Building a work bench by hand

One of my goals this year was to get more into wood working – specifically hand wood working. I was sort of on the fence about the whole thing. I’ve spent years accumulating power tools and had thought that, as of late, I had become pretty darn good at getting things done with them. Then I took a class from Mike Siemsen at his School of Wood here in MN. The class was 2 days long, and by hour 2 of day 1 I was sold. The class was about sharpening and using hand planes and chisels and after using hand planes for a day I was sold. Sure – it’s going to take me years to become accomplished at using them – but the fact that I can find a Stanley hand plane that’s 100 year old, clean it up, sharpen it, and it works awesome really hit home with me. I’ve already bought a couple on Craigslist that I’ve started restoring.

As I quickly found out – one of the first thing a wood worker needs is a proper work bench. Another thing that I didn’t need/have when working with power tools. So after doing extensive research – I was mostly stumped. Then I found Paul Sellers blog posts on building a work bench using cheap lumber. I spent a long time researching his plans an trying to figure out exactly what I needed. Then I decided to just try and wing it. So I started tonight with this…

Twenty four 2x4s that I got at Menards for $2.89 a piece. The current plan is to laminate two sets of 8 of the into work top surfaces. After that – I have no idea. So I took to the with my # 5 plane and generated an amazing amount of wood shavings just planing down the sides so I could laminate them…

It was a surprisingly pleasant experience. I think Im getting the hang of sharpening the plane irons but I do need to find a way to ease the corners as I did seem some lines in the wood afterwords. Once planed – I glued them up…

So we shall see how it turns out. Im hoping tomorrow I can start planing the surface down. Not entirely sure how but we shall see. The goal of the work bench is to make it entirely by hand.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jana says:

    Just found this site Jon!

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