Document 47: The Workbench Chapter of 

How to Work With Tools and Wood, For the Home Workshop

stanley woodworker's manual 1927This woodworker's manual How to Work With Tools and Wood, For the Home Workshop, is excellent, if you make allowances for its origin and its intent. (Title page -- slightly adapted -- on the right.) 

Anonymously written, curiously the unknown author writes in the "first person", using a positive, "talking to you, one-on-one" voice. 
anonymous author speaking in stanley manual 1927

We are not given any hint, though, about its origin. On the same page as the "foreword" -- image on left -- we get the publisher's information: Stanley Rule and Level Plant. 

The book's intent though is very clear: to help a wannabe amateur woodworker set up in the business of woodworking, both for enjoyment and practicality. 

When we look at the photograph below, we do, however, get an idea of Stanley's target audience: the tool buying public. 

Pictured is a middleclass professional gentleman -- suit vest, dress pants, tie -- leaning on his just completed project: his workbench. Notice his adoring wife admiring his project and their son viewing some plans -- probably a good sized blueprint of the table -- note how difficult working with the tiny plans below would be -- spread out on the workbench top. Shavings from planing scattered on the workbench's top and the floor give us evidence of recent activity, except that the leg vise for the workbench stands leaning against a stool, still to be attached. 

What's odd about this picture?

If you check out the content of this link, you see my page documenting a few of the numerous power woodworking tools that are rapidly being put on the market for the home workshop in the 1920s. By 1930, electrification of the cities, is complete. The manufacturers of fractional horse-power motors are taking full advantage, with most of their ouptput powering washing machines and refrigerators. But, in addition, J D Wallace, Delta, Boice-Crane, and other producers of woodworking power tools have catalogs full of tantalizing machines designed to help amateur woodworkers ease the problems of dimensioning rough boards into the componets needed for constructing objects such as workbenches. 

Three years earlier, in 1924, Charles G Wheeler's Woodworking: A Handbook for Beginners in Home and School Treating of Tools and Operations dedicated 70 pages of his over-360 woodworker's manual to a discussion of the use of power tools. 

Caveat: in truth, the power woodworking machinery Wheeler covers is not for the home workshop. Instead, the tools are those typically you find scattered about on the floors of classroom shops in high schools. I think, though, that slyly, Wheeler has the future of his young readers in mind. He and other instructors in Industrial Arts are busily promoting of the homeworkshop movement in Industrial Arts. (This is a topic that I have only covered sketchily; soon, I hope, I can give it the attention that this movement deserves. In the meantime, check this page out.)

And as the 1920s turned into the 1930s, the new magazine, Popular Homecraft, announced excitedly in its first issue that a survey uncovered the existence of 77,000 home workshops with power tools in America.

Again, what's odd about this picture?

What's odd is that the entire manual is dedicated to hand work -- no attention is given electrical woodworking tools. Well, while several things about the picture seem like they are "out of whack", I don't think they really are. Why? 

First, because  at that moment, Stanley still makes only hand tools. For a decade, evidently, the firm has been negotiating with Ray L Carter to purchase his electric hand held router-shaper, something that only happened late in the 1920s, when the Stanley-Carter router arrived.

Second, in reading the account below, experienced woodworkers will notice right off that the heavy dimensioning -- turning workpieces out the planks and other rough cut pieces needed to contruct the workbench -- is turned over to a lumber yard. 

The newbie woodworker provides the supplier with a "bill of materials", a purchase order that includes the dimensioning of the wood, rather than taking the needed materials as ready-cut boards off lumber racks. It is like buying a "kit". With this possibility in mind, I searched      www.newspaperarchive.com  for evidence in newspapers of the era, 1927, of lumberyards advertising "kits" for workbenches, but failed to get any results. On the other hand, my intuition argues that, since the call for materials for workbenches would be limited -- after all, how many people in a given area are building workbenches for their homeshops? --, lumberyards probably would not advertise widely, if at all. However, one or two orders for a "bill of materials" to build a workbench would at least sensitize lumberyard operators of this opportunity, suggesting that responding to an order for materials for a workbench, cut to order, would not be extraordinary.

But more significant than any of the above, until the 1950s, amateur woodworkers used hand tools in greater proportion than they used power tools. [I'll be working on this more later.]

Third, look at the spaciousness of the home workshop. My guess is that for staging the photographs, the home-owners power tools were temporarily set aside, so as not to interrupt the narrative about Stanley's hand tools.

Fourth, and this is perhaps the most puzzling aspect of this excellent woodworker's manual. Why is the writer, anonymous, in a sea of references in the first person ("I")?

At the foot of the chapter on the workbench posted below is a there is a note about a "working drawing giving each successive step with accurate dimensions which you can have for the asking. It will come by return mail if you will write to the Stanley Rule & Level Plant, New Britain, Conn., asking for plan No. S-72." This offer of a working drawing is a life-saver for any woodworker aspiring to construct this workbench: the many illustrations reproduced as jpgs below -- over 30 black-and-white drawings and diagrams -- are quite small (the front and side view of the plans for the workbench are just too tiny). 


 
CHAPTER IV

This Will Be a Bench

workbench stanley 1927
The only reason why it should bother any one who has some tools to tackle making a bench as his very first job is because he hasn't a bench on which to make his own. Nevertheless that can be overcome by the aid of two or three kitchen chairs and a kitchen table. There is no fine work required to make a bench which will be a very serviceable piece of shop equipment. If you make a few mistakes—and you won't have much fun unless you do—it won't seriously matter. What you are actually producing is a big strong table, with a vise on it and four legs of equal length. Most important, there isn't any easier way to learn to use tools than to start right in on something that you really want. Every person who follows through carefully from the beginning of the operation to the completion of the finished product will have learned all the basic things about using a saw and hammer, a plane and a chisel, as well as a brace and a bit with which to bore holes. He will have seen how a simple joint is made. He will have had the experience of going to his lumber dealer to get the materials, to the hardware store to get the hardware needed to complete the job, experience, adventure, instruction and accomplishment, all for the price of one sturdy bench.

stanley workbench front view
Like every carpentry job or cabinetmaking job all there is to do is to cut materials into their proper lengths, widths and thicknesses, make the necessary joinings and put the whole group of sticks and boards together. If you do these things, one at a time, and do each thing carefully, you will do a beautiful job.

stanley workbench side viewThe best bench (for practical use) that we are talking about is 5 feet long and stands 32 inches high. It has a vise and you can put on the top of it various little devices as you wish, such as a frog for holding boards upright, a bench stop for surfacing boards, a bench hook for holding work which you are sawing or chiseling, and perhaps also a block on the front of the bench for working with wider boards than the block on top will permit. As a matter of fact, this will make a bench fine enough for a real carpenter. But at the moment of starting don't be burdened with the thought that you're making a piece of shop furniture. All one has to worry about in the beginning is getting some boards. Then you cut them up with sharp tools.

The first question, of course, is what wood must be bought from the mill or lumber dealer. There are only seventeen pieces to be cut and fitted. But when you make up your list you have to buy such pieces as your dealer has in stock longer of course than the pieces will be as you finish them. When you figure out by making a sketch or drawing of the object you are going to make, you always find that you need to buy only a few pieces of wood. For our bench you will need only five pieces of wood from your dealer, even though eventually you are going to make seventeen pieces from these five.

The bench is going to get some hard wear. That means that you will require a certain amount of hard wood which will stand strain and rough usage. As you probably know there are really just two kinds of wood—hard and soft. Hard wood takes a fine polish. Some of the hard woods are relatively soft. Some of the soft woods are relatively hard, but any lumber dealer or man about a lumber yard can tell you the right wood to use for various purposes. Certainly I never bothered to learn much more than the general classifications, although some of my friends who have the germ very badly can discuss at length the difference between kinds of pine and when to use oak or maple or chestnut.

In the case of a bench we know what parts of it must be strong. Therefore, we must use strong, tough wood. You might use oak for it is strong and very hard. But oak has a tendency to split. Mahogany is too expensive. Pine is too light. What is best for a job like this is maple.

Your botanist would tell you that oak is "ring porous." If you will look at the end of an oak board you will see that the rings by which you can count the age of the wood are so porous you can actually drop water into them. This is what makes oak split so easily despite its excellent strength and toughness. Maple, on the other hand, is "diffuse-porous." It has small pores of various sizes, but these are scattered irregularly through the rings of growth so that the piece of maple is much harder to split in actual use. Almost any lumber yard can supply the single piece of maple you need for your bench.

Maple, then, for the front board of the top of your bench on which you will plane and saw when you have put it to use. It is also best for the jaw of the vise and for the leg on which the vise is rigged, which leg will take the strain of your operations. At the bottom of the vise is a piece which is called the vise lock and this, too, should be of maple. But if maple is not obtainable you can use quite safely almost any of the hard woods. The thing to do is to tell your lumber dealer what you want your wood for, so that, if he cannot supply you with maple, he may provide a good substitute, such as birch.

The wood demands of the rest of the bench are simple. Almost any wood will do but remember soft woods are much easier to work than others. White-wood is undoubtedly about the easiest for this purpose. It is a little expensive compared to such wood as fir, but so small an amount is required to make a bench that the difference in cost does not really count. What you actually want are good pieces of wood which are straight and well seasoned, particularly which are "clear." By clear I mean, comparatively free from knots. Knots are the bane of the amateur workman. I never have been able to learn to saw, or plane, or chisel a piece of knotty wood and if the wood is for use in a finished piece of work it presents the disadvantage of being more difficult to finish.

Of course you cannot buy wood which is absolutely clear unless you go to great trouble and expense.
What the clever carpenters do is accept lumber which has a few knots in it, calculating to saw out their individual pieces so that the knots do not come into the work but are thrown away as waste.

One of my friends when he first began to work with tools did a thing which seemed to me extremely ingenious.
He went to his local lumber yard and got a small piece of every kind of wood they had. That made a bundle of twenty or thirty sticks. He got the lumberman to label each one for him and then he went home and tried them all out, making a little memorandum for himself, which told about the various difficulties and the various points of advantage from his own experience. What he had to say about one of the soft woods—Georgia pine—was more profane than logical.

Georgia pine is cheap, usually, but it is full of resin. It is as hard as most hard woods and very difficult to saw, let alone to plane or chisel. Yellow pine often known as long leaf pine is halfway between white pine and Georgia pine in its difficulty of use, but it has the advantage of being very strong and serviceable for things like the legs of a bench.

Most of us who are interested in the shop are not particularly interested in the way these various woods grow. For, offhand, it is enough to know that the soft woods, as we call them, are all of the same general family, usually known as pine woods, although this is not an accurate name for them. The hard woods are from the trees which lose their leaves in the winter time.

But the thing to do is to follow the procedure of my friend. Try the various kinds which your lumber dealer carries, with your own tools. You take the advice of the lumber dealer after you've told him what you wish to use the wood for, of course, but the first mentioned is the most satisfactory. You can use any wood you like for the bench because it is a rough piece of work and because it should always be built with a large factor of extra strength. But the easiest and best woods that you could choose are maple for the parts that take the strain and white-wood or yellow pine for the rest of the top.

Here is what the dealer should be asked for on the bench we are describing:

stanley workbench figure 3

The lumber you order is made up in the form of a "bill of material." After a little experience you can make up your own bills of material which you can hand to the lumber dealer, or the mill where you buy your wood.

At the time you buy these materials it would be very wise to go to the hardware store and buy the rest of the material you need. This is as follows:

stanley "bill of materials"

When you have all these materials assembled and your kitchen table to use as a temporary bench and a couple of kitchen chairs to lay things on when you are sawing you are all ready to begin. Now is the time to get out your pencil, your try-square, your marking gauge, and show these five pieces how they are to become seventeen pieces. Take the piece of maple and with your pencil, try-square, and rule mark on its surface just what you are going to make out of it. You want a board for the top which will be 5 feet long when it is finished.

board for top of workbench


Don't cut it exactly 5 feet long because you are just doing rough cutting. Mark it out instead to be 5 feet 1 inch long. Some of the board on each end you will leave for waste since the end of a board as you get it from a lumber dealer is almost always a little bit cracked, blackened, and checked. Then you mark out the length of board you need for the vise jaw. In the bench we are describing this will be 29-1/2-inches, but now we leave a little extra and mark it out roughly as 31-inches and on the same board we mark out the vise leg and the vise lock. The leg is to be 30-1/4 inches long and 3-3/4-inches wide, so you can give it something extra on the ends and on the sides. The same thing is true of the vise lock.


This is a sample of the way you always use a piece of material as it comes from the lumber dealer. You make as many pieces out of it as you possibly can but you always allow extra space for the finishing process. I remember so well that when I was first trying to handle tools I didn't know about this extra length and width. That meant that every mistake I made was irretrievable. I tried to cut each piece as though it were a finished piece. There practically isn't anybody good enough to do that because we all occasionally make a mistake. Another way I got myself into trouble was that I did not mark each piece as I cut it out. I found myself with various sized sticks and boards when I got all through and I didn't know where half of them went. It was like putting together a watch and having a couple of wheels left over.

The fact is, as I suggested in a previous chapter, no one can make an object out of wood without a definite plan. You can mark your plan with numbers, or you can write on each piece of wood as you saw it out exactly what it is for. But don't try to carry each piece's purpose in your head. No head is that good. You won't have any fun. Somebody will call you to the telephone or send you down to the grocery store to get some butter and when you come back you may have forgotten whether you were cutting out a vise jaw or the leg. The illustration (Figure 3) shows this clearly.

The actual marking on a piece of wood is perfectly simple in this roughing-out process. With a good big carpenter's pencil you can do it quite roughly at this stage of the job since you are allowing waste. Most workers with wood do this free hand. Starting at one end of the board figure how much must be sawed off, because it is not suitable for use. Then you draw a pencil line across the width of the board with the aid of a square and measure from the line with your zigzag rule the length of piece you are going to use—in this case 5 feet i inch—and draw another line across. In Figure 4, when you come to the other end, which requires a lengthwise cut as well as a crosscut, you can draw your lengthwise line roughly but accurately enough by putting down with the rule the two points which you wish to connect with your line. Then you hold the pencil firmly in your hand and run it along down the middle with your thumb as a guide on the edge of the board.

rule and pencil used like a gaugeThis method can be used right straight through for rough marking after your fingers become skillful. You use a marking gauge in exactly the same way as you use the pencil.


The photograph (sic) on next page shows how you hold the gauge to make that kind of a mark, and the results of course are most accurate.

In this case, when you are cutting up five different pieces to make seventeen you mark them all out, one after another, before you cut into anything. From the piece of 2 x 4 you mark three legs and two end rails. From the piece of 2 x 8 you mark merely the two top boards which are to form the back of the top of your bench. use of gaugeThe bench as you see in the sketch (Figure 2); has three top boards, the first one coming out of the maple stock. From the long piece of1 x 10 you mark the front board or apron, and the two long rails which connect the legs at the bottom? From the short piece of i x 10 you mark out the back or apron board and the two short rails which connect the legs at the bottom.

When you have these pieces all marked out you can see for the first time where everything is to come from. The illustration (Figure 3) shows this clearly. To a person of imagination, and one who has had a little experience with a saw and a plane, who has used these tools occasionally to cut and smooth carefully and accurately, it really wouldn't be necessary to go much further in explaining how the bench is made. With the aid of the illustrations shown and those to follow, showing how the small pieces are cut out of the large pieces, he can go straight ahead and make a mighty fine bench. But even such a person may not have picked up various little details which are easy enough to learn. guide the saw against the thumbSo without going into the complete detail of every single operation, but handling the whole thing in a very much simplified way, I can tell you a good many things which I have picked up from my own experience and from skilled craftsmen, which save any one a great deal of time and even irritation.




Take the detail of sawing one of these boards in two or sawing the end off it with a crosscut saw. You might think offhand that anybody can take the saw and saw on a straight line but it's not true. I have spent a good deal of time first and last in my own abysmal ignorance trying to saw in a reasonably straight line and succeeding chiefly in cutting a fine gouge in my thumb. The fact was that I did not know that in order to start my line there was, and is, only one way to do it. Grasp the handle of the saw firmly with the right hand, with the thumb and the index finger touching the side of the handle. Now draw the saw up at least once and probably several times with the thumb of the left hand guiding the blade on the wood where the cut is to be made. crosscutting on a saw horseIt should be drawn up slowly and carefully at exactly the point you wish the cut to begin, If you try to do it quickly the saw will jump and present you with a healthy cut thumb rather than a healthy cut board. Even that is not so bad as it is if you try to start the cut by pushing down on the saw instead of pulling up because before you may push down you must have the little guiding cut in the edge of the board. It is this down stroke which does the actual cutting when you are going full blast.

Another thing.
A saw has thickness of its own. Therefore you do not start in the middle of the line. You have to start on the outside of it. What you wish to do is to saw roughly near this line, leaving the line on the board to be cut to exactly with the plane when you are doing the finishing that follows the rough cutting out.


You should take hold of the saw very firmly after you have established the preliminary cut by pulling it up two or three times.
 
If you hold it loosely it is very difficult to saw on a straight line and your arm becomes tired very quickly. proper way to hold hand sawAs you push down the saw bites in beautifully and if you are holding it firmly and giving a little pressure to the blade, making a firm, fairly rapid movement, your cut will start easily and nicely. The blade itself must be vertical or at right angles to the board to make a square cut. You can easily catch on to this if at first you carefully sight above and to one side as soon as your cut is started or test with a try-square.











A long, slow, easy stroke is best, using the saw from the tip to the hilt, putting pressure only on the down stroke, with the board held firmly. The saw itself should be held at an angle of about forty-five degrees with the surface of the board for the most efficient cutting. The teeth don't have a chance to do their real work unless you hold the blade at approximately the suggested angle.

If you are sawing a long board stretched between a couple of kitchen chairs, in making your bench, you've got to hold up the weight of the board with your left hand as you approach the end of the cut. If you don't, the saw will bind and be impossible to push through the stick as you
approach the finish of your cut. hold end of workpiece when crosscuttingThe weight of the board closes the saw cut on the saw. The saw sticks and makes you feel as though there's no remedy save jumping out of the window unless you do hold up the weight with your left hand. Then it saws easily. Moreover, if you do not hold it up a piece of wood will break off before the saw finishes the cut and leaves you a problem in the shape of a piece of broken wood, a problem that there may be nothing you can do about it but to glue it back into place.








Of course, it is not good practice to cut with the grain with a crosscut saw. The ripsaw works much more rapidly and will cut with the grain quite beautifully, using the same methods that you use on the crosscut saw for sawing across the grain. Here, then, perhaps is your first encounter with the grain of wood. Nobody can have any fun with wood until he understands how to use tools in relation to the grain. Trying to plane a piece of wood against the grain is no different than rubbing the fur of a cat the wrong way. The cat doesn't like it and after you have rubbed him the wrong way a few times he will probably scratch your arm vigorously. Neither does a piece of wood like it. Your tool will bite in and jump, raw chips will be torn off, and it will be impossible to make a smooth, straight, square surface. The first thing which any worker with wood does before he touches a tool to the piece is to examine the grain. He does it so automatically that if you asked him if he had looked which way the grain runs he probably will say no. But rest assured he has looked. Otherwise he could not work with it at all.

A crosscut saw is made to cut across the grain. Its teeth are small and are filed to a point. They literally score two knife-like lines and grind the wood between into granules. The rip saw, on the other hand, cuts through more as a chisel does. The teeth of both saws are alternately bent or set, one to left and one to the right, which insures a "kerf" or cut wide enough to keep the saw from binding.

Practically everything that grows has a grain. You will find it in beefsteak, in leather, in a grain of wheat, or in a piece of wood. Always  it is true that it is more difficult to cut and smooth across the grain than it is with the grain. You can whittle smoothly with a pocketknife if you go with the grain. Go against it and the knife stops and you have made a deep angular cut when you merely wanted to cut a shaving. Thus this great importance, that before you make any cutting operation you determine which way the grain of your wood runs so that you can work with it and not against it.


After you have laid out the rough size on the board for your bench, mark what each part is and then cut them out with a saw. Your rough work is done and you are ready to begin the finishing. Most hard work from here on will be with the plane although there are some holes to bore, some screws to drive and some joints to make with the aid of the saw and the chisel.

There is one square hole to be cut which is known as a mortise. anatomy of crooscut sawThere is, of course, also the job of marking accurately on each one of the rough pieces you have cut out the exact sizes that they are to be. These sizes are already roughly determined, such as the 2 x 4 pieces lased for the legs and the rails which connect the legs at the top. These pieces which are dressed when you buy them don't need any more work except to cut the notches for the joints. The piece of maple for the vise lock and also the four bottom rails will all have to be planed to smooth them up properly, although if you are doing a very rough job this would not be absolutely necessary if you have sawed reasonably straight in cutting them out from the boards. A good workman wouldn't think of having one leg bigger 
 than the other three, and since we are learning and having fun with this job anyway, by all means dress down the maple vise leg.

You always use one of the milled surfaces from which to work, selecting the best one or planing one surface true to be used as a working face and proceeding from that with your square. The first step you actually do is to mark the surface or working face and work from there on. For this particular bench use the table given below, showing the exact dimensions that every piece is to be when it is finished. All of these sizes should be marked on each piece before you begin to do the finishing cutting. Here they are:

Almost every one will tell you that using the plane, which you must now do, is probably the most fun in woodworking. A plane is nothing more or less than a chisel set in a block of wood or metal so that you can use both hands and work much more rapidly, taking off at each stroke a very thin shaving. anatomy of rip sawNow is the time when you begin to feel the real joy most keenly,—the smell of the wood rises in your nostrils, beautiful curling shavings rise from the bit, the surface behind the plane (providing you are planing with the grain as you should be) is smooth and slick.




Before adjusting the plane it may be best to first inspect the blade. By removing the lever cap you will notice that the blade can be readily removed from the plane. The blade has a cap iron screwed to it which should rest slightly back from the cutting edge on the unbeveled side. The cap iron acts as a shaving deflector. parts of workbench
The sharp edge of the cap iron and the small flat surface that bears next to the cutter, should lie tight along the entire width of the blade when they are screwed together. This prevents shavings from working between them.

 

To replace the blade in the plane be sure to have the cap iron on the unbeveled side of the blade and the cap iron uppermost in the plane. Replace the lever cap locking it with the small cam at the top.

You will now want to adjust your plane for planing the working face if you do not have a good milled surface and for planing an edge square to the working face.

introducing the hand plane















more on hand plane actions





















Hold the plane by the knob at the front end, bottom side up, in the left hand with the bottom or sole level with the eye.
With the right hand move the adjusting lever to the right or left until the corners of the blade are parallel with 
 the eye. With the right hand move the adjusting lever to the right or left until the corners of the blade are parallel with the sides of the throat. Then turn the adjusting nut until the blade slightly projects through the throat and above the bottom of the plane. This may be determined by touching the sole across the throat lightly with the fingers. A common mistake is to set the blade too far out. Take off real thin shavings, not thicker on one edge than on the other, and you will obtain better results without gouging the work or clogging the throat of the plane with the thick shavings.

Take a firm position when beginning to plane in front of your bench or table with the left foot forward.

Carefully proceed to get a smooth square edge that is straight by sighting its length and testing for squareness frequently from the working face with the try-square.

Planing the working face smooth and flat was probably easy but making the edge square is no more difficult. It requires nothing more than a little bit of practice. If your hands are skillful enough to hold the plane square to the working face you will go rapidly through the operation.

Figure i6 shows the successive steps in squaring a piece
of wood.


Outside of having your tools sharp and set to take a fairly fine shaving and holding the tool as square as you can while you work, there is really little to be thinking about when it comes to planing except that at the beginning of any stroke you put a little more pressure on the knob of the plane with your left hand than you do on your right hand. In the middle of the stroke the pressure is equal. At the end of the stroke you apply pressure with your right hand and practically no pressure with your left. (These directions are for a right-handed user.) Thus you make a cut of approximately the same thickness from the beginning to the end and insure the straightness of the edge to the very ends.

If the wood has an irregular grain it may be necessary to plane one end of the board in one direction, and the other end in the opposite direction, but ordinarily and particularly in a fairly rough job, like the bench, this won't bother you.

The first cutting on a long surface really requires a jack plane, which is ordinarily 14 inches long.

Its long bottom surface, called the sole, rides over the low places and enables you to take off the high places, preserving the general plane of the surface.

The finishing is usually done with a smoothing plane which has a shorter sole. For many workmen who are tubbing around the house the so-called bench plane which is 8 inches long serves both purposes adequately. For
cutting across the end grain and smoothing up the ends of any piece of wood a small block plane about 6-1/2-inches long is the proper tool. The cutter of a block plane is set at a low angle and consequently cuts the end grain more easily. The first time I tried to use one I knocked off a quarter or half an inch at the end of my stroke, spoiling the piece of wood upon which I was working. This was because working across the grain in this fashion, even with a little block plane, is not far different from actually splitting the piece of wood when you cut over to the far corner.

The procedure is to clamp a piece of wood on the edge of the board which is at the end of your block plane stroke or better, plane from the edges to the center, not making a through stroke. Sometimes it is necessary to turn the wood in the vise several times rather than to approach the side of the board away from you. Saw as close as you dare to your mark, leaving only the finest of the finishing to be done at the end with the block plane.

The pieces which, when put together, will comprise your bench are now ready for the next group of operations which are really joinery. Perhaps it is a good place to mention that the type of bench of the dimensions we have been using as an example has been built many times and that there is a working drawing giving each successive step with accurate dimensions which you can have for the asking. It will come by return mail if you will write to the Stanley Rule & Level Plant, New Britain, Conn., asking for plan No. S-72. On page 45 are two working drawings, the front view and end view from this plan. But before you use that plan you will find it to great advantage to read through the following chapter, as well as this one, for they will aid you not only in the actual use of the tools required, but also in reading the working drawing and in understanding each step of the process.


Back in Chapter III, I [i.e., the Anonymous Author] suggested an initial set of tools. Here I want to say that you will find the following additional tools very useful:

  • Hand Rip Saw.
  • Jack Plane.
  • Block Plane.
  • Monkey Wrench.
  • Countersink.
  • Expansive Bit.
  • Combination Oil Stone.
  • Carriage-Maker's Clamps.
  • Hand Screws.