new tool in the shop

It seems like only yesterday that Stu Weibel, Thom Hickey and myself split a 500 bd/ft haul of 8/4 hard maple. Upon deeper reflection, however, I guess it was more like eight years ago. go figure… :( Well, two moves, two jobs, and one (and a half) kids later, I’ve finally used the last of it and completed my workbench.

The legs and benchtop are made from the 8/4 hard maple, the carcus is baltic birch and the front doors, drawers and trim are lyptus.

Scott Landis’s the workbench book (which in my personal library along with Nakashima, etc. is cross cataloged under ‘spiritualy moving’ and ‘woodworking porn’) was a big inpiration. The front vise is a Jorgenson and for the end vise I opted for the less traditional Veritas twin screw. In the end I went with the Veritas brass bench dogs as well rather then the traditional square dogs due to ease of use and personal preference.

The most (technically) difficult part in putting this together by far was installing the tail vise. The twin screw design is a very good one, but the instructions are … errr … just lacking enough in detail that your pretty much assured to screw things up at least once. The most (mentally) difficult part was drilling the bench dog holes. It took a while to convince myself that drilling into a table top on purpose was a good thing to do.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the results. I do a considerable amount of hand planing, scraping and carving. To do this now on a good bench, its hard to imagine being without one. I can quickly see this becoming my favorite tool in my shop.