Bootstrapping a living-room workbench #1: First cut

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Blog entry by Damien Pollet posted 04-24-2011 02:56 PM 1746 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bootstrapping a living-room workbench series Part 2: Overthinking the design »

So there it is, my first serious woordworking project!

The plan is to buid a small but sturdy workbench from a laminated wood countertop, not unlike Kenneth's.
I can dedicate some permanent room to mine in my living room, so it will probably be a little bigger, heavier and less quickly breakable down. I also intend to put some time into nice joinery and finishing, since it will be a visible piece of furniture, but that will depend on how I manage the big things (this will be my first chisel/handplane project, and I need to actually get a workbench in finite time… I’m perfectionnist, but not David-Charlesworth-perfectionnist :)

Anyway. I’ve been thinking about this for some weeks, and bought some hand tools already, but this weekend was productive enough to mark the actual beginning of the project.

  • Paid a visit to a local stone cutting shop, they let me pick a few flat slabs in their offcuts dumpster, which will make nice reference surfaces for sharpening and flattening plane soles;
  • Purchased my first Festool toy, namely the T 12+3 cordless drill;
  • Went to one of the hardware / home improvement stores in my city, but they didn’t have the countertop
  • Went to another store and got a 260×64 x 3.8 cm beech countertop slab. They had birch as well, but the slabs were shorter. Problem was, it’s a cheaper store, so they don’t cut stock. That beast was heavy (45kg or so, and I have the typical no-sports-computer-scientist build…) and barely fit in my car, but I made it home. It would not fit the lift, though, so I left it in the building’s basement for the night and went to a romanian black metal gig to rest from my physical efforts :)
  • Drew my first woodworking-related blood: stupid Peugeot leave sharp pointy plastic bits between headrest and seat in their cars, one of which ferociously bit me at the tip of my index finger. Not very comfortable to type :(
Sunday morning:
  • Raided the basement with my japanese handsaw, strapped the monster to a couple trestles to keep both halves roughly vertical, and burnt some elbow grease… took me a little under 10min to make the cut. I now have a ~1m part that will become the top, and I’ll cut the legs, aprons, stretchers etc from the bigger part.
Sunday afternoon:
  • Writing this.
  • Eyeing a nice fresh Belgian-style beer waiting for me on the fridge.
  • Maybe some chisel sharpening / plane tuning later, but mostly being lazy :)

1 comment so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2680 days

#1 posted 04-24-2011 04:43 PM

Keep it up. Some of this cracked me up.

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

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