Hand Tool Woodworking++

My First Workbench

It’s been nearly a year since I last posted. In that time I finally completed my Nicholson workbench as taught by Mike Siemsen in The Naked Woodworker DVD.

I’ve lived in fear of this post for some time now. I know my bench build isn’t perfect. It isn’t even good. I’m proud anyway. For my second project, I’ll take it.

I built the bench using construction grade lumber that I purchased from the local Home Depot as well as a Home Hardware lumber yard. The wood was full of imperfections, knots, chips and dents. Here’s the front side of the bench: Bench Front I have to admit that I cheated drilling the holes in the face. I couldn’t get the brace I had to hold the bits I’d found, so I splurged and bought a drill bit from Lee Valley and drilled the holes with a powered drill. Since then, I’ve acquired a better brace and auger bits to alleviate some of my guilt. Note that the “stick” is elevated in the previous picture. For my birthday my wife gifted me a Lee Valley gift card and I was able to purchase two holdfasts. Here you can see them waiting patiently in the end of the bench: Bench End Here’s the back end of the bench holding a broken broom head that I use to sweep away shavings: Bench End 2 Let’s not forget the crochet: Crochet As you can see in looking at the crochet and planing stop in the latter image, I still have a lot to learn. For example, I drilled a row of dog holes to far to the left of where the crochet meets the bench to be of any use. This is a very sturdy and heavy bench. As my shop is my garage, I needed a way to move the bench out of the way when not in use. I added a set of workbench wheels that are well worth the expense. They make it very easy to move the bench around with little effort. Wheels

As a completely new woodworker I can’t recommend The Naked Woodworker enough. The initial build of two saw horses provides just enough success to encourage a novice along into the workbench build. For me, the best part of the DVD is the secondary aspect of teaching a new woodworker how to find old tools and bring them back to life. In fact, the 10 or so months I’ve spent between buying the DVD and now has been spent searching for, buying and refurbishing interesting hand tools.

So in summary, all I can say is that that The Naked Woodworker has served it’s purpose and birthed a new woodworker, albeit a middle-aged one. As a result this blog was born as well and I’m much happier for it.

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