My first ever woodwork project

Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Projects My first ever woodwork project

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
  • #138168
    Paul Dallender

    Well here I am at 57 and I decided to take up woodworking having never lifted a plane, chisel, tenon saw or marking gauge in anger and here is the result.

    It’s far from perfect but it was a great learning experience and learn I did. Like being a desk jockey for 20 plus years humping around large chunks of wood in a confined space, plays havoc with your back. Sharp chisels deserve respect and always keep a box of plasters close at hand.

    Seriously though, I’ve enjoyed every minute and my spirits boosted and determination fueled to improve on, and enjoy my chosen hobby for years to come.


    Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England

    Richard Senior

    That is beautifully done. Those tenons look perfect from here and everything looks crisp and accurate. If that’s your first attempt at woodworking it’s very impressive — it looks like some great things are destined to be made on that bench.

    Matt McGrane

    We’re the same age – it’s never too late to learn something new. The bench looks very nice. And you already have a nice collection of saws – I have a poor assortment of backsaws as I’m trying to find some on the cheap. You must be a lefty with the vise on the right side and other clues.

    Enjoy the journey. It can be great fun. BTW, is a “box of plasters” the same thing as band-aids?

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:

    Brandon Bishop

    I am curious, did you place in the housing dados in the aprons for the wedges against the legs as Paul did in the workbench series?

    Eddy Flynn

    great looking bench Paul like Matt said i take it your left handed as all your tools look like they’ve been used left handed, and yes Matt we call Band -aids, plasters

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK

    David B

    Well done! And nice tools to boot!

    Paul Dallender

    Thanks for all the encouragement guys. As Eddy said, plasters are Brit speak for Band Aid. I guess you use a brand name for describing things for covering cuts, like we do for something that sucks up dust around the house i.e a vacuum cleaner which we tend to say ‘Hoover’….well us oldies do anyway.

    Sherlock Holmes has nothing on you lot as you’re deductions are correct, I am a lefty…very lefty.

    Matt, as has been said before we are lucky living over here in the UK when it comes to searching for old tools on the web and the like. Virtually all my tools have been sourced on Ebay over the past 6 months or so, saving me a fortune.

    I followed Paul’s method of building the bench to the letter (apart from the length which I had to reduce to fit in my limited work space) so yes Brandon I did put the housing dados in the aprons along with the wedges. I might consider adding an end vice at some time, but to be honest I want to crack on practicing my dovetails and simple box making, to hone my skills.

    I bought an old pendulum wall clock eight months ago and the case looked OK in the photos but when I got it, it was not good (considering how much I paid I shouldn’t have been surprised). With splits in the wood, loose joints and old woodworm holes and after looking at the way it was put together, I decided I couldn’t do any worse; and so after searching YouTube and seeing Paul Sellers videos my journey began.

    Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England


    Very nice job on your bench and welcome to the “club” it really is fun and a great stress reliever. I worked in “Corporate America for 40 years and serving in the Army during the Viet Nam war but have have always dabbled in wood working mostly with power tools. When I retired in 2009 at the age of 60 I went and primarily use hand tools now and love it. I do still use my Shopsmith for a lath and drill press and my Delta 14” Bandsaw on occasion but otherwiseall hand tools now.


    Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by STEVE MASSIE.

    Very nice!



    Looks great. What did you finish it with?


    Paul Dallender

    Kevin, sorry for the very late reply but I’ve been out of action for quite a while (nothing serious just a broken left elbow and ripped ligaments) and I hadn’t looked at my own thread.

    I haven’t sealed or finished the wood with anything yet and to be honest it seems OK. The only thing that has happened is that having not been able to actually do any more woodworking for those months, the bench was left with tools sitting on it. When I went back into my workshop to check on the tools and give some a coat of oil to stop rust, I noticed when picking them up, where they had sat there was the shape/outline of the tool on the bench.

    It seems the sun shining through the window had changed the colour of the wood except of course where it couldn’t penetrate i.e.where the tools sat. So now my bench looks like the crime scene from CSI woodworking!

    Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England


    It looks fantastic and this is my next project so good inspiration!

    I hope the arm is healing OK and that you finally get some fudge!




    It’s a million times superior to my first (and subsequent) woodworking projects — well done.

    Hope you heal quickly and get back at it.


    Hello Paul,

    first of all I think you made a very nice bench there for your 1st project. And of course I wish you the best with your arm, get well soon!

    I have a question about the dimensions and the weight of your bench. It looks like it is the perfect size to fit my small space too, but the I´m a little concerned about the weight, is the bench moving when you are planing? Jointing or scrubbing, I wonder if the bench is rigid enough for these challenges.


    Paul Dallender

    Hi Maik,

    The dimensions of my bench are as follows:

    Top width (back to front) – 865mm
    Tool well width – 228mm
    Top thickness – 70mm
    Apron 280mm deep
    Apron 45mm thick
    Legs 90mm square
    Total height 920mm (I am only 1645mm short)
    Length 1525mm

    I don’t know the weight but it is very heavy especially with the vice and I am about to add another similar vice to the end of the bench. So far it hasn’t move at all but having said that the back edge is up against the wall.

    Hope this helps


    Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.