Saturday, August 26, 2017

First Project on The Travel Bench

I had to find space in the shop last night to give it a go before packing the bench away in the Motorhome. I can't tell you how impressed I am with the bench. Because the slab is only 50mm (2") it is different than my French/English bench with a 100mm (4") slab but not in a particularly bad way, it just has a different feel. I went through most bench operations while making the tool tray for the Japanese style tool box. It worked perfectly, rock solid and stable for all operations. I even enjoyed the leg vise, I've never been a leg vise fan but the wood screw makes it work well. Here are a couple of photos of how I left the bench last night. BTW, not a lot of open floor space in my overcrowded shop, this was about the best I could find.

The tool tray is waiting my picking up a piece of 1/4" plywood for the bottom so it can be glued up. Once that is done it will be time to put together a tool kit. I do not want too many tools but too few is just as bad. I figure a #5 and a #3, a chisel roll (1/4 through 1" and a paring chisel), a panel saw, two back saws (may replace the Western saws with a couple of Japanese saws), mallet, squares and marking tools, a set of bits, the cordless drill is already in the Motorhome's tool bin, winding sticks/straight edge, sprit level, two Ark stones and a strop, a couple of tapes and 6" rules, two hold fasts, on the fence are a plough plane, a block plane of some sort and a spokeshave.

I expect I will drill a couple of 3/4" holes in the hind leg for hold fast storage and then it is finished for now.

Here is the bench as I found it this morning:

One more from the other end:

I expect we will be on the road heading Northwest by Friday. Bridger may ride with us as far as ClearLake CA.



  1. I would definitely add the plow. I'm on the fence with the block plane and the spokeshave, although I do think they would useful. How about a router and a rabbet plane?

  2. Ralph,

    I agree, it was a quick list and I just overlooked the rabbet and router. Of course that is the problem.....What do you really need to make a box, a foot stool, or such? Get too expansive and the tool box becomes too heavy and unusable. Miss too many things and you end up dead in the water.

    BTW, I am glad to have the problem, a week ago I had doubts as to having a work bench or tool box to take.