4 – The Shelf and Top
If you are ready to start into the DIY woodworking scene, you will need some basics. Once you have a nice collection of tools together you will probably be wise to buy a collection of project plans and patterns. These are quite cheap now and usually have hundreds if not thousands of designs for you to choose from. The first project you should start on is the woodworking bench. Your list of patterns should have one of these and it would be wise to make it your very first. For a start, it will be very handy for all other projects and it is a project that will allow you some degree of tolerance in quality making it ideal for the beginner.
Some of the most basic and classic bench plans call for a shelf near the bottom of the bench. Placing this shelf on for storage will come in handy if you’re storing scrap pieces of wood or other tools. Now all you have to do is to attach the top to the frame of the bench.
The first thing that you’ll need to do is to decide what type of bench you want. Now using a good woodworking plan will come in handy, as it will include a list of all materials you’ll need, which of course will make it much easier and less stressful to complete any woodwork project.
Along with these tools, a worker must learn how to make the best use of their woodworking bench. Woodworking benches are a very crucial part of woodworking. In hand woodworking, such woodworking tools, woodworking benches and woodworking designs holds key importance. Hand working requires proficiency in the usage of tools and off course mastery in this very art of woodworking. Two things distinguish a woodworking bench: It has at least one vise, and it has at least one row of dog holes (either square or round) along the front edge. The presence of these two items transforms a table into a big, versatile clamp. A woodworking bench is optimized for using hand tools like planes, chisels, and saws. It offers a variety of ways to hold and support the work at hand.
If we think of the earliest plane as being a blade stuck in a flat block then these two elements will be the most important to consider. The quality of the blade and the flatness of the sole or bottom of a plane. With the earlier wooden planes flatness of the sole was not difficult to adjust, with metal planes manufacturing quality becomes a serious issue. Thankfully manufacturers have in the past 10 years addressed this issue and the flatness of the sole of some of our planes now means they do not need any attention.
7. The table top is comprised of pieces of slats joined together. Cut these to length and keep them in place with a nail. Once you are happy that all slats are in the correct place, then securely screw them to your frame.
Fixed benches are your best option if you have a restricted area to work in. Fixed benches are made to measure and therefore can’t be commercially bought so you will either have to make it yourself or hire someone to make it. Light is an important fixture when making your own bench and it is critical that you ensure there is ample light above the bench. Many woodworkers prefer to make their own bench as it allows them to build a bench to suit their needs and as a result allows them greater freedom when woodworking. When making your own bench it is important to make sure that both the bench and support beams are made of solid wood that can withstand the constant punishment of woodwork. As with the freestanding bench it is important that you also have a sturdy vice.
I decided to give it a shot and found out instantly that my friend was 100% right! The woodworking bench plans that I purchased could not have been any easier to follow! They were so detailed in each step that I was able to complete the entire construction of my wood bench in less than 3 hours! Imagine that, I started the project Saturday morning and was completed before lunch. I was then able to enjoy the rest of the weekend relaxing with my wife and watching the kids play.