House Beam Rebuilt - A Handtool Workbench #1: The Begining...

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Blog entry by LaPala posted 09-22-2013 12:49 AM 1971 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of House Beam Rebuilt - A Handtool Workbench series no next part

Inspired by Japanese Planning Beam/Bench(?) and spurred by the need for a reference surface to work on is how this build started. Cost considerations dictates that this build will be from materials and stuff that I already have and whatever I can recycle. There are no plans, just rough sketches as I go as aid to plan out some details. But I do have a general “war path” that will eventually make this a Handtool Workbench.

This is the start… I did not take pictures before I started working on it so in this picture one face is already hand planned and one side true. Still a bit of light showing in the middle of the face but I’ll call that good for now.

It is a roof beam that I salvaged from an old kampung (village) house. Here bits and pieces have been added that I’ll explain later.

The roof beam looks to be hand hewn in it’s original purpose. I would guess these are done by an axe.

One end of the beam came with a square mortice hole, where the house pillar tenon goes. Clean and squared up the hole then epoxied an extra support block to it.

With a square block of wood plugged inside, it is now a stop block for planning or whatever else that needs a temporary place to nudge against.

Another view of the stop from it’s working end. I am ambitious so this can extend to about 3in to hold real thick pieces of boards. The square patch of wood you see along the edge is patch for chiseled out hole from chopping out the nail that’s rusted inside the beam.

The other end is flattened and notched to accept a 6” woodworking vice. By this stage I decide to leave the bottom as “found” to honour the origin of this piece of lumber. See the thin slice of wood patch on the upper part? That is how much the vice was out of square! Thanks to cheap Made in China. On hind sight, I should have fitted both ends of the vise instead of measuring one side and start chopping.

This end of the vice is then faced with 1” chengal batu board. I guess you can call this my tail vice.

This is how the “bench” is now resting on temporary leg blocks of 2×4 on a 3X8 piece of chengal. I will use it this way for a while. A F-clamp secures the bench to not move around when I am using it. I’ll be changing support blocks of different height until I find the best working height b4 building the support for it. It is quite versatile this way as I can place it anywhere I feel like working. Or maybe even transport it in my beat up wagon if I need to work elsewhere.

to be continued… next: More work on the tail vice.

-- Make love with wood.

3 comments so far

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2908 days

#1 posted 09-22-2013 02:34 AM

very cool, unique bench!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View killerKiteh's profile


36 posts in 1931 days

#2 posted 09-22-2013 07:15 PM

Wit the three by eight plank, doubtful you need the smaller beam, unless the larger one is for a project!
Keep up good work, l’ll be following.

-- "I get more done in a week, than most do before 9am"

View LaPala's profile


24 posts in 2020 days

#3 posted 09-22-2013 11:19 PM

Something that fills a need and an experiment in alternatives.

killerKiteh, ya the 3X8 is reserved for roof extension to my w/shop in future, so it won’t be sitting around forever as a bench.

-- Make love with wood.

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