Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It all starts (and ends) with the teeth

I've started a new project in the shop.  It's been nice to have the use of a workbench and garage while we were staying in this house, but since our time in Anchorage is coming to a close and we have no firm destination in view after we leave the city, I began to explore ideas for a bench that could be fairly compact; part storage, part work area, part saw bench.....

Ideas come prolifically once you start looking.  And the final push popped into place when I saw Ron Herman's sawbench in the August issue of Popular Woodworking magazine.  A sawbench you could sit on, carve on, saw on, build on.... it wasn't a long leap from there and my new mini bench was born.

Of course, new projects are always worth diversions into unfamiliar territory and it's the first time I threw the ruler away and simply drew the plans with a pair of dividers.  Using 3:5 and 1:3 ratios I worked up something I liked and managed to incorporate a till into the top for my saws.  And with the addition of a few holes in the sides and top, I might even manage to sneak a few dogs and holdfasts in there as well.  Using my kneecap measurement for the height, I soon had all the calculations plugged into place for a materials list. 

After a trip to the box store for some 2X4X96 fir the work began in earnest.  I would like to build this one as simply and traditionally as possible, and will be planing 1 inch stock to edge glue for the sides and ripping 1/2 inch stuff for the till.  The laminated part of the bench beside the till will be 1.5 X 3 inch sections face glued to add a little heft to the top.

Digging up an old handsaw that has rattled in my toolbox for years then got me struggling with the obscure notions of fleam, rake and set.  It's an old saw, and I definitely need the practice learning to sharpen one.

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