My first big build, and what a journey it's been. Yet another workbench. #1: Why I needed a workbench, planning the project and getting materials.

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Blog entry by Lind posted 08-31-2015 09:48 PM 1052 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My first big build, and what a journey it's been. Yet another workbench. series Part 2: Gluing the top »

Hello everybody

I’ve been lurking here for a while now, and since I just finished my first big build this weekend I figured I’d make a post to showcase the process and some of the mistakes I made.

I’ve been wanting to get into woodworking for a while so a couple of months ago I decided to pay a visit to my parents’ house to spend a few hours in their workshop. I live in a small apartment in the city so visiting my childhood home in the countryside is quite literally a breath of fresh air. The estate used to be a small farm many years ago, and the old stables have been used for various storage and other purposes over the years.

One of the ways my parents took advantage of the old buildings was by creating a small “workshop” for the occasional maintenance projects that come a long with living in place like that. This is the workshop I was planning (and plan) to take advantage of for my woodworking endeavours.

It quickly became apparent that the workshop was poorly equipped for woodworking. It lacked the proper tools, and more importantly, it lacked a proper workbench. I’m a woodworking beginner, so I wasn’t entirely sure which tools and what sort of workbench I needed, but after a few late nights on the world wide interwebs (thanks LJ!!!) and after overcoming the initial learning curve in Sketchup I finally decided on this design:

I ordered the vise screws from Axminster and after only a couple of days they’d shipped them to Denmark and I could start hunting for the wood. I was very surprised how hard it was to find wood of a decent quality in the volume I needed, so I ended up just using construction grade pine – a decision that would haunt me many times over. I managed to cut out enough decent looking pieces for the top and plane them to fit, and I did try to make sure the pieces were aligned according to the wood grain:

The problem was that the huge amount of knots in the construction grade wood gave me all sorts of problems with the grain, which would change direction several times on some of the pieces, making them super hard to plane properly for a beginner like me. Oh well, fortunately it’s a workbench, not a dining table :p

If anyone has a good suggestion on where to buy wood in Denmark (mid Jutland) for future projects, please do tell!

-- He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat

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