Notice I didn’t say saw horses, which are a different breed from a saw bench. A saw bench is lower to the ground in comparison to its taller brethren and offers the following advantages:
- Easier to utilize as a step stool to reach the top of your lumber rack
- Better ergonomics when hand nailing up a carcass
- Easier to kneel on while hand sawing your work
- Lower center of gravity, which is always better
- The forked tongue allows you to sit on the bench and cut directly toward yourself
- The wider top offers more comfortable sitting while you contemplate how to fix your last mistake
- The overhang at both ends allows easier access for clamping
Now for some photos of the build process
After dimensioning the pieces from power tools, I was left with saw marks.Now, you can either sand out these marks, which will fill you shop with fine sawdust and damage your lungs or use a jack plane. Tell you wife about this health hazard and she will order you to buy one. One more tool acquisition you won’t need to negotiate.
I then used a marking gauge to lay out the cuts.
A mechanical pencil will trace down into the marking gauge line for increased visibility
The shoulders are cut with a cross cut saw, I then used a coping saw to hog out the majority of the remaining wood.
A router plane will clean up the rough uneven cut left by the coping saw
Look how nicely you can control the depth of the cut with the router plane. If you don’t have a router plane, order one before dinner tonight. You won’t be sorry.
I hand cut the notches with a panel saw, then cleaned up the cut with a rasp
Top top bench cut out and cleaned up
The legs are marked with a triangle. This identifies their specific location.
The legs are angled at 10 degrees off vertical and horizontal planes.
After hand cutting the faces, they were cleaned up with a shoulder plane
Save the cutouts
Use them back as cowls for level clamping of the legs
After notching out and installing the lower braces, they were flush cut with a Japanese pull sawDuck tape helps prevent scratching the surrounding work piece
Plane the cuts absolutely flush with your block plane
I used traditional nails to better secure the joints.
I will now apply a light stain and finish. These saw benches are all about practicing hand skills. If you can build good looking saw benches, you can probably build good looking furniture. I found the process to be a great skill and confidence builder. They will also be very useful around my wood shop.
(For a complete understaning of this build project, see Christopher Schwarz DVD or internet write up. I only hit a few main points in the post.)