A New Life for an Old Bench #1: A beginning, of sorts

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Blog entry by ToddJB posted 03-10-2014 04:21 PM 1507 reads 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A New Life for an Old Bench series Part 2: A snap shot of history »

Last Friday was the fateful day that my stomach began to churn – it was letting me know that it and the beef and bean burrito I had for lunch were having a strong disagreement. So off I go. Why am I telling you about my serendipitous bowel movement? Because at work, potty time = Craigslist time. And the beauty below greeted me in that stall after only being posted 30 minutes prior.

I feverishly replied to the posting stating that I wanted it. I pleaded with “I’m a young woodworker in need of a quality bench and that I would love to bring this bench back to it’s glory. I’m not a flake. I have cash. Yada Yada Yada.”

Immediately after emailing and finishing my other business, another bomb dropped in my gut. This one was a bit different than the previous one though. This one’s origin came from thinking about my impending weekend plans. This was a jam packed weekend starting as soon as I got home on Friday until late into Sunday night. There is no way this deal was going to last that long, and with a 8.5 month pregnant wife my leeway was less than a 1/64th for canceling plans. The bench was an hour away, but the trailer I would need to barrow was 30 minutes in the opposite direction. So it’s not like it could be a quick 20 minute grab and go.

What’s his schedule going to look like? Perhaps he’s away on vacation and was bored on this flight and thought “I should post that bench of mine, and will deal with it when I get home”..... Nope.

Reply back: “You can come check it out. Having a moving sale Sat and Sun.”

NOOOO. I was doomed. This bench was bound to be a TV stand in someones living room.

I emailed back with a stronger plea. I offered to have a friend in the same town bring him a check, that I would trade out for cash when I picked it up. I offered paypal. I offered Chase Quick Pay. What about the impending unborn child?

Nothing. He wouldn’t budge. First come, first serve…... Crap.

So, back to the drawing board. How could I work this out? What if I come up before my wife and toddler wake up? Eureka! “How early will you be up? Could I come up tomorrow morning early? Between 6:45 and 7ish?”

“Sure, if it’s still here. I’ve been getting a lot of emails on this”

I’m sure you have. “Great, I’ll text you tonight to confirm”

8:45pm “Is the bench still available?”


The alarm went off a 5am, and by 8:12 this was sitting in my driveway and I was walking in the house with some McDonald’s breakfast for the fam.

$150 cash, some gas, and a cup of truck stop coffee. It was a good morning.

Part 2 – will be a lot less words and a lot more pictures. I hope you don’t mind that I took a lot of pictures.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

16 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


12415 posts in 2941 days

#1 posted 03-10-2014 04:25 PM

Looks like a great bench. Good to see it getting put back to use.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


11037 posts in 1462 days

#2 posted 03-10-2014 04:27 PM

Great story, great bench! And yes, we’re looking forward to the pictures, too. Congrats, Todd!

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

View chrisstef's profile


12110 posts in 1850 days

#3 posted 03-10-2014 04:35 PM

Such a glorious story Todd. You really do have some sh!t luck. See the pun there.

I cannot wait to see more of that old bench. You stole that puppy and im happy that you did. If I see another TV on top of an old woodworking bench Ill gag.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View 7Footer's profile


1531 posts in 792 days

#4 posted 03-10-2014 05:10 PM

Great score Todd, awesome bench! Man I wish I’d come across something like that.

-- I'm so official all I need is a whistle --

View lysdexic's profile


4921 posts in 1467 days

#5 posted 03-10-2014 05:13 PM

Good for you man. Good for you.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View BTimmons's profile


2270 posts in 1329 days

#6 posted 03-10-2014 05:49 PM

Man, that’s some determination. Congrats on the score.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Tim's profile (online now)


1762 posts in 805 days

#7 posted 03-10-2014 05:53 PM

Great story. “The alarm went off a 5am, and by 8:12 this was sitting in my driveway and I was walking in the house with some McDonald’s breakfast for the fam.”

That’s hero stuff right there.

And like the guy that sold me one of the carpenter’s tool chests I have said, “Thank you for saving it from the interior desecrators”. Apparently if I hadn’t bought it the next stop was a decorator that wanted it for shabby chic furniture. Probably would have chucked the tools in the trash. You saved this one big time.

View theoldfart's profile


5294 posts in 1295 days

#8 posted 03-10-2014 06:54 PM

Spending time in the “library” always pays off. Looking forward to the restore saga. More importantly best of luck on the family expansion project.

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

View CL810's profile


2694 posts in 1832 days

#9 posted 03-10-2014 09:53 PM

This is gonna be a blast!! Can’t wait for the rest of this story Todd.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Don W's profile

Don W

16021 posts in 1412 days

#10 posted 03-11-2014 12:05 AM

Its taco bell for me tomorrow.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Vertigo's profile


826 posts in 481 days

#11 posted 03-11-2014 12:14 AM

Great job saving that bench

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View ToddJB's profile


3720 posts in 974 days

#12 posted 03-11-2014 01:15 AM

Don, you had commented earlier that this is a later model than you initially thought, what made you think it was older?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Don W's profile

Don W

16021 posts in 1412 days

#13 posted 03-11-2014 10:20 AM

The first pictures seemed to have the real old look but the sunlight shows what looks to be less age. Of course it still could be just the pictures.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Slyy's profile


1751 posts in 499 days

#14 posted 03-14-2014 12:03 PM

As far as scores to Todd, this is nearly as epic as they get. Serious congratulations, can’t wait to see how she cleans up!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View Belg1960's profile


848 posts in 1909 days

#15 posted 03-26-2014 01:41 PM

Really looking forward to seeing what you can do with this bench. Its a GREAT starting point.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

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