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A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - Printable Version

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A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - shavingCanuck - 11-05-2009

There was a young man with a dream. Not just any dream, but a dream that looked alot like this ( CT workbench ). It was March of 2008, a basement had been gutted, new insulation had been blown in the garage walls, a insulated floor had been layed down, and new doors had been installed. So by the light of a single 60 watt light bulb some maple was cut. The Ridgid table saw was not happy with the young man and blew the breaker 6 times but finally the ripping was done.





The bench was to be a glorious 3 inches thick, all hard maple, and the man was pleased. Then began the flattening, how hard could it be? I just took a one week course, we learned all about 4 squaring a poplar 2'x6"x1-1/2" board, these are just a little bigger. So to the basement he went, where a wonderful router table awaited as his work platform. But the top just wouldn't do so he appropriated a door from the partially gutted basement.

The anticipation made him giddy, a full long weekend without the wife and child. I'll have this bench built by the time they get back he thought and then he began. Being the clever individual he was he decided to brace his door and base against the now cold concrete wall (outer walls were the first to go in the basement reno), but being super clever he decided that to keep warm he'd also set up by the furnace, and then he was glad. The door handle was still attached and a little in the way and he had to crawl to get to the back but who cared, he had a bench to build and no time to worry about such trivial concerns.




He threw his entire fleet into the endeavour and they laboured on and on for the next two days creating bags and bags of glorious shavings






to be continued...


Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - Cian - 11-05-2009

Quote:

So by the light of a single 60 watt light bulb ...




I know how that feels. Crack me up. Good stuff!




Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - Peter Tremblay - 11-05-2009





Great post.

Peter... who has a 3" think maple top workbench




Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - sdk131 - 11-05-2009

Great post!! I'm building my Schwarz-Holzap-Jamel-Kinn bench right now, and I've had so many similar comical moments working on mine.

Mine is all from 8/4 and 12/4 Ash. You just don't think of how heavy these slabs get until they fall on your toe....your bare toe since you just snuck down to the basement at 11:50pm to give your LN #4 some late night lovin....

BTW - I love the usage of the door. I've been working on the floor for two weeks, using my body as a clamp and sitting on my pieces. How did I stray so far from my college days of using a door for everything but a door.


Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - shavingCanuck - 11-06-2009

When we last left our intrepid bench builder he was 4 squaring 8/4 maple for his top, legs and feet. The initial weekend dragged on and he planed and he planed and he planed and he planed. Then he discovered his scrub and he was glad for now he could take a bigger shaving.



and he planed and he planed and he planed. Then he realized that it was a long weekend and he had an extra day to plane and plane and plane.




After two and a half days of planing and some seriously aggressive scrubbing (anyone else get burn marks at the mouth of their scrub?)




There were legs and feet to glue up. Since there was a profound lack of clamps the exhausted bench builder could only glue up one to two items at a time.




As our supremely intelligent bench builder knew (do not argue it, he read it on the internet) glue takes takes at minimum, 63.2 days to fully cure and requires the clamps to remain engaged during that period. Being limited in clamps the glue up dragged on. Then after having glued up four legs, two feet, and two top side stretchers (not to mention the completion of the basement reno, shed building, a second child, electrical in the Garage, etc.) the following happened.
















(Jameels Wonderful Bench Thread) (Jameel, let me know if you want me to use this image in a different fashion)

S$%T... our young bench builder looked on in amazement and envy. I want that bench he thought. But then he looked at his materials and was sad. The lumber for the top was 3 inches not the recommended 4, some of the tenons on the legs were already cut which rendered them to short, not to mention to thin for the vice screw to go through, they also weren't flush to the front apron.

"The feet have already been shaped." he exclaimed to his monitor.
"But one is cracking" his conscience replied "and you can't build a bench with a splitting foot"

"But my bench is based on a good design and Crooked Tail did a wonderful job" he retorted.
"She will understand" soothed his conscience "plus hers is purple and it doesn't go with your eyes"

"But I've already purchased both the Twin-Screw and Tail vices from Lee Valley" he said in anguish.
"Put your worries at ease" was the reply "the honourable (UR Canadian) Robin Lee has instituted a fantastic return policy for those impetuous youth who purchase product and leave it to gather dust for ~2 years under a temporary bench. Plus, even he would agree that the Bench Crafted vices are innovative and well crafted"

So he pondered his options. He though of his honey-do list of items, up coming renovations and responsibilities. Suddenly, the kitchen flashed in his mind, next summer (or the summer after that, or the summer after that, or...) is the kitchen reno. "Honey?"...
"Yes?" his wonderfully understanding wife replied.
"Do you want there to be a butcher block portion to our stainless steel countertop?" he ventures, fingers, legs, and other unmentionables crossed
"Sounds like a fantastic idea, can you do that for us or do we have to buy it somewhere else?" she asks....

and he was glad...


Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - janus frey - 11-06-2009

Gotta be pleased.






Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - shavingCanuck - 11-06-2009

Now, even though he was glad he was also prudent. He had already purchased alot of wood that was now going to be repurposed, but really it was two years ago, who will remember the cost? True, but there was the cost of the vices to consider combined with the cost of the new materials, not to mention everything that would need to be purchased for the installations, that plus his adoring wife is an accountant, not a good thing when you want to impulsively buy. As he pondered his dilemma his faithful fairy IMac brought him some news, his local wood supplier was having it's monthly sale, Hard Maple and Poplar %20 off, sweet. If poplar is good enough for CT it's good enough for me

.

So off to his supplier he went to pick up the materials he would need and returned with his SUV loaded down with wonderful new wood. While his other bench was drying he had acquired some items that would be useful and help him avoid the plane, plane, planing of before.





So he milled, and he milled and he milled until all the stock was the dimension he needed.




Every now and then he would glance at his prior work and wonder what it was thinking, then he would see the crack and realize it was destined for a different calling.



to be continued...


Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - Blacky's Boy - 11-06-2009

I can't wait for the next installment!







Seriously, when you're done submit this to a magazine. Even though the tale is only partially told, I can tell it's going to be good!





Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - Crooked Tail - 11-06-2009

LOL, great stuff! Keep it coming, I'm enjoying it very much.

Oh, and I do understand.

Don't think that I didn't feel a little anguish myself when Jameel posted his bench.


Re: A long time ago, in a basement far, far away - Todd O. Cronkhite - 11-06-2009

shavingCanuck said:


Then he realized that it was a long weekend and he had an extra day to plane and plane and plane.




HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! HA!! HA!!! HA!!!

Good Stuff!!!!!

Don't worry about nothing until you actually see smoke coming from the scrub plane.