Hand tool workbench #1: Real Woodworking

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Blog entry by Vance100 posted 07-30-2013 01:43 AM 2486 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hand tool workbench series Part 2: Bench Top Glue-up »

I’m building the workbench from Paul Sellers’ book. I’m using hand tools out in the front yard, planing “whitewood” stud 2×4’s from the blue big box store. If you have ever seen Paul Sellers on youtube, it should look familiar.

The tools:

I’m using a Stanley corrugated #4 that I purchased along with a Millers Falls #18 from a friend at work for $75. He tried to use them a couple times and couldn’t get them to make shavings. They were rusty and the blades were dull. He said they were sharp when he gave them to me. He also had the blades in the plane bevel up, which probably did not help. I lapped the planes on sand paper for about 12 hours to get them flat. The Stanley took me 8 hours. I sharpened the blades using the convex bevel, freehand method on diamond stones and strop. The planes will make wispy shavings now.

The saw is a Disston D-8 panel saw with 11 ppi. I bought at a flea market in Lewisburg, Pa for a dollar. It was still very sharp and looked like it was hardly ever used. It was jammed in an old wooden box in the corner of the building along with a couple other saws waiting to be revived. It was very rusty and I had to clean it up with sand paper and wd-40. It now works fantastic and It was a fabulous score.

I feel a lot of satisfaction using the hand tools and they are so much more relaxing. My daughter and wife were even able to have a conversation with me as I worked. I also don’t feel like I have to watch my fingers every second as I work.

I really enjoy hand tool woodworking and will keep you posted on the bench.

6 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8642 posts in 4623 days

#1 posted 07-30-2013 02:05 AM

Looks like a good start.

Real woodworking: Anything you make with wood – don’t narrow your perspective and views with labels and definitions.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5072 days

#2 posted 07-30-2013 03:25 AM

You are off and running. Looking forward to seeing progress on the bench.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 2927 days

#3 posted 07-30-2013 05:38 AM

Looking good so far. Continue to watch your fingers… I nearly took the tip of one of mine off with a chisel the other day just cleaning out a mortise.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View theoldfart's profile (online now)


12313 posts in 3426 days

#4 posted 07-30-2013 12:58 PM

Looking forward to your next postings, check out the workbench smack down thread. Lots of help there

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View rfusca's profile


155 posts in 2818 days

#5 posted 07-31-2013 03:17 AM

The largest scar I have from woodworking is from a hand tool – a chisel that slipped and gouged into a finger. Hand tools are safer but still dangerous at times!

-- Chris S., North Atlanta, GA - woodworker,DBA, cook, photographer

View sgmdwk's profile


308 posts in 2847 days

#6 posted 08-01-2013 12:02 AM

Look forward to seeing more posts about your bench. While Paul Sellers does everything with his No. 4, he has skills most of us can only dream about. You might find your efforts easier if you can find a No. 7 or No. 6. The longer bed and greater weight will make it easier to joint a true edge on your boards.

-- Dave K.

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