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Coming back

As you already know my posts over the last few months have been non existent. Those of you who follow orepass on instagram already know that I had surgery on my hip at the end of the year. The recovery has gone well. In fact I began running again this week, although one minute at a time. Woodworking has taken longer and the little bit of aggravation created in my hip when sharpening and planing has faded.

The tools have sat long enough and I have been cleaning, sharpening and thinking. After six months a simple project that encompasses several joints will bring me back. Looking through magazines and blogs and finding my saw bench buried under a pile of boxes, bags and family ‘items’ a new saw bench is in order. From all the items piled on and around my bench it appears that others may have been moving into the shop area!
A bench that has caught my eye several times is the split saw bench, several people have blogged with their own version and I’ve had trouble identifying the original designer, although many people point to Billy’s Little Bench. It’s important to give credit where it’s due, but in this case I can only point you to the web. Look up split top saw bench and tell me which ones you prefer.

My original saw bench was built many years ago as a a project from Shannon Rogers’ Hand Tool School. It has served its time well but certainly is showing its age and a couple of repairs have failed to keep it rigid. The split bench should be more rigid and I like the concept of being able to saw boards down the center. Additionally, the dovetails and  mortise and tenon joints will help tune skills that have been resting.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you and thanks for all the support over the last few months.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. tjwojcik
    May 7, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    The split top makes more sense to me than Tom Fidgen’s. Tom’s is prettier, no doubt ,and if you are careful about placement of the work to avoid the crossbar on long rip cuts, will work just as well – but you don’t have to worry about that with the split top bench. My original intention was to build Tom’s but I’m just finishing a split top like the one on Billy’s Little Bench.

    /Ted

    • May 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Tom’s bench certainly has style. When evaluating a design it’s often difficult to determine how a certain style will work especially with shop furniture, thanks for your input.

  2. Jeff Brann
    May 7, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    So Richard. It’s funny that I should get your email this evening because Monday am at 0800 I go into the hospital for my right hip replacement! So looking forward to no more pain. Did my left hip 7 years ago. Most of my woodworking has taken a backseat to the discomfort of standing but a few small projects when I can mainly lathe turning green wood bowls and the occasional bottle stopper. Greg Faber has had some health issues but we stay in touch. If you get to Memphis call pls😊

    • May 8, 2017 at 6:20 am

      Great to hear from you Jeff. Hope the surgery goes well.

  3. May 8, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Hope you’ll get well soon!

    • May 8, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Getting stronger every day. Thanks

  4. May 8, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend, here’s hoping for continued improvement.

  5. May 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Glad to see you back in action. I made Billy’s split top saw bench some years ago and have enjoyed it very much. I don’t use it as much as others use a saw bench, but I like the design as I can saw continuously tight down the center of the bench. Having bad knees, I don’t kneel on the wood as most people do on a saw bench, but there are easy clamping options.
    Looking forward to seeing yours.

    • May 8, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks for the response seems most people like the saw bench.

    • May 12, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks Volker, I am really struggling over the style of bench to make. There are so many designs with different features. Perhaps I will end up making two.

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