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Woodworking with Will Myers


A Tale of Two Benches

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Will Myers

Building couple of saw benches has been on my to-do list for awhile. My daughters have a nice little vinyl clad picnic table in the back yard that is perfect height for sawing that I have been using up to this point ( It is not so great on rainy days though).

So before my lovely wife caught me using the little picnic table for hacking up boards or I accidentally cut its pretty little top; I decided I had better do something different.

The first bench is based on a shaker design from Shop Drawings of Shaker Furniture & Woodenware (Vols, 1, 2 & 3) (Vol. 1, 2 & 3). This bench is of similar dimensions with a few changes.

This bench is made from some rather ugly white pine boards I had. They were blued and kind of gnarly in places but they worked out pretty well for this project. The ends and top are made from 11in wide by 1in thick boards. I started with the end boards first.

 I made these 20- in tall which is a good sawing height for me. With the ends of the end boards cut square I used a cutting gauge to scribe a line 1 1/16 in down to mark the tenon shoulder.

Then I laid out two 2in wide tenons 1 in in from the sides of the board. I used a dovetail saw to saw the sides of the tenons and then removed the waste in between with a coping saw. With the sawing complete I finished up leveling the shoulder with a chisel.

Next I used a marking gauge from the edges on both sides of the board to make a 1in wide mark in the center for the stretcher mortises. I then laid out two 1 in tall by 1in wide mortises for the stretcher and transferred the marks around to the other side also.

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Saw Set

Disston Saws


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