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Blog entry by stefang posted 11-17-2013 04:10 PM 2759 reads 0 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Progress Update on my Bench Build Part 6 of SHOP IMPROVEMENTS series Part 7: ADDING A WATER SUPPLY TO MY SHOP »

Haven’t had much time in the shop lately, but I did get my bench finished finally and I painted here and there as part of my shop improvement campaign. I am not nearly done, but I am taking a little at a time. With Christmas around the corner I have get back to doing some projects. My ambition level is fairly low this year as I am planning to build a Chevalet and it’s all I can think about right now.

Here are some before and after pics of what I’ve been up to this week. I chose the color green for two reasons; firstly, I had some other shop pieces in that color and secondly, most of my machine tools are painted green and/or yellow. I will be following up with some yellow stuff on the next round.

My new all purpose bench in the raw. Originally I designed this bench so a chest of drawers would slide under on the right side and I could sit with my legs underneath on the left side. Photo 1 is a better shot of the construction. What I didn’t expect was that this construction would be so solid. I am amazed how stable it is, even though it was just luck on my part, and therefore I would recommend this design to anyone building a bench for planing or whatever.

As you can see, the chest of drawers in now in place and I two coats of Danish oil on it with a 3rd coat yet to come. I will be storing my marquetry stuff in the chest.


I always hated those drawer handles with the dark oak cabinet, but I think they look a lot better now with the green paint. Whoops! I forgot to take away the masking tape and just now discovered it.



I’m not sure what improvements are next. I do want better storage solutions, so that will probably come first with more painting afterward.

Thanks for reading!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

33 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4818 days

#1 posted 11-17-2013 04:15 PM

It’s all so organised neat and clean Mike ,you bench and shop looks super.


View justoneofme's profile


862 posts in 3721 days

#2 posted 11-17-2013 04:20 PM

Hi Mike … let me be first in line to commend you on these wonderful shop improvements! Everything looks great!! Good luck on your Chevalet build. Will it be a bench top model, or floor model? Whoops! I’m too late to be first in line :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Brit's profile


8442 posts in 4084 days

#3 posted 11-17-2013 04:23 PM

Good progress Mike. Congrats on finishing your bench and cabinet. I like the green paint you choose too.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4406 days

#4 posted 11-17-2013 04:48 PM

I am smitten by your bench. That is down right cool. Got to get back in the shop today myself, last two days were divided between some work on Friday, but mostly setting up a new computer for Sherie. Her last one, ten years old, just up and died. Fortunately I had everything backed up. But I am jumping from Win XP to Win 8.1, skipping two OS’s in the process. So back to the salt mines.

........did I say that I really like that bench, especially with its contrasting shirt and pants…............?

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26780 posts in 4347 days

#5 posted 11-17-2013 05:15 PM

Nice job on the bench and the shop. It is so clean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That paint sure make it look great!!!!!!!!!!!!..................JIM

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1628 posts in 4806 days

#6 posted 11-17-2013 05:16 PM

Looking good Mike, oh and the bench really turned out great!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#7 posted 11-17-2013 05:23 PM

a1Jim Thanks Jim. The organized, neat and clean look is just a photographic illusion. I never point the camera at the really messy areas.

Elaine Not the first comment, but still the first to commend me! Thank you. I will be building the floor model Chevalet. I probably need one like an extra hole in the head, but I refuse to let logic stop me! Maybe I have some French blood from some ancient indiscretion (at least I hope so).

Andy Thank you and I will include your name on my ‘green’ honor list. Actually the color was a little darker shade than I wanted as it shows the dust pretty easily, but maybe that will remind me to brush it off more often.

Jim Thanks , I know how it goes with those computers, very time saving, but also very time consuming. That reminds me that I have to update my wife’s laptop. I keep my turning programs and some some other windows stuff on her computer that I can’t get for my MAC. I get my oldest son to do all my computer dirty work for me so I don’t have to worry about anything except my woodworking projects and what’s for dinner!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Boatman53's profile


1084 posts in 3438 days

#8 posted 11-17-2013 05:24 PM

Hi Mike nice job. I really like the bench you made. All these shop clean up and reorganization projects are inspiring me to get after mine.

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine home of the chain leg vise

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#9 posted 11-17-2013 05:40 PM

Thanks Jim, Tim and Jim. I have to admit that fixing up the shop isn’t much fun, but it gets depressing when things start to look shabby and you don’t have good tool storage or a place for those one million things that seem to ‘grow’ all on their own. I did enjoy building the bench though and I am really pleased with it, even though it is a rather simple construction. It will allow me to take on a lot of projects that I didn’t have a place to work on before.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4544 days

#10 posted 11-17-2013 05:43 PM

well as far as i can tell, its still moving forward mike, and i like your green color…its a nicer green then the army type i had to wear while i was the property of the US government…keep at it…im looking forward to seeing your new chevy….then the sparks will fly…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3908 days

#11 posted 11-17-2013 06:10 PM

Hi Mike
That bench set up is looking great and ready for work .
Like the green you are using and it gives a nice look and atmosphere to your shop .
As to cleaning up and organizing a wood shop I would say it is a loosing cause and I see from the pics that you tend to keep all those little pieces ,just like I do but they sure come in handy but what is a good way to keep and organize them
I did a pretty good clean up a while ago and looking around the shop now their is stuff out of place and dust and shavings are accumulating where it does no get sucked up or swept but it seems to add some character to the place .LOL
Hope to see some Christmas presents being built and posted and also the chevalet .
Take care and don’t over do it .

-- Kiefer

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#12 posted 11-17-2013 06:30 PM

Thanks Bob And Kiefer. That’s what I am doing Bob, camouflaging my shop, and yes Kiefer I have pretty much given up on ever being able to organize all those little cutoffs. It’s probably time for some much better woodworker than me to write a book on what to do with them. I filled the nice box that I made for them a long time ago, but they tend to multiply at night when I’m not in the shop.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5155 days

#13 posted 11-17-2013 06:55 PM

Great looking bench Mike – and it’s a really nice green. Everything coming together now. I’ll bet you’re happy about having a nice bench to work on now!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4081 days

#14 posted 11-17-2013 09:45 PM

Mike ditto on the hospital look.
I could eat dinner in there with no fear of saw dust in my taters.
Looking good.
A clan shop make you feel good about building something.
Now I have to go clean mine.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4045 days

#15 posted 11-18-2013 12:24 AM

Yes, yes. I’m likin it, Mike

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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