What can I say…when the bug bites, it bites hard! I had about 1-1/2 hours after work before I had to be at the gym for Karate. I got busy with my “scrub” plane (heavily cambered iron in an a modern Stanley #5). I spent about 45 minutes in the shop, got the bench almost entirely roughly flattened, and still had enough time to clean up and get to the gym on time.
Well, things went great at the gym (I got promoted! :) ) and came home pretty pumped up. So, I got busy with my #7 jointer plane and before I knew it, the top was flat. I finished up the final shaping on the vise chop and its parallel guide, got the guide and the vise screw installed and voila!!!
I still have a few things to finish up (drill / chop out the mortise for the planing stop, drill the dog holes, and make / install the shelf), but it is for all intents and purposes a serviceable bench. It is finally at the stage where I can use it to finish building itself.
It’s taken 2 months and 4 days of hit-or-miss shop time, trying to grab whatever time I could working around commitments to family, work, and my gym. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and almost tears (a few times), but I have a real sense of satisfaction having done this on my own with hand tools.
At this point, I’m going to take a few days off from working on the bench to clean my shop up completely. I’m going to move my old bench into the corner to use for sharpening, glue-ups, etc.
I’ve definitely learned a TON and am thankful beyond words to many people, but most of all to:
- Chris Schwarz for his books, inspiration, and knowledge
- Roy Underhill for his inspiration and knowledge.
I’ve learned pretty much 99% of what I know about hand tool use from Chris’ books, DVDs, and articles; and Roy’s show, books, and articles.
Thanks also to everyone here at LJ. When I was fighting the flu a few weeks back and couldn’t work in the shop, I’d browse through projects and blogs here and get so much inspiration and knowledge. This is the first major woodworking project I’ve completed using hand tools and for the first time since I started a year ago, I feel like I can justifiably call myself a “woodworker”. I know I still have A LOT to learn, but I’m happy to have such a major milestone accomplished.
Here are a few pics of the vise chop being finished:
Pilot holes? Who needs a drill when you’ve got auger gimlets? :)
And here’s a picture of the chop with the screw installed and the finished parallel guide glued into its mortise: