Just Build Something, Dammit!
After some deliberation, I decided I needed a saw bench first, in order to get some progress going on the rest of the shop rebuild. So I’m prepping the wood right now. This was originally 2″x12″x8′ material I’d hand selected and then stacked and stickered in the garage over a year ago for building a workbench. I don’t need that much of it anymore, since I’ve decided to take a different route for building the bench top and legs. In any case, it is pretty darn dry at this point, so I don’t expect a lot of wood movement. Plus, as you can see, I picked my boards with center pith (which I’ve cut around) to give me a lot of quartersawn material. Smart, eh?
I did some wringing of hands for a while, wondering where I was going to find 1 1/2″ material for the bench (which is what the plan I’m looking at called for). Finally, I said, “Just build something, dammit!” and grabbed a board and marked out some rough measurements and went to work with a rip saw and a cross-cut saw. Then I spent an hour or two with my jack plane and a smoothing plane. End result? Four legs, two stretchers, and a top.
I’ll have to build another before I’m done. A pair of saw benches means a place where I can crosscut and rip material easily, which is a must since I’m trying to reduce tablesaw usage. It will come in handy when I’m squaring up my bench top material, which I hope to be acquiring soon in the form of some 8′ long 6″ x 6″ pine beams. The extra thickness of the top will mean two things – some really beefy joinery, if I decide to go with through-tenons, and that I’ll have to do some relief boring (about 2″) from the bottom on my bench hook holes if I want them to hold properly. And I’ll go ahead and use this material for the legs, as well, which means this thing should be pretty darn solid. That’s good, because my left foot is tired of hooking the bottom bench rail to try and keep it in place while I handplane on my current crappy bench. Although, I must admit it is building some muscles I didn’t know I had.