Reply by Loren

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Posted on Not even a beginner but interested, what can I do without a workbench?

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10476 posts in 3677 days

#1 posted 03-14-2012 07:22 PM

Hand planing is exceptionally difficult without a workbench unfortunately.

Chisel and saw cuts can be made on a Workmate, which is a great
tool to have.

There are some primitive forms of woodworking that don’t rely on
planed boards. You can build rough-hewn work on the ground
using an adze to square your lumber for example. You can build
ladder-back chairs with green wood.

Fine dovetailed boxes and drawers require a workbench as a
reference and working surface.

Could I build a dovetailed box without a workbench? Sure, but
it would be a hassle.

There is a Japanese method of working on the floor where the
plane is pulled towards the worker and the board is held on
another board on the floor with a stop at one end, with
movement of the board controlled by the craftsman’s foot.
You sit on the floor. I can do it, but I’m quite flexible. If
you’re not accustomed to sitting on the floor and possessed
of a flexible spine you’ll find it difficult.

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