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Bootstrapping of a tiny workshop

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  • #415178
    John Ladan
    Participant

    @jladan

    This is great to read! I’m about to bootstrap my own small workshop too.

    My thought was to make a saw bench first, but I think I may start with the three-legged sawhorse you posted instead.

    #415296
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Go for the sawhorse.

    Two days ago I tried to prepare a 40x60x900mm sized raw sawn spruce bar (flattening, squaring, planing to size 37x55x900mm) on the saw bench. After around half an hour my back told me to seriously think whether preparing a lot of larger pieces that way is a good or a not so good idea…

    Yesterday I bought some prepared (planed to 40x95mm, the most massive stock the nearest “wood centre” had) wood and “quick and dirty” screwed up that sawhorse and finished it today.

    I did some changes to the construction:

    • higher than that “original” sawhorse: 910mm (for me with “ideal” workbench height according to Mr. Sellers around 38″/970mm) so I can try out different heights
    • “chamfered” top ends of the rear legs to glue the legs to the vertical parts of the “sawhorse top”
    • a low, slim stretcher between the rear legs
    • a board from the front leg to the stretcher to add stability and to put a foot onto it (Mr. Sellers showed that technique in one of the new workbench videos)
    • a “retractable” planing stop

    The first passes with the plane on that sawhorse: what a difference 16″ make…
    Much, much better than on the sawbench. Tomorrow I’ll be able to take some pictures and post them here.

    E.

    PS: That sawhorse is definitely temporary. Therefore I didn’t care for accuracy or beauty. Ymmv.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    #415387
    Derek Long
    Participant

    @delong1974

    Good sawhorses go a long way, IMO. You can butt long stock held on the sawhorses up against a wall or stud as a planing stop. Works fine for bootstrapping your shop.

    Derek Long
    Denver, Colorado

    #415747
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    @delong1974
    You’re right.

    But I already built that sawbench and the sawponies and they are pretty useful – for sawing and doing small stuff. And: I can put them under the workbench, which won’t be possible with a fully grown sawhorse. The cellar is 7m² (around 75sqft), of which 1.5mx1.5m (5ftx5ft) are left for woodworking.
    So space usage really matters. That’s why I decided against permanent sawhorse(s).

    The temporary sawhorse and workbench is shown on the photos.

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    Attachments:
    #417172
    SmokyRick Crawford
    Participant

    @smokyrick

    Well, for temporary that looks pretty nice. I noticed a shorter saw bench there. (Or what i took to be such.) I have several sawhorses which are all knee high to me. When my kids were young and in 4H, they had a wood working class which I taught. We made these, they were my design. I still have 5 of them myself, if I remember correctly. They are great for sawing because I can put a knee on whatever I am cutting. They work well for younger kids because they can reach easily. In combination they work as a work surface (pretty low for a man, but good for kids). Several of the kids in that class have told me they still use their sawhorses.

    In the middle of Northern Illinois, USA

    #446940
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    @rickgugg

    Your saw buck and saw bench dog clamps present ideas new to me. They’re very cool – and I’m going to try them out on my saw bench.

    Perhaps a saw bench is best for planing small pieces where one can sit on the bench while working.

    Nice work

    Rick

    #490081
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Some weeks later…

    To gain some experience in making mortise and tenon joints, I decided to build the bar clamps needed for the workbench myself. Mr. Sellers’ method to do the markings with a router plane works fine – as long as we keep his words in mind, that a router plan is a tool for fine work. Now I have the proof that the wood will tear out in remarkable amounts when the router plane is set too deep. 😉

    The bar is wide enough to keep the sliding part on track. Two nuts counter screwed press on a washer in that sliding part and two nails behind the nuts move it backwards (idea came from Matthias Wandel on youtube). Two other nuts (no need to glue them into the wood) in the fixed part guide the threaded rod and again counter screwed a hex nut and a wing nut to turn it.

    The cork pads at the clamping surfaces are pieces of a 4mm thick cork “flagstone”.

    Cost per clamp: around 3€.

    The first test was successful: to fix the wood for the parts of the next bar clamp to the temporary workbench.

    Ten more clamps to go. 🙂

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    Attachments:
    #498872
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    For the workbench I’ve got some rough and flat sawn lumber.
    In the “wood literature” at least one author (eg. Fritz Spannagel “Furniture Making”, an author with a very good reputation in Germany) wrote that the innermost part of the heart (of flat sawn lumber) isn’t usable.
    Other authors (Paul Sellers “Working Wood 1 & 2”, Paul N. Hasluck “Working with Hand Tools”) don’t write that the heart is not usable.

    The desired thickness of the workbench top is around 5″. So I could get three strips out of a 17″ wide plank, but I’m not sure that I might get in trouble…

    What do you recommend?
    Any hints aprreciated.

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    #498998
    Ed
    Participant

    @ed

    I wonder if Spannagel is referring to the pith or very center of the tree. Flat sawn wood only includes the pith if the particular plank goes right through the center of the tree. I see that in carpentry lumber, but most flat sawn will not include the pith. There’s a difference between the pith, which is problematic, and the heartwood, which is desirable.

    #499040
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Thank you very much.

    Hasluck refers to the pith as problematic for it’s tendency to split and because it decays relatively fast (unlikely in the woodshop)-

    Luckily I’ve bought the lumber with some “anxiety reserve”, so if the situation occurs that I have to use that possible problematic part of the plank, it will be only one strip. So the plan is to laminate that strip as the inner end of the workbench top. If it won’t behave “good”, it should be relatively easy to rip it off later and to replace it with another piece of wood.

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    #525864
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Today I finished a couple of the bar clamps and two straight edges.
    The straight edges are made of salvaged wood: clamped two pieces together in the vice and planed to be square. Afterwards I put the planed areas vis-a-vis and removed the high spots. Now the error of every straight edge is in the first approximation less than 0.25mm – should be good enough.

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    Attachments:
    #527128
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Made a quick sketch on my knees and sorted the wood for the workbench. Everything is there – and even a spare board.

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    Attachments:
    #538748
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Ripped down the first parts of lumber to get the parts for the laminated legs. I had much luck with that pine: very dense and nearly knot free. Now the rip saw is in a state where sharpening probably will help: shiny tips of the saw teeth.

    So I built a saw vice with the idea of Jasper Homminga in mind: http://norsewoodsmith.com/?q=content/jaspers-wooden-saw-vise

    here it is – waiting for the glue to dry.

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    Attachments:
    #539854
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Wow. What a difference 5 file strokes per saw tooth make.
    My rip saw is a 26″ William Greaves with 4 1/2 tpi.
    New from the shop I could saw around 2 metres per hour in 52mm (2″) thick pine.
    After sharpening I’m at 5 metres per hour and I’m less tired…

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    #548741
    Ecky H
    Participant

    @eckyh

    Intermediate status: The boards for the aprons, bench top and legs are ripped to width, the bench top and the legs are glued up and the bench top is flattened and cut to length. All milled by hand.

    Today I had one of those remarkable moments: I applied the glue with that zigzag pattern, poured some salt onto the that board, put the second board on top and was somehow surprised. That technique indeed works! No more struggling with boards that slip away on the glue! So I regret that I didn’t try that much earlier.

    Next steps are to flatten and straighten the boards for the aprons and glue them up, making the stretches for the legs, do the mortises and tenons and build the leg frames.

    E.

    PS: Could it be that milling stock by hand was the duty of the apprentices in the time when jointers and thickness planers weren’t invented yet? 😉

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

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