Misc. Shop Stuff #31: Grandpa's Bench

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 10-09-2013 03:45 AM 1255 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 30: Labor Day Labours - Pine Tree to Future Stock Part 31 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 32: Cut-offs Bin »

My grandad at various times of his life was a union carpenter as well as cabinetmaker. Ran his own shop and had, I’m sure, a number of workbenches in his cabinet shop. Well, many years ago at my great aunt’s estate auction this bench came up for bid. I had noticed only minutes before it had been stamped with Grandpa’s cabinet shop mark. Bought it for $5 and had it bouncing from garage to shed to wherever until my shop hit the scene. It’s been there ever since, and got ‘freed’ tonight as I prepare to put down a wood floor.

Thought I’d take a decent picture of it.

Yellow pine, or heart pine, or whatever tough grained, easily splintered, resinous, smells-good wood was commonly available in So. Ill. in the late 40s is what this is. Extra time has dried the 2x stock hard as a rock. Drawer is on my bench, visible at the top right of the pic.

The Stanley 400 and hand crank grinder are my add-ons but may not stay attached if the bench finds a new (better) location post-floor.

That’s it, nothing necessarily spectacular, just wanted to post the picture. Wonder what Grandpa would think if he knew a number of his hand tools and even an old bench was here, together again?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

17 comments so far

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 1368 days

#1 posted 10-09-2013 05:14 AM

He would be proud to know you have and use them I’m sure. I still have a few of my Pop’s tools myself.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View yuridichesky's profile


441 posts in 1001 days

#2 posted 10-09-2013 05:59 AM

Thank you for sharing, good story.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View CFrye's profile (online now)


6150 posts in 877 days

#3 posted 10-09-2013 06:28 AM

All old tools have a history. It’s nice when you are fortunate enough to know it and even better when it is part of your own history. Thanks for sharing Smitty.

-- God bless, Candy

View stefang's profile


14699 posts in 2371 days

#4 posted 10-09-2013 07:32 AM

I sure your grandfather would be more than pleased that you treasure his tools and his workbench Smitty. I think most woodworkers become pretty fond of many of their tools, especially the ones that work well for them.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don W's profile

Don W

16657 posts in 1605 days

#5 posted 10-09-2013 09:53 AM

Candy wrote my thoughts exactly.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View GrandpaLen's profile


1621 posts in 1310 days

#6 posted 10-09-2013 10:37 AM

Good for you Smitty,

I’m certain your Grandpa is smiling down on you.

...btw, I’ll bet he knew a couple of tricks he’d like to share with you which probably include the use of potatoes and tea bags for aging the look of repairs. ...just sayin’ ;-)

Best Regards. – Len

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View AnthonyReed's profile


6509 posts in 1478 days

#7 posted 10-09-2013 01:05 PM


-- ~Tony

View theoldfart's profile


6117 posts in 1488 days

#8 posted 10-09-2013 01:06 PM

Smitty, I only haver a few tools from my family. I do have some from friends and neighbors families so collectively I have “Family history” on many of my tools. I like it that way. On many of the others, I live near where they were made, and have been in the buildings of their manufacture. Either way I know theses tools. and intend to preserve them for the next generation.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View waho6o9's profile


6306 posts in 1614 days

#9 posted 10-09-2013 01:15 PM

That’s a great story and bench Smitty, thanks for sharing.

View poopiekat's profile


4031 posts in 2772 days

#10 posted 10-09-2013 03:03 PM

wow… do you know how lucky you are, Smitty?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View TerryDowning's profile


1043 posts in 1155 days

#11 posted 10-09-2013 03:11 PM

nice score from way back. Best $5 bench I’ve ever seen.

Most of my tools are hand me downs and inheritance. It makes a lot of difference to me when using them to know a fellow family member has used these exact tools.

-- - Terry

View ShaneA's profile


5779 posts in 1636 days

#12 posted 10-09-2013 03:34 PM

So is it going to undergo a face lift? Will it find a place in shop where it will be put back into service?

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 3123 days

#13 posted 10-09-2013 03:50 PM

That is just wonderful. You’re so lucky to have his tools and bench!


View helluvawreck's profile


18741 posts in 1904 days

#14 posted 10-09-2013 04:36 PM

I love old workbenches. I can’t imagine how special it would be to have the workbench that my grandfather used. I’m sure it is a wonderful heirloom to you, Smitty.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View RGtools's profile


3325 posts in 1692 days

#15 posted 10-09-2013 05:31 PM

I love old workhorses like that. Thanks for sharing. I am sure you have plans to replace the drawer?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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