Ok, if I’ve managed to earn even a smidgen of credibility as a joiner wannabe over the last few months, I’m going to lose it with this post.
I’m very blessed to have a former two car garage converted into a den as my “man room” where I traded a pool table for a work bench and started my hand tool woodworking adventure a year ago. My bench was a repurposed art table I built for my wife to throw clay on. I modified it a little so I could attach a vise. At the time I knew I didn’t know what I was doing but I had to start somewhere. So I dove in. I got into hand tool woodworking because I wanted to build a guitar, and I still may someday. But I envisioned myself sitting down and working at a table. So the height of this art table, 29″, was no problem. Wrong answer. I quickly realized I would have to stand up and a table height of 29″ is too low for me, I’m 5’10”. So my bench began to rise. I started out with one 2×4 under the legs. And then two 2x4s, and then a 4×4, and then a 4×4 with a 2×4. The last iteration convinced me I needed to come up with a sturdier support system. Just recently I knocked the bench off of the boards by trying to move it.
I needed extensions attached permanently, or securely, to the bench legs. After work Mon, I picked out some of the reclaimed pallet wood I used for the first step stool. It’s 1×3 red oak and I got two pieces for each leg. I lifted the bench with a car floor jack to a height of just over 35″ and screwed on a board to each side of each leg. I loved it.
My wife did too. Not. She said it looked real redneck. I said thank you. After a weekend of exacting detail on step stool no. 2, this little exercise was a welcome change. I didn’t even square the saw cuts. I held the board against the leg, drilled two pilot holes and drove in two deck screws. Next. And they work! It’s nothing to show off in Popular Woodworking, but it is serving the purpose for me. It’s allowing me to find that perfect bench height before I build a proper work bench. And I can safely move my bench around now.
I also rearranged my work area a little by moving my bench upagainst a wall and under a window.