Sunday, July 13, 2014

The completed bench

Finishing the bench was bitter sweet. In this case the journey was at least as good as the destination. The build offered me some firsts such as mortise and tenons (draw bored no less), flattening by hand, using winding sticks and overall a significant amount of hand tool use. The result is a flat bench top and a stout vise, both of which are major upgrades over my old bench.

The journey was not without its bumps. As I was flattening of the top, I planed too much off of the front left edge, right at the vise and where the bench will get the most use. I created a big dip that would have taken an additional 1/8" off the top of the bench to fix. The work around was to turn the bench around and put this edge at the back. The trade off was that the worst looking boards that were at the back are now front and center.

The top was left semi rough and finished with two coats of Danish oil. It has a grippy feel to it that I am pretty happy with. The shelf down below is made of ship lapped pine with rabbets made using what I think is an unmarked, Stanley rabbet plane I bought from eBay for about $10. The vise handle is an oak dowel with rubber leg tips glued to the ends.

I even cut a few dogs, because why not make your own?

Next up on the bench (first up, technically) is a pistol grip for a friend of mine who has been a huge help in getting my shop in place. He helped me move all my tools, twice, has hauled plywood and countless other tasks that require strength and sweat. I am practicing on scraps but the final product will be unfinished maple or birch. Here's a rough cut fresh off the bandsaw. Rasps and files are up next.

In addition to this I'll be getting back to the bureaus that will hold much of the tools and stuff that are still in moving boxes. Oh, and refinishing a bench and fixing our screen door are on the honey-do short list all to be done while repainting a bathroom. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you for reading.