As a life time wood worker returning to hand tool use, I found my tool set lacking. My dad made me learn hand tools before power tools could be touched, that being said, It’s only been recently that I have returned to hand tools as my primary means of working wood. That being said, I do posses a working set of saws, planes, chisels, etc. The big hole was a stable secure place to hold the wood while working it.
One of the most important and basic tools for hand tool users are benches. You really need a stable platform to handle the torque of the tools under your weight and power to keep your cuts and tool handling safe and accurate. I think a hand tool wood worker needs at least 2 benches a saw bench and a work bench. In order to make the work bench, I’m going to need to do some saw work so I figured I’d start with a saw bench as a warm-up and get a useful beginning to my bench set. I also wanted this saw bench to be able to serve as sort of a mini work bench.
I really liked the apparent versatility of the bench, the relative simplicity of the build, and the fact that I could do this build with all hand tools.
At the same time, I’m also working out in my head a proper full size wood working bench and after seeing shipwright's V-8 powered work bench I knew I wanted to try including those nifty and inexpensive wedge powered vices. I also knew that I needed to practice the joinery used in those so why not make one of the tops for this split top saw bench a wagon vice? This gives me practice for the joinery and I’ll get to see how well it works before I actually commit to a full scale bench. I do deviate from Paul’s design in a few areas but I’m not doing a recreation of Paul’s work, I’m adapting and implementing his idea to my circumstances.
I don’t use sketchup, and rarely make sketches, (especially when it comes to shop fixtures and such) most of the time, the plan is in my head so I don’t have a formal plan to share. Just the idea, and how I got to where I’m at.
For the materials, I had most of it on hand in my pile of cut offs, shorts, and left overs (I hate calling these pieces “scrap”). I found some 2×6 shorts of various length and I also had some old 2×8 Pine bed rails that were just too good to throw away waiting for a project, so I figured I’d finally put them to use. I was still a bit short of material though but found a 4 ft cut off 2×6 in the cull bin at one of the big box stores and for 51 cents I could not pass it up. So far with a purchase of some poplar dowel rod for the draw bore pins and the cut-off I’m less than $5 invested into this build. This is my kind of project already!
The next installment will have some pics and show the start of the build.
-- - Terry