Furniture School and bench dogs

We made a very nice bench hook at Furniture Making School. Seems a shame to saw stuff on it. The nine laminated pieces had to be planed flat and square which took a while and then just when you think you’ve got it flat and square enough John pops round and points out in a friendly way that it could be better. More planing and I finally got to near perfection on every pair of faces.

Interspersed between the practical work are informal lessons where John presents some tool or technique. The practical work then builds on the new found knowledge. Glue up of the bench hook was an opportunity to learn about the many different types of glue and their varying properties. Then, of course, we glued up the board. Adding a couple more sticks and some plugs and we had the fine looking bench hook you see above.

We made some other stuff too.

A scratch stock which is the evil looking thing with the saw blade sticking out, is used to cut grooves for inlays as shown in the piece with the black inlay. The thing with the sharpened screw head is used to cut a grove along an edge so you get a beading along the edge.

Here are some dovetails.

Better than most of previous efforts but plenty of room for improvement.

I had a go with a Clifton 5 1/2 bench plane. It’s in a different league to the dodgy old Record I bought on Ebay. One of my fellow students dated the Record as a 1940’s model so maybe it should be sitting on a shelf drawing its old age pension.

We also made a pair of winding sticks in walnut with sycamore and bog oak inlay along the top. The arrow heads are being inlaid to indicate the center. I’ll include a final picture when they’re finished.

Back in the garage I’ve drilled some dog holes in the bench to accommodate the Veritas Dog, Wonder Dog and Bench Blade that I bought last week. Very handy for clamping the thin panels I’m making for the side of the Ottoman.

At some point I’ll get round to putting a new top on the bench maybe using something more robust than construction timber.

The bench blade and dog in action

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