Saturday, December 26, 2015

Website taking a possible nap


We're doing some server updates during the period that our Store page is shut down (Dec. 25-31).  The site may be glitchy or even unreachable sometime in that period.  Email may also be hit or miss for a few days.  If you can't reach us just keep trying.

No worries, we're just upgrading not leaving town.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Benchcrafted Holiday Hours And A New Bench


In order to do our yearly inventory, clean our warehouse, and rearrange our Gobots display case, Benchcrafted will close on December 25. Normally we'd keep the Store page up so orders can be placed, but this time we're closing that down as well. We're doing this to improve our lead times and streamline our order fulfillment process.

We will reopen on January 1st, and orders can be placed at that time (we will also be closed for any shipping Jan. 6-11)

After the joyous task of inventory is complete, we're moving forward on our next offering. After six years (wow!) of offering our Split Top Roubo bench plans, we'd like to offer another set of plans for those on a tighter budget, or with simpler tastes and requirements. The Benchcrafted Classic will be based on the workbenches found in French vocational schools of the late19th and early 20th centuries. It's designed for a beginning or intermediate hand tool-centric woodworker who wants a serious bench with Benchcrafted precision workholding without breaking the bank on hardware or wood.

Expect this in the first half of 2016.







Monday, December 21, 2015

More Leftovers: Plate 11 Leg Vise Forged Parts


We have two sets of iron parts intended for use with a Roubo Plate 11-style leg vise screw. These were made earlier this year by Peter Ross. They are typical Ross work. In other words, you couldn't get closer to the original if you were personal friends with H.G. Wells.

To make the rings easier to fit, we lightly machine the inside of the ring ferrule so it's truly round. If you've seen one of these, you'll be amazed at how little material needs to be removed. Ross makes these without any sort of form, just hammer and anvil with welded ends. They are gorgeous.

One end of the handle is removable. Simply tap out the taper pin, remove the ball, install on vise screw, replace ball and pin. Ross filed a witness mark across the ball and tenon so reassembly is easy.

We've only got two of these, and won't be making more. Price is $220 for the set of 1 ring ferrule, 1 handle. Shipping is extra.

If you'd like to purchase, send an email to info@benchcrafted.com and include your mailing address. We'll send you an invoice which we ask you to kindly pay promptly.

Friday, December 18, 2015

HANDS videos: Christmas BONUS Pt. 3

In the interest of getting these into more people's hands we arranged for 3 full videos to be posted here so you can see what you are missing.  We'll post the 1st today with the rest to follow.

Until Christmas: We now have the the entire set on sale for $149.00!  That's a $50 savings The price will be reflected once you add the set to your cart.  See more details here.






While hand tools and hand work in general have taken an enormous back seat since the Industrial Revolution, there has and probably always will be a strong and dedicated cadre of craftsmen and artisans that will exist both out of necessity and desire, mostly out of necessity.  Hopefully more out of necessity, because while desire, fervor and zeal can be good things, nothing produces results like necessity, the mother of invention.  While we've not always been tool makers, we are deeply steeped in this spirit of necessity.  

It's a shame that so many things are lost.  A lot of what we lose is because of youth.  As we age we gain an appreciation for the mundane, which in turn turns to an appreciation for simpler things.  Mundanity is under appreciated.  It's also eschewed by the young.  They don't know they're doing it, much as we didn't or don't, but it's being done all the same.  The funny thing is that a lot of the world lives day to day in the mundane, perfectly happy, because they aren't wrapped up in distraction.  In fact most of the world doesn't have the luxury of distraction.  Necessity again.

In the light of what is lost, going to be lost or maybe can be saved, we are very happy to announce the addition of this set of videos to our website.  As many of you know, we don't typically sell anything we don't produce, but these were too hard to ignore.   We simply cannot overemphasize the importance of these videos.  I only wish there were more.  The videos are perfectly produced with very little embellishment, even the narration is reserved and well placed, not distracting.  Anyone who has even a passing interest in hand crafts, will not be disappointed in this treasure.

Take 10 minutes and watch the preview videos we've put together.  These simple videos are enthralling, so much so that they were requested in our household by our 6 & 8 year olds every evening until we had watched all 37 videos!  The real mastery of these videos is that they are presented so well that they make some subjects that we're not typically as interested in just as enticing as those we are.  We found ourselves enthralled as much or more by the silk, book binding and pottery segments,  as we did by the woodworking segments..........if not more so! 

David and Sally Shaw-Smith made HANDS, a unique, multi-award winning series of thirty-seven documentaries on Irish crafts for Irish television (RTÉRaidió Teilifís Éireann [Radio && Television of Ireland]). Capturing the final years of traditional rural and urban life in Ireland, during the seventies and eighties. They travelled the length and breadth of the country recording these personal and revealing films. As much about the life of the individuals, as the crafts they practised.


Observant readers will note that this is indeed a re-post from last year.  We'd like to reiterate however that our ultimate goal is not profit but the proliferation of this series.  We simply feel that there are few in any hand work oriented endeavor who wouldn't greatly enjoy this series and support the maker's in doing so. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Big Red Oak: Will Myers Shares His Source





FORP Enthusiast Will Myers dropped us a line last week to let us know of a sawmill that's cutting some large American red oaks into thick slab-style workbench kits. These would be ideal for quickly building our Split-Top Roubo, or any Roubo-style bench for that matter. This is the sawmill that Will uses when he teaches his Moravian bench at The Woodwright's School.

These bench kits are super simple. A single slab top and stock for the legs and rails. That's it. Will says be aware that the wood is wet. As in freshly cut and very green. You won't be able to build a bench with this stock for a couple years at least. And longer if you can stand it.

We don't get any kickbacks from these kits, and neither does Will (in his own words: "I would like for them not to become pallets more than anything") We're simply passing on the tip from Will. These look to be beautifully clear and straight. If you're in the market for one of these you'll be supporting a small family sawmill in rural North Carolina. Thanks for sharing, Will.

For more info, click here.






Saturday, December 12, 2015

HANDS videos: Christmas BONUS Pt. 2

In the interest of getting these into more people's hands we arranged for 3 full videos to be posted here so you can see what you are missing.  We'll post the 1st today with the rest to follow.

Until Christmas: We now have the the entire set on sale for $149.00!  That's a $50 savings The price will be reflected once you add the set to your cart.  See more details here.






While hand tools and hand work in general have taken an enormous back seat since the Industrial Revolution, there has and probably always will be a strong and dedicated cadre of craftsmen and artisans that will exist both out of necessity and desire, mostly out of necessity.  Hopefully more out of necessity, because while desire, fervor and zeal can be good things, nothing produces results like necessity, the mother of invention.  While we've not always been tool makers, we are deeply steeped in this spirit of necessity.  

It's a shame that so many things are lost.  A lot of what we lose is because of youth.  As we age we gain an appreciation for the mundane, which in turn turns to an appreciation for simpler things.  Mundanity is under appreciated.  It's also eschewed by the young.  They don't know they're doing it, much as we didn't or don't, but it's being done all the same.  The funny thing is that a lot of the world lives day to day in the mundane, perfectly happy, because they aren't wrapped up in distraction.  In fact most of the world doesn't have the luxury of distraction.  Necessity again.

In the light of what is lost, going to be lost or maybe can be saved, we are very happy to announce the addition of this set of videos to our website.  As many of you know, we don't typically sell anything we don't produce, but these were too hard to ignore.   We simply cannot overemphasize the importance of these videos.  I only wish there were more.  The videos are perfectly produced with very little embellishment, even the narration is reserved and well placed, not distracting.  Anyone who has even a passing interest in hand crafts, will not be disappointed in this treasure.

Take 10 minutes and watch the preview videos we've put together.  These simple videos are enthralling, so much so that they were requested in our household by our 6 & 8 year olds every evening until we had watched all 37 videos!  The real mastery of these videos is that they are presented so well that they make some subjects that we're not typically as interested in just as enticing as those we are.  We found ourselves enthralled as much or more by the silk, book binding and pottery segments,  as we did by the woodworking segments..........if not more so! 

David and Sally Shaw-Smith made HANDS, a unique, multi-award winning series of thirty-seven documentaries on Irish crafts for Irish television (RTÉRaidió Teilifís Éireann [Radio && Television of Ireland]). Capturing the final years of traditional rural and urban life in Ireland, during the seventies and eighties. They travelled the length and breadth of the country recording these personal and revealing films. As much about the life of the individuals, as the crafts they practised.


Observant readers will note that this is indeed a re-post from last year.  We'd like to reiterate however that our ultimate goal is not profit but the proliferation of this series.  We simply feel that there are few in any hand work oriented endeavor who wouldn't greatly enjoy this series and support the maker's in doing so. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

HANDS videos: Christmas BONUS

In the interest of getting these into more people's hands we arranged for 3 full videos to be posted here so you can see what you are missing.  We'll post the 1st today with the rest to follow.

Until Christmas: We now have the the entire set on sale for $149.00!  That's a $50 savings The price will be reflected once you add the set to your cart.  See more details here.




While hand tools and hand work in general have taken an enormous back seat since the Industrial Revolution, there has and probably always will be a strong and dedicated cadre of craftsmen and artisans that will exist both out of necessity and desire, mostly out of necessity.  Hopefully more out of necessity, because while desire, fervor and zeal can be good things, nothing produces results like necessity, the mother of invention.  While we've not always been tool makers, we are deeply steeped in this spirit of necessity.  

It's a shame that so many things are lost.  A lot of what we lose is because of youth.  As we age we gain an appreciation for the mundane, which in turn turns to an appreciation for simpler things.  Mundanity is under appreciated.  It's also eschewed by the young.  They don't know they're doing it, much as we didn't or don't, but it's being done all the same.  The funny thing is that a lot of the world lives day to day in the mundane, perfectly happy, because they aren't wrapped up in distraction.  In fact most of the world doesn't have the luxury of distraction.  Necessity again.

In the light of what is lost, going to be lost or maybe can be saved, we are very happy to announce the addition of this set of videos to our website.  As many of you know, we don't typically sell anything we don't produce, but these were too hard to ignore.   We simply cannot overemphasize the importance of these videos.  I only wish there were more.  The videos are perfectly produced with very little embellishment, even the narration is reserved and well placed, not distracting.  Anyone who has even a passing interest in hand crafts, will not be disappointed in this treasure.

Take 10 minutes and watch the preview videos we've put together.  These simple videos are enthralling, so much so that they were requested in our household by our 6 & 8 year olds every evening until we had watched all 37 videos!  The real mastery of these videos is that they are presented so well that they make some subjects that we're not typically as interested in just as enticing as those we are.  We found ourselves enthralled as much or more by the silk, book binding and pottery segments,  as we did by the woodworking segments..........if not more so! 

David and Sally Shaw-Smith made HANDS, a unique, multi-award winning series of thirty-seven documentaries on Irish crafts for Irish television (RTÉRaidió Teilifís Éireann [Radio && Television of Ireland]). Capturing the final years of traditional rural and urban life in Ireland, during the seventies and eighties. They travelled the length and breadth of the country recording these personal and revealing films. As much about the life of the individuals, as the crafts they practised.


Observant readers will note that this is indeed a re-post from last year.  We'd like to reiterate however that our ultimate goal is not profit but the proliferation of this series.  We simply feel that there are few in any hand work oriented endeavor who wouldn't greatly enjoy this series and support the maker's in doing so. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Francis Beaulieu's French Oak Workbench



What do you get when a professional luthier shows up at the FORP II? An exquisite bench.

Enjoy these pics of Francis' work. It's the details, folks.













And in case you were wondering about Francis' day job, here's a small sample of his work. To see more, click here.