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Blog entry by mvo1948 posted 01-26-2019 06:25 PM 734 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi, I’m new here (though I’ve lurked for quite a while), so I’m just saying hello.

I learned my woodworking as a young boy from my dad. After school, I was apprenticed to a local cabinet making firm, but only lasted there a few months. Why? Well, mostly because I was useless. Clumsy, impatient, lacking concentration. And I also discovered girls. Anyway, most of the time, being an apprentice meant sweeping up the shavings and cleaning the lavvies. A few years ago I discovered a stash of my dad’s old hand tools and decided to bring them back to use: get rid of the rust, ply the oil can, and use up some of the beeswax I’d been collecting for a rainy day. I tried using them on a few projects around the house, and discovered that I’m still useless. But there’s promise …

At the moment, because I have to do my woodwork in the loft, I don’t have a proper bench (loft hatch too small), so I’m using an old Black & Decker Workmate. Not ideal: too low for my back, and too light to be stable. So I’m building myself a miniature bench to sit atop the Workmate, with my own version of a Moxon-type vice. It’s rough and ready, won’t win any accolades, but it will be fit for purpose. I might even turn it into a Lumberjocks Project, pour encourager les autres who may be equally as clumsy as me.

Wish me luck?

-- Martyn

8 comments so far

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 3921 days

#1 posted 01-26-2019 06:46 PM

Good luck!

Of course, it’s often the case that you make your luck…

Additionally, Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View mvo1948's profile


16 posts in 817 days

#2 posted 01-26-2019 08:38 PM

Thanks Herb. It’s true we make our own luck – but we could have a deep philosophical discussion about that, and I’m tired … :)

-- Martyn

View Zonker's profile


147 posts in 913 days

#3 posted 01-27-2019 02:47 PM

Being new means you don’t know what you can’t do so you have the potential to do way more. Good luck on your journey.

-- Larry A. - I've made a small fortune with my woodworking. The trouble is, I started with a large fortune.

View Dwain's profile


622 posts in 4920 days

#4 posted 01-27-2019 03:15 PM

I think you are on the right track. Please send pictures of the completed vice. I’d love to see it. Marty Backe on youtube has a video of all the accessories he has made for his workmate. I think you may find something of value there. As a rather tall guy, (6’6”) I especially like the idea of a bench “bull”. Check it out!

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4065 days

#5 posted 01-27-2019 09:49 PM

glad to have you,have a great time

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View cornholeboards's profile


1 post in 815 days

#6 posted 01-28-2019 11:49 PM

hey man if you need some ideas for new projects here is some stuff I bought to give me new ideas and show me how to make new things.

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3897 days

#7 posted 01-29-2019 05:00 AM

Good luck with the effort, I think I’d make my first real project a solid bench. First bench I built for general use was part of a solid core door, If I had to make one for a small space I’d have the local lowes or HD slice a sheet of 3/4” ply in 4 and glue to pieces for a 3” thick top then a couple 2×4 and 4×4s for legs and cross pieces. Doesn’t have to be pretty; just the right height, heavy and solid and you can build in place. It’ll make all later projects that much easier. Last time I did it I even found a sheet of ply that was damaged by the forklift and was 50% off, just stuck that sheet on the bottom.

-- A posse ad esse

View mvo1948's profile


16 posts in 817 days

#8 posted 01-29-2019 09:21 PM

Thanks, chaps, for the welcome and the good wishes. Yes, I’ll definitely do photos of the little bench when it’s done. I’ll have something to say about it too, mostly to do with not being able to buy hardware here in the UK.

Mr derosa, the problem with the good solid bench you suggest is that i’d have to get the timber up into my loft in order to work it, and then, if I ever decide to move house, I would never get it back down again. However, the majority of things I’ve made or plan to make are small and a bit intricate, so a little bench will be enough. It will also have the added benefit of restraining me when I get big ideas.

-- Martyn

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