Hand-tooled saw bench

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Project by DHS posted 06-27-2012 06:14 AM 4561 views 16 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I began this saw bench last weekend (June 24, 2012) in Port Townsend at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking “Handsaw Essentials” course taught by Jim Tolpin. I completed it in my shop after returning home. The bench was designed by Jim, constructed from alder and built using hand tools. (You can see just about every hand tool I own scattered across the PTSW bench in one of the photos as I worked furiously to try to finish it before the end of the class.) Lap joints and rabbets were cut using a carcass saw and chisels. I finished the saw bench with a few coats of shellac and paste wax. This is the second class I have taken at the PTSW and I’ve written a review of the hand saw and hand plane courses here.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

12 comments so far

View murch's profile


1236 posts in 1658 days

#1 posted 06-27-2012 06:43 AM

Great looking bench. It certainly looks sturdy enough to last you a life-time.
It would be almost a shame to see it cut and scratched but there you go.
I guess it has to earn it’s keep.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Ken90712's profile


15830 posts in 2222 days

#2 posted 06-27-2012 08:46 AM

Great work and craftmanship on this. Should serve you well for yrs to come.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Brit's profile


5699 posts in 1876 days

#3 posted 06-27-2012 08:52 AM

Nicely done Dave.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Stephen Fox's profile

Stephen Fox

90 posts in 2428 days

#4 posted 06-27-2012 11:23 AM

I used Tolpin’s kitchen cabinet book as a guide for building my kitchen… found it very helpful.

-- Stephen NYS

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2271 days

#5 posted 06-27-2012 12:35 PM

Great looking saw bench! It’s a shame to scratch it. Give this one to your wife to put in the living room to use as a quilt display stand and nail one together from pine get all cut and scratched. If she folds her quilt right, you’ll be able to see all the craftsmanship from those hand cut joints.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 1890 days

#6 posted 06-27-2012 04:37 PM

That is a bit of class

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View exelectrician's profile


2283 posts in 1461 days

#7 posted 06-27-2012 04:40 PM

Really tight fitting joinery, now to get some oops! marks on it.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View tsangell's profile


215 posts in 1727 days

#8 posted 06-27-2012 04:44 PM

I’m sure that will serve you well. Fair warning: you’ll want another one!

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 1794 days

#9 posted 06-27-2012 06:32 PM

That’s one nice saw bench. I’ll need to build one after I have completed restoring some hands saws I recently received.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

925 posts in 2207 days

#10 posted 06-27-2012 11:40 PM

Very nice bench. I’ve made one and it looks nowhere as nice as yours.

-- Tim-; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-

View madts's profile


1539 posts in 1373 days

#11 posted 06-27-2012 11:47 PM

Too nice to use. Great job.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2016 days

#12 posted 06-28-2012 03:46 AM

nice saw bench.great shop, i had visited once,as a tourist

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