Last weekend I made my first trip to a local lumber yard for the Holtzapffel bench project. After much deliberation, I had made a firm decision on White Ash as my choice of wood. I’ve not been to many lumber yards, and I’ve never gone to pick out my own rough-cut slices before, so this was quite exciting for me. In my haste, I planned poorly for the hauling of big, heavy woods and had to rent a Home Depot truck for the duration. I drive a Mazda3 which, while Zoom-Zoom and util...
Being the self-educated woodworker that I am, I would like to discuss the tool I feel has become the most important tool in my collection and that is my workbench. It is a great place to start when developing a shop of your own. I know there are many who will disagree. In fact, I once was one of these folks when I used to think the DeWalt 12” sliding double bevel mitre saw was the most important tool in the collection. At the time, the mitre saw was about the only tool I couldn̵...
Had about 3 hours in the shop Saturday to shape the chop. The basic shaping is done, just need to fair out a couple sections, sand and finish. Started out by drawing some curves. It may not be obvious, but there are two curves on each side. You’ll see why shortly…. I laid out the inner curve on a piece of scrap MDF, which I’ll be using as a template. Cut that out on the bandsaw Try to do this in one smooth motion. Once it was cut out, I sand the bandsaw mar...
We last ended with the second dovetail and the end caps mortised for the tool well ends. After a week of no progress in the shop I finally had some time this weekend to get something done. To start I needed to cut the remaining dovetails so I would know where the dados should stop to not be seen on the out side of the bench. I am sooooo glad this is over with. I would love to say I got better with each one but I really didn’t. I did learn something new on each one but the mista...
Well, I got the vise installed. I used red oak for the vice face for two reasons. The primary reason is that I’ve never installed a vice before and it was my test piece. The second reason is I liked the way it eventually worked so it graduated to my workpiece and the finished product. A quick test drive of the system for cutting some tails and it’s 100% success. The vice racks more than I hoped, but this procedure doesn’t involve extreme vise pressure and a like t...
The other day I got frustrated with an old stainless steel table I was using as a work bench. So, I decided it was time for a change and I needed to do it cheaply. I did some looking around and decided to adapt these two plans: http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/workshop/bench/below20.html http://www.shopsmithhandson.com/archives/july_aug_03/html/weekend_project.htm My HTML ability is lacking so maybe somebody can help me out with a couple hot links in the comments. I used the f...
There was (and still is) a book called The Inner Game of Tennis, and while I never read it, I remember one of the claims the book made. The claim was that the more one thought about playing tennis (and playing it well), the better one played tennis in real life. The parallels have been drawn in many other sports and indeed, in many other facets of life. So why not woodworking? I am convinced that my workbench will be far better, and the construction far smoother, because of my ruminations. Wi...
Admittedly I have lived in Ohio my entire life….and there are much colder places to live. Experiencing temps in the single digits with wind chills between -30 and -40 listening to the furnace barely kick off and being extremely thankful that the windows had been replaced so the majority of the heat would stay inside instead of escaping – showed me how much of a pipe dream it was that my little heater would be able to warm half of the garage well enough for me to work even on warme...
I couldn’t wait till tomorrow to put the top together. This did not go without it’s fair share of oh sh#t moments one of which almost had me starting the whole thing over almost.. But I’m getting ahead of myself.. I had planned to use pegs instead of bolts. I am trying to keep the number of mechanical fasteners to a minimum on this so lets have a go at it.. Marked out the location of the peg holes and drilled just the end caps.. Then fitted them and marked th...
Why buy it when you can build it? That’s my motto. Every woodworker is going to need clamps. I knew I would need some for my bench… especially when gluing up the top. Speed clamps and pipe clamps are great if you can afford them, but everywhere I read I see you can’t have too many clamps… Well until Angelina Jolie decides to adopt me too, I’m going to have to do it another way. I found an article in an old Popular Mechanics magazine showing how to build ...
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