There went that plan…

I thought I’d settled on pretty much everything on my workbench yesterday except for the vise. I just knew I had everything worked out. I was just waiting for “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” so I could have the plans and the directions. That’s it.

But, like an idiot, I never bothered to realize that this is a revised edition.

That means it’s got more stuff in it. Including some interesting tidbits that I needed to see.

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Finalizing Workbench Plans

As it’s a rainy day and I’m stuck not being able to do much but think, and seeing as I finished reading Christopher Schwarz’s workbench design book last night, I think now is a fine time to finalize my plans for my workbench.

After all, once the tools are all back to working order and sharp, there won’t be much of anything else to do except to build something.

While I might build a few odds and ends before the bench–things like a quick chisel rack for the monstrosity–I’m still going to need that bench.

So here’s what I’m thinking…

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More work on tools

I spent more time today cleaning up tools. A couple of saws, a combination square, a spokeshave, an #4 plane, and a scraper plane all made it into the vinegar today. Further, the spokeshave, scraper plane and the #4 all got hit with a coat of black paint to pretty them up just a bit.

Now that I’m getting closer to having that done, it’s time to plan what happens next.

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The Shop Area

I had some thinking to do regarding where I was going to set up my “shop.” All I knew for certain was that it was going to be out my back door and be based under the metal awning, so as to keep the rain off the old noggin.

However, we have steps going down to the yard, so everything had to work around that. Plus, the steps are off-center to the awning. On one side, I had 5’8″x7′ worth of space. While you can make do with very little space for a hand tool workshop, you still want something a little bigger. After all, I didn’t want to be relegated to small projects simply because I couldn’t fit the larger ones in my shop space.

The other side, while much larger, was junked.

Was.

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Thoughts on workbench design

Now that I’ve found my tools and identified the work needed to get them ready to roll again, I think it’s time to start thinking and planning my workbench. I’ve set that up as my first woodworking project, and I really do think it’s a necessary one.

After all, a proper workbench is reportedly a handtool user’s best tool.

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Upcoming Projects

Every woodworker has projects he or she wants to get to. I’m pretty sure it’s the natural order of things, truthfully.

I personally think most woodworkers get started in the craft because there’s something they want and they can’t find it or can’t afford it or something like that. In truth, I’m no exception. I just wanted various good quality pieces, things my family could pass on for generations to come. I came into despising what I call our “disposable culture.” I wanted to have better than that.

I still do.

But the truth is, building stuff like that takes time and skill, and skill is a product of time.

As such, my first projects need to be more about building skill than creating perfectly stunning home furnishings or decorations. That and they need to fill a basic need in my shop area, which will be outside, for the most part.

So, here is my project list: Continue reading