The first real woodworking project I built
in the USA was a pine workbench. The story of this piece began with a discarded
metal cabinet I found on Irving street in Cambridge MA. I mention Irving Street
because a few weeks after I found the metal cabinet I found a set of pine
bunk beds waiting patiently to be picked up by the trash truck on the same
street. The bunk beds provided the wood for my new workbench. A few years later
I discovered another “gem” on Irving Street, which I used for the construction of a
High Boy I named Cantabrigian Highboy, but more about that later. Irving Street
is also important because its the street that Julia Child used to live on. A few years before she passed away her
historic kitchen was taken apart, shipped to Washington and reassembled to
proudly reside in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum. So you
see for some mysterious reason Irving St. is an important location in the tales
of my own pieces and of the culinary legacy of the nation.
I started my new workbench by
disassembling the old bunk bed parts. After that I joined planed and re-dimensioned
the old-new lumber into vertical and horizontal members. For added strength I used
lap joints for all the joints.
The new wooden frame was designed to
encapsulate the metal cabinet. The workbench upright parts (the legs) are
connected to the rails with lag screws anchored into 1” diameter wooden nuts.
The bench was designed so it could be easily disassembled. It’s top
incorporated lumber from the bunk beds as well. After completing the workbench,
I decided the drawer pulls on the metal cabinet were just too small to be used, so I built new pulls from wood with a shape that compliments the
overall look of my new American furniture.
part 1 of: A traveling work bench and a weekend in New Hampshire
part 2 of: A traveling work bench and a weekend in New Hampshire
part 3 of: A traveling work bench and a weekend in New Hampshire