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.

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