One of the things you need if you are going to use
handsaws is a good saw bench. I built this bench to suit my size and the way I
work. All of the materials are recycled lumber, and it was built mostly with handtools.
For convenience sake I
added a couple of hold-down holes to my bench, which greatly improves my ability to handle
long stock. The holddown is a hand-forged product of Phil Koontz, a Galoot
living in Alaska.
My bench is constructed of one red oak 2 x 6 x
8-0, a couple of pallet runners 3 x 3 x 3-0 and a couple of cut-offs for
the stretchers. One piece 1 3/8 x 4 x 40, became the side stretchers, and
one 1 7/8 x 2 5/8 x 20, the end stretchers.
All the materials were planed
flat and square to a very loose tolerance. The top is splined and edge glued.
Stretchers are mortised into the legs with thru dowel in the tenon. The top is
just pegged into the top of the legs.
One addition I need to
make is to put holdfast holes on both sides instead of just one side. Also the
bench would be better with a couple of inches added to the width of the leg spacing,
but as is, it is not un-stable.
The run-down on how it
was built is to follow so if you are interested read on...
My 2 x 6 x 8 piece
of red oak was anything but straight and flat. So I cut it into 3 shorter
pieces before trying to flatten it. I used a Stanley Type 19 No. 5 ½ for this
operation. With each piece I first trued one edge and squared my boards from
The next step was the groove for the spline; now I could have done this
on the t*bl*s*w in about five minutes, but I perceived it as an excuse to use
my Stanley #45 combination plane. That took probably 2 hrs. but was a learning
experience (to put it mildly). A #45 is a persnickety tool and even after
doing this I dont think I really understand it, yet. After cutting my grooves
I made splines to fit. Always make your splines after you cut the grooves, my
3/8 x 1 ½ splines became more like 9/16 x 1-1/8.