So as the series continues to play catch up with where I am at the minute, I next took on the challenge of a workbench. This was to be the centre of my hand tool workshop, in the same way the table saw is often the centre of a machine workshop.
Again attempting this on a budget I decided to use construction 2×4s and a few left over 2×6s from my recent attic project (I had put in a floor, but first lifted 6 inches to clear the extra insulation).
This project was a really great way to learn and then practice some really fundamental skills, such as making a clean cross cut, planing and sharpening (both planes and saws). In the build up to this project I had been to car boot sales and managed to pick up some old saws, a brace with bits and a Stanley no. 5 plane, all of which needed cleaning up a bit.
I also got Chris Schwarz’ second workbench book, which I found really interesting and gave me a few idea, but in the end I followed the Paul Sellers series on YouTube, which I found to be very clear, I didn’t feel I had to guess at any of the techniques.
I did change some of the dimensions and added a wooden leg vice as somehow I managed to find an old wooden screw and nut on eBay.
I must say it’s difficult to describe, why such a workbench is so good, but it just works. It’s solid, rigid and stable and because I made it I have no issues taking my brace and bit to it to add more holes. Whereas if I’d bought a bench I think I would be far less keen to modify it.
One of the best additions to my bench are some proper holdfasts from a blacksmith. They are so easy to use and the holding power is unbelievable. If you’ve been undecided, just get them.
Anyway enough of my waffling, here’s the videos I put together during the project:
An introduction – where I actually speak, sorry I was so uncomfortable!
Now the 2 part filming of the actual build.
Unfortunately after this project things slowed down a lot. 2015 was a really tough year for us and I hardly got anything done and didn’t film any woodworking projects. The good news is that things are changing and getting loads better, as a result we should be putting out some higher quality and more interesting content far more regularly.
I did at least do one full project, but I’ll write about that in my next instalment! Thanks for reading this far.