i heart pine.
Alright, so I’m finally able to carve enough free time out of my schedule to line up a few projects I want to tackle this year. The primary goal is to get my shop fully set up.
When it comes to our woodworking, I imagine we all have different dreams. Some want the latest tool, whether it is a cabinet saw with finger-saving technology or a made-in-the-USA handplane built to the highest standards, while others have an empty house they want to fill with things they’ve made themselves.
My woodworking dreams are maybe a little unusual. I dream about walking into a shop, bench clear and tools away. I quickly get to work, spending a few free hours on whatever project I have at hand. The cat sits off to one side, batting a curl of walnut shaving around when she gets bored with trying to get treats out of me. Then I put everything back in place before sweeping up and hitting the lights on the way out the door. The next time I get a few hours of shop time, I walk into the shop and pick up right where I left off without having to search through benches and shelves, looking for whatever tool it is I need.
In my dream, everything is nice and orderly. I can bring my 3-year-old son down to watch me work, even help me with a project, without being overtly concerned about his safety because I don’t have crap laying around everywhere. I dream of peace, calm, and serenity – someplace I can go that helps me reduce stress and frustration, not add to it.
Go big or go home, right? Well, let’s start with the heart of the shop and build my new workbench. Late last year, I stopped by fellow woodworker Scott Wunder’s shop/local lumber paradise to sort through some reclaimed heart pine beams he had in stock.
Ooooh! I heart reclaimed heart pine! He agreed to bring it all down to the same thickness before I took delivery, which I did this past weekend…
It isn’t quite ready for gluing up, though. One of the beams has a few (5) nails in it that broke off during the nail extraction process. I could try and work around them and/or bury them in the top, but I’m going to dig them out, instead. Some of the edges of the pieces I’ve selected for the top (the five boards set edge-to-edge towards the front) need a bit of jointing before they will come together properly, as well.
Honestly, it isn’t the prettiest wood. It has lots of character, to put it nicely, but that comes with working reclaimed lumber, right? I don’t mind if it’s a little rough on the legs or the stretchers or underneath the top, but I will probably end up chopping out a few of the spots that will interfere with a clean, flat bench top and inlay some dutchman patches. If anything, I can always use the additional inlay practice!
The end result should be a top that is about 3″ thick, 20″ or so wide, and just around 7′ long. That sounds rather nice…