Friday, October 26, 2012

The Beginnings of My Workbench


What you see above is my 'shop' in its present state. At our previous house we had a two car garage that wasn't much wider than our two cars but was about four feet longer. It allowed me enough room to put the workbench in the above photo beneath the black cabinets up against the wall of the garage. The problem with that was for the same reason you see in this picture, I stack all my tools on it and it robs me of any place to actually work on a flat surface.

Our current garage is about the same depth as our last one but fortunately has eight extra feet to one side. Because I no longer have a garden shack, a third of it is taken up with the lawnmower, tiller and snow blower along with other odds and ends and the remaining two thirds is pictured above. Since I now have the room, I am setting out to remedy my flat work surface problem by making an old fashioned wooden workbench reminiscent of the ones I had in high school shop. You could assemble a tank on top of those, could drive a steel square pin into a steel round hole and not cause it to shake in the slightest and every other year or so spend some time sanding the surface to get it to look like new again.

The douglas fir that you see stacked up on the left side of the picture is my new workbench in raw format. It is stacked on my current workbench which is a hollow core sliding closet door on two aluminum saw horses. It is a flimsy affair that is a disaster waiting to happen. After getting the previously mentioned butcher blocks done, I started in on making the legs which required me to laminate several pieces of douglas fir together. I'm currently working on making the numerous mortises and other details in them before moving onto the stretchers.

Woodworking is really calming for me and something I enjoy immensely. Wood can be made into about anything with enough patience and thought. I love taking a stack of raw lumber and building something that could still be around in my grandkids time if so desired by my future generations. None of my ancestors were woodworkers that I can tell but I've seen numerous antiques over the year built out of wood and lovingly cared for over the decades fetch high prices at auctions. I hope to eventually replace most of the cheap laminated plywood furniture in my house with real wood furniture as time permits. Fortunately for me, time is in a bigger supply now than it has been in previous years.

5 comments:

Ron said...

My main need is good shelving for frequently-used items so my benches don't serve that purpose. One of these days.

warren said...

Awesome shelving! That's critical. I have one problem though...you have open space on the floor still...

roaring40 said...

My grandfather built a bench with railway sleepers. He had to get a plate made for the vice to bolt to it. But otherwise it's still in place.

Ed said...

Ron - Build it and they will fill. At least that is what has happened to all my shelving. Of course, I don't have a nice metal building to work in nor another one on the way. :) Maybe someday in the future I can justify one of those and expand my fiefdom.

Warren - Only because I spent a half hour straightening up before taking the photo!

Vince - That is the kind of furniture I want to build from here on out, ones that could potentially be still around and in use generations later.

Woody said...

Wait for the seasonal rotation of all your tools and you'll be planning a new out -building.