Friday, October 29, 2010
The Benchmaker's Apprentice
The Benchmaker's Apprentice--A project to build the Benchcrafted Split-Top Roubo Bench. The Benchmaker, Jameel Abraham, of course, and the Apprentice, me, John(Hunna) Abraham. I will embark on this mission with the assistance of the Benchmaker himself.
My woodworking experience does not begin here, though. Since I was six years old (I am now 16), I have been helping my uncle, Jameel, out in the shop. I also work part-time for Benchcrafted and have attended three Woodworking in America conferences and one Lie Nielsen event as an exhibitor.
But, enough about me. Over the next few weeks/months/years/centuries, however long it takes me to complete the bench, I will work almost every weekend to finish, and my trusty camera will be there the whole time to update everybody[cricket noise] on the status of the project.
After contemplating about what the bench should be made of, I decided to go with a mix of poplar and ash. The ash will be used for the bench top, leg vise leg, sliding deadman, and the deadman track. Poplar will be used for the rest of the bench and will be painted. We had some large pieces of ash laying around so the bench top material was covered, but for the poplar, I drove down to my local wood supplier and picked up these fine pieces.
Since most people work from the bottom up, at least I think that's how they built the Empire State Building, we will begin with the legs of the bench. The piece of poplar you see above is what I will be using to build the legs.
I used this old hand saw to chop this board down into 4 pieces for the legs. The saw, sharpened by Mark Harrell over at Bad Axe Tool Works, cut great and went through the wood like butter.
This picture marks the beginning of a bench project, there is no turning back now.
The first rule of joining: be square, or be square... cheesy, I know.
Now that we have a couple jointed sides, lets do some planing.
After a little work, we have some dang near perfect square legs.