don’t have the necessary holding power needed for good hand tool use. To get the most from hand tools, a solid bench is needed to withstand and counteract the forces associated with sawing, chopping, and hand planing. Fortunately, there is a great design for an inexpensive bench, which fits the bill. Here are the two versions we used for inspiration: from Chris Schwarz and from Mike Siemsen.
Charlie and I headed to Lowes with just a few loosely tied together thoughts in mind. We purchased 2 x 12’s of nice looking Southern Yellow Pine for the longer parts. Use the techniques Chris describes here if you’ve never done this before – we were able to get some primo stuff by going through the pile. Then we looked to the ugly, but useful, ash sitting on the community rack.
What happened next, and is still happening, is exactly why I joined this club. Over the past three months a number of different members have lent their blood, sweat, and brains into the bench taking form in the shop. The membership is moslty power tool based and won’t understand why this bench is going to help (for now). However, they are enthusiastic and available when needed.
Coupled with the knowledge from Mike Seimsen’s video on work holding it’ll serve us for years to come.
This has been going on for a few months as you might’ve seen from my fairly sparse pics on Instagram. I’ll be trying to catch the blog up as we continue, and hopefully complete, the build soon.