Bench Progress Photos

Here are some crappy phone pictures of the awesome Benchcrafted end vise installation. Thanks for the Christmas present (3)photo (27)The funny over hang extension in the front was to accommodate some big dovetails or “condor tails” as Jameel Abraham calls them.  I wanted those for aesthetic reasons more than anything.  I came up with this solution for my two 12″ slabs.  Might be a dumb idea, but I think it looks cool.
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I don’t use routers very  much as you can see from the wandering line, plus this one exploded after just this one job of tough white oak. Scary!!!photo (19)The tension in the slab brought the overhang way over so I used a spacer to keep things (24)Marking out the sockets.
photo (23) You can see the extra wide mortise.  I figured this was the only way to get the dovetails to slide (22) photo (21) photo (20)I also got this for Christmas from ebay.  The handle it came with was not original, and it was way off center, so I made a new one out of the tons of white oak leftovers.  I was so glad to use it for paring such big faces.  I felt like a timber (18) photo (17) photo (16) This was very difficult wood to work with!  Gnarly (15) First rail in!photo (14)All in!
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photo (10) I was eager to get some finish on it to see how it would look.  I slopped on some (9)I can’t wait till I can tear down the OSB bench under there.
photo (8) photo (7)Leg stock 5 1/4″ square.  Solid white oak with some good quarter sawn figure (6) photo (5)This grain orientation might be a huge mistake.  I wanted the rays to show in front.

We’ll see…
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Discovering Stuff

My experiences as a woodworker are juvenile.  I started out with veneered plywood and pocket screws, then my beautiful wife gave me the gift of learning with a one week class at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking  She caught me watching the “Woodwright Shop” one evening in 2008.  Roy was interviewing Kelly on his program about Berea, Ky.  My wife remembered this and for Christmas she got me the class to build a hand-dovetailed blanket chest.

I was a little confused by this.  I thought to myself, I’d rather have some power tool.  Who want’s to learn hand work.  I’d watched Roy Underhill, but I never thought anybody was actually using this antiquated technique.  And for the expense of the class, I could have a nice router table!

But the more I’d research this, and start building my collection of hand tools for the class, the more excited I became by the idea.  The rest is history.  Kelly and his shop blew my mind open to the elevated work of hand tools.  Since then I’ve been a blog reader of Christoper Schwarz and several others.  I’ve decided to give back with some information through this blog.  Some other beginner might find some new bit of the puzzle through my ramblings perhaps.

Joseph Casbarian