Ok, I am a beginner, a noob, an fng (for you military types). I have a basement to work in and have been purchasing tools to work with (the fun part, so far).
Tonight I started on ‘my workbench’. It’s going to be cheap, it’s going to be ugly, but I need it to be functional. The top is 2×4 Doug fir from a box store. I am aiming for a 5’ x 3’ surface solely due to space constraints (living on-base, military, I’m lucky to have a basement to work in, so I’m not complaining).
Tonight I began. Time is precious, so this is going to be done in stages. I cut three boards to the proper length, and then grabbed my #7 and began beating them into submission. Here’s the question: The fir planes easily enough with a freshly sharpened blade, but what about those pesky knots? Do I just power through them? I spent a fair bit of time honing that edge, I’d hate to chip, dent, or roll it by hitting an absurdly hard pine knot.
The plan is to cut, plane and glue up 3 boards a day for the next week or so, then start on the base.
Hand planing on a workmate sucks, I have discovered that sitting on the workpiece while it’s clamped in the workmate is the best strategy. But I’m open to suggestions.
I took a short drive today and met a fellow that teaches woodworking at a high school (I didn’t know they still taught that, good thing I think); I bought an old (50’s) 12” band saw that he restored. He gave me, offered after I mentioned that the Wilton front vises on the ‘student’ workbenches were just like one I had recently purchased, two more Wilton front vises! These are larger (9” vs 7”) and in better shape than the one I bought last week. I now have 3 front vises and the hardware to make a mouton vise. In addition, this fellow (Bob) gave me an old table saw, it needs a motor and drive pulley, but still, he just gave it to me. Woodworkers, and yes I’m generalizing here, are cool people.