I started this project about three months ago, and it has been developing slowly but steadily. This is mostly because it is my first ever woodworking project and I am learning (and purchasing items) as I go. But I figured a decent bench would make a good starter project.
To be honest, my end goal is to build my own guitars, but I really wanted a large and sturdy work surface other than my kitchen table to work on…so here I am.
I am using the plans laid out in Christopher Schwart’s book “Workbenches” which does a good job with the step-by-step instructions. There are two benches in his book, and I decided on the French or Roubo bench for its simplicity and its sheer massiveness.
I decided on Douglas Fir for a few reasons. One, it’s readily available in my neck of the woods, and relatively inexpensive as a result. Two, despite the fact that it isn’t the prettiest wood in the world, it’s mighty strong and sturdy. Even the construction grade stuff is used to frame houses’ and it rates pretty high in most durability categories. It’s soft, so it’ll mar pretty easily, but I don’t intend to whack it with power tools and mallets on a regular basis, so I’ll take my chances. I’ll see how it goes I guess!
Where am I right now? I have ripped all my wood to width, and I have cross-cut it to length for the most part. The legs, stretchers and top are all laying in a heap in my garage waiting to be laminated, jointed and finished. Most of the grunt work is done, now the more precise mortising and tennoning lies ahead.
My most recent stall has been the result of me needing to get a new wear plate for my 12.5” Delta planer. I bought mine used, and the wear plate was all scratched and dinged by the previous owner. The result was that my workpieces were all marred at the other end. I got the new wear plate last week from ereplacementparts.com, so I should be ready to rock.
Next step, joint and plane down the boards for the top and start a crazy glue-up that will feature 25 2X3” boards @ 6’ in length. Lots of glue!
That’s my goal for Tuesday! Let’s hope I can get to it!
Until next time,
-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.