And so it begins

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.

Shannon Rogers with my future workbench

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.

Sawing in the parking lot!

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!

The first of the glue ups

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.

About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
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3 Responses to And so it begins

  1. I look forward to seeing the bench. Maybe when you’re done we’ll get a look at your work “off the bench” again?

  2. Shannon says:

    How much jointing did you have to do before that glue up? I remember the timbers looks pretty straight but just curious. Good luck with the build, I’m excited to see it take shape.

    • yaakov says:

      The first two boards really did not need much work, but the next two needed about 30 minutes of work with my Jack and Jointer. The next glue up will most likely need some work too.
      I tell you what, cutting the 6×6’s PERFECTLY straight for legs was a real challenge. I did have to do some final leveling with a block plane however. Thank goodness I had all that practice from the HTS before starting this project.
      Be well,


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