The journey of a thousand miles has begun with the construction of my new workbench. And the journey actually began with a journey! I traveled to White Marsh, Maryland to visit J. Gibson McLlvain Company, a wholesale lumberyard, to purchase the Douglas Fir for the bench. There I met Shannon Rogers, the founder of ‘The Hand Tool School’, who is an employee there. After seeing Shannon in a number of videos and live webcam events, it was really nice to meet him in person. We have a lot in common and I really enjoyed our conversations. He gave me a tour of the facility which was fascinating and very cool.
Only a woodworker could be excited by the smell of wood. The quote “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” kept on popping up in my head during my tour of the lumber sheds. The smell of cut cherry lumber bores directly into my brain straight to my happy place. And my happy place was buzzing like crazy next to those stacks of lumber. Seeing the cut offs just lying around floored me and also made me feel like I was seeing an abandoned puppy left to its own means. I wanted to pick up all those pieces and run home as fast as I could and treat them with the love they desired. Goodness gracious, I am one weird guy!
In addition to the lumber yard, I got to met “Gib”, one of the owners. He really nice and give me a tour of all the beautiful furniture they have in their offices. What a treat! Overall, it was the best field trip I have had in a long time (especially since I am basically a hermit). I am looking forward to heading out there again someday.
My order was in the parking lot ready to go, all I had to do was pull out my Disston Cross Cut saw and cut the pieces into manageable sizes to fit in my van. I was pretty happy with my saw and my sawing. It was a good warm up for all the hand sawing left to do.
I have a feeling this workbench is going to cost me a lot more than my time. I ordered a tail vise from Lee Valley that was not cheap, and I ordered a brace and bit, to avoid burning out my corded drill. And wouldn’t you know, I still need more hardware. To save money, I think I am going to turn (make) my own bench dogs, after all, what is the use of having a lathe if you don’t use it every chance you get!
I am making a Roubo style bench, and I am using a hybrid of Christopher Schwarz’s plans from both of his Workbench books. I want to take may time with the project, but I can’t take too long because I have to keep the income flowing in. I feel like I am trying to fly a Cessna while trying to turn it into a Boeing 747 in mid-flight. At least the overall cost of the bench will be tax deductible.
See you on the bench.