(Not quite) Workbench II

Stanley No 71 1/2

I’ve been getting sidetracked, which is ok (well, the joint pain sidetracking is not too great). First I got distracted with making a wooden try square (I only have a “student” combination square, which is very small) to help getting the top square. That sidetracked me into fine-tuning my bench planes because it wasn’t going well. That sidetracked me into making a diamond plate holder because it wasn’t going well. I made that but it is ugly as fuck. No bench hook to it yet because I don’t have a bench (and I’m sharpening on my jewellery bench which has a ridge all around so I it’d really bother). I’m also trying to restore the bench planes better than I had. I see progress. And the router (before) too, that went easier:

Woot! Stanley No 71 1/2  Removing the poly varnish - Stanley No 71 1/2 restoration
The knobs have a layer of drying oil, two layers of blonde shellac and a little wax. Removed rust and various shite, sanded the bottom on a granite surface a little, softened the edges a bit with sandpaper, polished the brass screws which looks nice. I think they’re only plated on top though, shouldn’t polish too often.


shitty sharpening plate holder

I did not follow these instructions. I just made the thing. I left 2cm between plates. I started well, but then got sloppy. I see that holder all the time in the videos, and I assumed the cuts went all the way because of cutting with a backsaw like for a housing, but now I see it’s from a table saw. Huh, well I don’t have one. I see that it could have been made neater by hand omitting the saw altogether (I thought of it but then decided I do not know better, which indeed I don’t). I marked with knife, did the knife wall thing with a chisel and then used a carcass saw to mark the edges and the depth. Then I used the router to get all the wood out. It was my first time doing all of these things. My first housing was the best (center), the next a bit worse (right) and the last quite dreadful. The first time I went very careful, the second I wanted to see if the plywood peeled off per layer as well as it looked, and it did, so I went much faster. For the last I wanted to see how far I could push it, I think I only changed depth on the router two times. I guess it’s good to know where the limits are. I say to myself ;) Maybe it was just back pain increasing and I’m rationalising it. I need a very tall workbench, which will probably happen anyway because I’m a hobbit.

I also popped the corners with a chisel to see how that goes. Easier than I thought, still looks like shit ;) The plywood is the cheapest I could find, poplar, which is super soft and mushy. On the bright side it is very light and I do not need to make things heavier. My edges are a mess, but anyway this is a functional and practice piece, right? To be fair this stuff gets scratched and dented just looking at it. I gave it several layers of garnet shellac (what I had softened a brush for at the moment, since I was also giving some coats to the No4’s handle and knob) to make it a little more water resistant. I’m sloppy though, that’s something I need to work more on, and this was not a good exercise in this respect.

knife walls routing

So, a couple of weeks ago I got a piece of plywood (for this thing up there and some other stuff I have in mind) and some extra wood for the workbench. There was something about the workbench. Let me check…  6 pieces 19×100 mm and 3 pieces 27X69 mm. I think the idea was the 6 to reinforce the aprons (in width) and the 3 to laminate with the other pieces for the legs and for the tenon thingies. Not sure that’s enough if so. I’ll see when I get to that point.

Now my sciatica hurts and I’m off to I don’t know what.

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