Making the Shelf
So things have moved on and the bench is beginning to look rather fine in its own no frills utilitarian kind of way. Since my last post the work has centred around preparing and installing the shelf. The stretchers were a simple affair of notches and support battens all nailed into place providing a suitable foundation on which to fix the shelf boarding. The pine selected is the dregs left over from my tool chest build, this shelf provided the perfect opportunity to use it up. I could have just nailed down some square edge boards but I just wanted and excuse to revisit my Record 405 Multi-Plane (seen with its Stanley 45 cousin below).
Now these Multi-Planes are not to every ones taste but I think they can be rather useful and compliment the utilitarian workbench rather nicely. The Record 405 is a very close copy/version of the Stanley 45 which was introduced in the early 1930′s, much later than Stanley’s 45 which was introduced in 1884. Inevitably when so many functions are bought together in one tool there are some compromises, the largest issue being set up time. One thing I must do is lightly rub down the metal bars that allow the sleds to be set at varying distances as years of sitting on the shelf has created a slightly pitted surface that does not slide so readily. One thing that is attractive about a secondhand multi-plane is the price. A decent one can be sourced for about £100.00 and when you divide that cost by the things it can do it’s pretty good value and good workhorse tool.
So to business. No vice is yet fitted to the bench so I’m relying on Richard Maguire’s Tomes Holdfast. These simple well priced work holding devices have been a delight. Richard was kind enough to try them in 38mm sample bench top as I was concerned that all holdfasts I had seen were in very thick tops. I was reassured by his finding and have found them fantastic with no loss of grip on the thinner bench top and aprons. I have soon learnt why this type of bench is aimed at “Joiners” like me, that wide front apron has been fantastic for working on long board edges, something that often crops up within the world of making House scale doors.
Once the tongues and grooves were all finished I removed just a slight arris to soften the joint, not too much as I don’t want them to become dirt traps.
And then finally to nail them in place with some more of those character filled rusty hand made nails…..
So if you do see a good value Multi-Plane please do pick one up, it’s a no frills workhorse and versatile. Don’t expect a refined super tool just decent piece of kit. The next step is to fit my face vice, ready by the weekend? Oh and just before I go, the obligatory shaving shot.