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 1771 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


12638 posts in 3187 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


12276 posts in 1708 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


13588 posts in 2096 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


1863 posts in 1038 days

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

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

-- Chain Hang To My Ding-A-Ling --

View lysdexic's profile


4971 posts in 1712 days

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

Good for you man. Good for you.

-- I love Jeeps

View BTimmons's profile


2284 posts in 1575 days

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

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

-- Brian Timmons -

View Tim's profile


2571 posts in 1051 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


6568 posts in 1541 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.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View CL810's profile (online now)


3053 posts in 2078 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.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Don W's profile

Don W

16825 posts in 1657 days

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

Its taco bell for me tomorrow.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


844 posts in 727 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 (online now)


4952 posts in 1220 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

16825 posts in 1657 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


2219 posts in 745 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


921 posts in 2155 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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