My shop time was limited this weekend. There was grass to mow and several other household related things that needed doing. Since I just completed a fairly large project, I’ve been making notes. Some have to do with the construction of the HB Tansu and some are shop and tool notes. What works, what doesn’t and what would make the process go a little smoother.
Two of these notes concerned my workbench. I like my workbench. It’s Paul Sellers’ design from his book, “Working Wood 1&2“. It is my first “real” bench so I have nothing to compare it too, but I have not found it lacking, except. From the outset, I’ve found that I wanted or needed a stop at the end of the bench. Paul does almost everything in the vise and it obviously works for him. I find that I don’t like working in the vise all the time. Several operations I can complete quicker on the bench top with the workpiece butted up against a stop. My solution, for well over a year now, was to simply screw a 1/4″ piece of scrap to the bench top. This has worked well but gets in the way at times. Then I have to unscrew and remove it. Then reinstall again when I need it again. Time for an upgrade.
I purchased a couple of 5/16″ lag studs plus washers and wing nuts. I already had an off cut of 3/4″ birch ply set aside to use as a fence/stop. The job was simple. Cut two vertical slots in the plywood fence and install the lag studs in the end of the bench. The slots were done by drilling two holes, saw out the waste between them and cleanup with a rasp. Now I have a stop that sits below the bench top when not needed and can be raised to any height, up to an inch, when required. It’s very solid. Done.
The other note concerned the chewed up edge of my bench top. I do the vast majority of my sawing in the vise. Cross cuts and rip cuts. As a consequence the edge of my bench top gets a little ragged from the saw. I didn’t worry about it too much, its ugly, but nothing else. Lately though I’ve picked up a few splinters from this ragged area. At first I thought that I would just smooth it up with a chisel and sandpaper, then Paul Sellers posted about how he had recently addressed the issue. So I followed his example and inset a sacrificial piece. Of course I already scarred it up, but it looks and feels much better. Done.
This week I’ll be giving some TLC to all of my tools. Planes will be dismantled, cleaned and oiled. Blades, cutters, saws and chisels will be sharpened. The shop will get a good cleaning up as well. By next weekend I should be ready for the next project.