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Woodwork Bench Build (Using Only Hand Tools) - Progress

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Dynamite

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Looks fantastic. I completely understand your predicament. I’m still the same 20 years on despite the bench having developed a lot of atrocious dings.

🤣😂 I’m sure if I have a week or so drooling over it, I will then realise I better start using it Paul 👍🏼

Great yours has lasted 20 years. I bet it’s got a lot more in it still. I’m 49 and hope mine outlives me to be honest. I reckon it should as long as I aren’t too heavy handed so maybe a little love and care is ok with that in mind.

Kind Regards… Rob
 

Jameshow

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Glad to say, I’ve now got it in position and some tools on there. I’ve also now created and installed the dog for the vice from oak. Here,s the vice before I restored it. Also, it didn’t work but does now. Just got some dogs holes to drill opposite the vice.

Funny thing is, now that it’s finished and I’m more than happy with it(also that it nearly broke me), I can’t bear to even put a cuppa on it let alone risk doing any projects in case I dent or scratch it 🤣😂

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Lovely

Just stop yourself buying many more tools ....!!
 

D_W

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Once you get a couple of dings in it (supposing you allow yourself to), pristine will fall into the background vs. the desire to use it. One of the biggest treats we can give ourselves is shop tools and fixtures that we allow ourselves to use and damage and fix, etc, so that we can focus on making nice things with them without serving two masters at once (trying to make nice things with one eye and then excessive worry about marking things with the other).

The filled knot (I started in the middle of this and didn't see if it got solved) will fall into the abyss of your brain when it no longer tells you that it's there. You can also use it to experiment with quick tricks (like challenging yourself to color match the fill to the knot in five minutes with something that you may not like to try on an actual project).



My bench is under the bits and bobs in these pictures. It's solid ash - and it could've been made nice and kept neat, but it's so nice to not have it be a focus of perfection - there are accidental saw cuts on it (if it mattered, they could be filled), metal dust (that can be sanded and scraped off without loss of much surface if there's a need to do fine work with wood only), dykem - i'm sure there are worse spots than those pictures.

When all of us get ready to quit woodworking, we can make our last project a very tidy bench that never gets used so that people who don't woodwork can come over and see how good of woodworkers we are by noticing just how perfect the bench is.
 

Cabinetman

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Looks very good and you should be proud of your achievement, I think a nice matching window sill which could extend over the well would look super, and practical. I know how you feel, and it’s silly but I have little squares of 4 mil ply to put mugs on. Ian
 

ilovelizlemon

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Looks great! Fond memories of doing this myself, I ended up fitting a new vice but I've since acquired a lovely old Record 52 1/2 but also needs a really good clean up not sure where to start with it to be honest
 

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Dynamite

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Looks great! Fond memories of doing this myself, I ended up fitting a new vice but I've since acquired a lovely old Record 52 1/2 but also needs a really good clean up not sure where to start with it to be honest
Hi, thats a great one. Regards the vice, its not so hard. I just stripped it down competely, wire wheeled and got rid of the rust from all the components. I had to sort the quick release as it didnt work but apart from that, its easy although needs a good bit of elbow grease. Primed it and hammerited it and job done. Just make sure you record where all the things come out of and take a load of pics first that you can refer back to later if you get stuck. There's plenty of vids on youtube refurbing all sorts of vices and the fundamentals are pretty much the same. Hope you get on ok with it.

Rob
 

Dynamite

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Looks very good and you should be proud of your achievement, I think a nice matching window sill which could extend over the well would look super, and practical. I know how you feel, and it’s silly but I have little squares of 4 mil ply to put mugs on. Ian
Great idea cabinetman, I hadn't even thought of doing that with the eyesore of a window sill. I will add it to my list. Many thanks... Rob
 

Dynamite

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Once you get a couple of dings in it (supposing you allow yourself to), pristine will fall into the background vs. the desire to use it. One of the biggest treats we can give ourselves is shop tools and fixtures that we allow ourselves to use and damage and fix, etc, so that we can focus on making nice things with them without serving two masters at once (trying to make nice things with one eye and then excessive worry about marking things with the other).

The filled knot (I started in the middle of this and didn't see if it got solved) will fall into the abyss of your brain when it no longer tells you that it's there. You can also use it to experiment with quick tricks (like challenging yourself to color match the fill to the knot in five minutes with something that you may not like to try on an actual project).



My bench is under the bits and bobs in these pictures. It's solid ash - and it could've been made nice and kept neat, but it's so nice to not have it be a focus of perfection - there are accidental saw cuts on it (if it mattered, they could be filled), metal dust (that can be sanded and scraped off without loss of much surface if there's a need to do fine work with wood only), dykem - i'm sure there are worse spots than those pictures.

When all of us get ready to quit woodworking, we can make our last project a very tidy bench that never gets used so that people who don't woodwork can come over and see how good of woodworkers we are by noticing just how perfect the bench is.


Thanks for the feedback DW. I'm nearly finished my drooling and looking at it so will be working on it this coming weekend hopefully by drilling some dog holes and making some dogs, WOOF WOOF!

Regards the knot, its actually not that bad anyway now its oiled up. I'm actually pleased that I had to repair it as I've learnt another skill there to be honest.

Rob
 

IWW

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.....Funny thing is, now that it’s finished and I’m more than happy with it(also that it nearly broke me), I can’t bear to even put a cuppa on it let alone risk doing any projects in case I dent or scratch it......

You'll get over that before long! If there's one thing that's certain, it will only stay pristine if you don't use it, which rather defeats the purpose of all that hard work.... :)

My own bench was largely hand-built too. I did mill the major timbers using 'lecktrickery, but all the joinery & final planing & flattening was done with hand tools. The front vise is home-made using a metal bench screw and water-pipe for guides. I was a bit younger & fitter 35+ years ago, but it was still a fair job, & like you, I was almost afraid to use it when it was done.
bench new.jpg
However, use it I did, and despite being careful (most of the time), by it's 25th birthday, it carried a few scars. The first ding is the worst, after that you notice less & less. I use the tail vise 90% of the time & this is what that end looked like at about 25 years, before I re-surfaced it:
Wear & tear.jpg

Another dozen years have passed and it is showing the evidence of much use again (I spend most days at it now I'm retired from the day job), but I'm not sure I can be bothered prettying it up again. The top is hard maple and a bit more challenging to plane than pine, so I think I'll leave it to the next owner to decide what they want it to look like. I have sacrificial inserts in both vise jaws, which bear the brunt of the mishaps & they are easily replaced on a regular basis, so I maintain maximum functionality.

It is by far the best woodworking tool I ever made. If you are a hand-tool user, once you have worked with good holding systems on a solid bench (& a dog system is hard to beat), you will wonder how you ever managed to make anything without it!
:)
Cheers,
Ian
 
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