|Project by paratrooper34||posted 10-11-2011 01:33 AM||2298 views||2 times favorited||9 comments|
Finally getting back to the woodworking. Moved into the new house back in january, but really haven’t done much other than get the shop set up. Then summer came along, work, etc. So I got in there the last few days and got my Ulmia bench ready for work. I bought it when I was in Germany and didn’t do anything with it except to throw a coat of BLO on it. The bench was in great shape. It looked as though the previous owner never used it for woodworking. I guess that’s why he got rid of it. So it was in great shape, but had no finish on it. I am a big fan of protecting the bench with something to prevent stains and rogue glue drops.
Anyway, the bench really needed something for storage for tools that I use at the bench. Since I am primarily a hand tool user, I have a need for some items to be close at hand on the bench. Additionally, my bench has a tail vise with steel bench dogs, but there were no holes for using circular bench dogs in conjunction with the face vise or for holdfasts, both of which I like to use a lot. So I added two shelves to hold my bench essentials and I also drilled a series of holes for additional bench dogs and the holdfasts.
I built the shelves in the traditional manner using dimensional 2×6s. The top cross brace you can see is original to the bench minus the shelf. Ulmia benches are built with red beech and I was concerned that I would not find any beech to make a lower tier. Of course, being in the US, I could not readily find beech. So I used some red oak to make the lower cross brace as I felt it would look close to the beech once it was covered with BLO. I was right, it is a close match.
So now I have a lot of storage and added some much needed weight to the bench. Ulmia benches are pretty heavy as they come from the factory, but I do things on the bench with a shooting board, an old Millers Falls mitre box and such so the additional weight helps hold it down more. I think it is good to go now. The only thing I would like to add is a deadman for jointing long boards.
If any of you out there are thinking of doing this to your bench, I highly recommend it. It was a good one day project, I guess it would be faster if you use power tools. I cut all those 2×6 pieces by hand on the Millers Falls box, about 30 cuts in total. But I did it all while listening to the Patriots beat the Jets! Good way to spend a Sunday.