I’ve been told it’s ironic to watch my way of woodworking, whilst at the same time knowing that I build fancy workbenches.
Admittedly I’m a bit rough and brutish using my own bench, sticking stuff in to the top and whatever it takes to get a job done.
I would call it being efficient, and I think having what some might call a disrespectful attitude towards your workbench, is as vital to my work flow as having sharp tools.
Even a beautiful bench can only be functional when we view it as a tool, and I’ve always encouraged people to speed along making their first scratch on a bench even if it’s posh. A workbench is not a workbench until it has dents and scuffs and blood.
Working by hand is laborious, so we all know to go about it with properly set tools and a good bench.
What doesn’t get talked about so much is you being a tool. I’m not insulting you there, just pointing out that as much consideration needs to go in to setting you up as every other tool in the box.
Your stance, your movements. They’re both a huge part of your work flow, but the real thing I’m getting at here is attitude.
We don’t work well if we’re unconfident, and we need to gain this with time (my first successful sharpen as my old man’s skivvy, was only after I had lost my rag for not being able to do it!).
And these same restrictions of having no confidence can come from being too precious about our bench and tools.
If your workbench is unscathed and shiny, then I’m sorry to tell you it may be the most under utilised tool that you own. Maybe it’s time to liberate your woodworking and use that bench.
Pick up a hammer and whack something in it…
And if you don’t want to pointlessly deface your bench, you could wait until tomorrow instead, as we have a special guest article (I think that’s a first for us) and it will make this attitude become much more useful.