Here’s list of the main tools I used in this bench build:
- a “scrub” plane (a cheap modern Stanley #5 that I heavily cambered the iron on)
- a pair of cheap modern Stanley block planes (LA and regular)
- a cheap modern Stanley bullnose rabbet plane
- a vintage Stanley #7 Jointer plane that I bought off of eBay
- a LV LA Jack plane that I got for Christmas this past year
- a cheap Great Neck brand crosscut panel saw
- a cheap Putsch brand rip panel saw
- a cheap modern Stanley coping saw
- a cheap Great Neck brand brace
- a set of Irwin auger bits
- a 1/4” Diefenbacher mortise chisel
- a 3/4” Diefenbacher mortise chisel
- a 1/2” Diefenbacher paring chisel
- a 1” Diefenbacher paring chisel
- a maple and red oak mallet that I made myself
- LV auger gimlets
- a pair of Groz 8” dividers
- a card scraper
- a rasp
I just wanted to show that you don’t necessarily need “Tool X” to get the job done. We can easily convince ourselves that we can’t start a particular project unless we have a certain special tool; instead of just trying to figure out a way to get the job done with the tools we have.
When I started this bench, if I could have gotten a power planer and jointer I probably would have. But I didn’t have them and couldn’t afford them, so I used what I did have.
I didn’t use hand tools to build this bench because I loved hand tools, but I have ABSOLUTELY grown to LOVE hand tools after building this bench using them. Yes, I want to eventually replace some of my cheaper tools with high quality versions, but I honestly don’t ever see myself buying a power planer, etc. The reason I posted descriptions like “cheap modern Stanley” is because I wanted to show that you can achieve positive results with less-than-premium hand tools. No doubt, this would have been a lot easier with more high quality hand tools, but I was happy to have what I had.
Call me crazy, but I actually ENJOY milling lumber by hand now. Half the fun of building this bench was 4-squaring the individual boards with hand planes. I could put some music on low in the shop and get to work; enjoying the sweet “swish” sound of the plane cutting a shaving from the board.