Well, the cost is quite reasonable and would give you access to other tutorials as well. It’s about the cst of one good board.
But if you want to go the free route google is your friend for plans and YouTube. You’ll need to do some work. Time is valuable.
And watch the workbench series and build a workbench. It’s the same skills.
Paul’s tutorials are about process. You’ll learn how to mortise, cut tenons, and prepare wood- all the things you will do to build a bench.
There are a lot of free plans out there, but they do tend to be more power tool oriented, so you would still have to apply a degree of adaptation to them. It’s not impossible, but it does take some thinking about, and there is almost zero support.
The other option is to subscribe to the email newsletters of some of the magazines, as some will send free plans as a loss leader, others do them as a special offer, others do the occasional free digital issue.
If you want to be truly mercenary, then either 1. look for 14 day trials, sign up, plunder the archives for stuff that interests you, then sign out of the trial again. Or 2. Decide that all you want is simple ideas and that you will do the design yourself, and start looking around at garden centers, gardening websites etc for inspiration.
None of these however will give you as much detail or match to the hand tool way of doing things that Paul has here.
Colin, Czech Rep.
The other thing to remember is that now that you can construct the basic joints, you can look at a piece that someone else has made and mentally deconstruct it to visualise how difficult it may be for you to try. You can ignore some of the fancy curves and say to yourself, ‘hey, if I made that out of square pieces, it would be two side pieces, a seat piece, a back piece and then just a matter of joining them together’.
Best thing to do is to do a sketch of a simple, square angled, 2 person bench, then break it down in to sub assemblies, then look at each intersection and decide which joint you want to do. Then start building.
The self-knowledge that you can build a bench will give you the confidence to build the next one with a few more challenges (be they more curvy details, a wider armrest, a bench for 3 people, etc).
Colin, Czech Rep.
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