What do you think of Paul Sellers workbench?
This morning I finished watching Paul build this bench on his UTube channel. I can relate to him and his woodworking style - he says "opps". A lot...

But I do like the bench. It looks like a variation of a Nicholson bench to me, with the apron and all. Still too tall for me, though. I would need to drop it down a bit, I think. But, that is just me.

Would I build this bench? If I didn't already have one.... maybe...

Best regards

My wife told not come back in the house 'till I cleaned the sawdust off my feet. Gotta love that woman!

I live in "Upper" Texas 'cause sayin' "North" Texas just don't sound right...
Hi CB,

I thought long and hard for well over a year and was actually going to build the Nicholson bench that Bob Rozaieski built, that is a very nice bench indeed.

But after reading Paul's book for the umpteenth time and watching and re watching his video's and followed the build along on his blog I went for it. I was nervous about the height but I figured I could all way's trim down if I have to but being 5' 10" with short legs and arms I find it very comfortable. Now I have a bad back and not bending over allows me to work longer at my bench and I have had no problems with, planning, sawing, chopping at all on this bench, I love it. The best thing about it is I have a little over $50 in it as I had the vise all ready so if I find I don't like it for some reason I am not out a lot of money. I have been using this bench pretty much every weekend now for a little over 3 months.


PS: This is not a Commercial for Paul but I must give credit to where credit is due. I like his style of working very much.
I just finished building Paul Sellers bench, just have to install the vise and apply finish on it. It was a joy building the bench using hand tools and Paul's techniques. I used Douglas fir 2 X4s for the bench top that I picked through at Menards. I found all without knots on the edges and all were quarter sawn. The legs are Douglas Fir 4 X4s. The aprons are from selected 2 X 12s. I did dimension all the lumber using power tools, length and width as well as the planner on the bench top, other than that all hand tools. I am really looking forward to using it.
Please post back when you have a chance. Like I said I love mine and it will win no prize's for being pretty but it is a stout functional bench and the height at least for me was a plus. I am curious what finish you are going to use, I just put a few coats of wax on mine.


PS: Other than a electric drill for driving a few screws into the legs from the apron like Paul showed I used NO power tools, all hand tools.
Window Guy, Do you have a photo of your bench that you could post? I am really impressed that you did it with only hand tools. You are much more advanced that I am.
No, no photo's yet I am going to get this figured out though this year .

It took me a few months of weekends only but I had fun building it and learned a lot along the way. I did mess up one ( 1 ) leg and had to make a new one. If you follow Paul's instructions it is pretty cut and dry, and he is right about the #4 plane. That was the only plane I used for the build, I have a full set from #3 - #7 including the 1/2 size's but stuck with the #4 and with patients it did a great job of flattening and smoothing the stock. I also morticed all the holes with the standard bench chisels like he did even though I have a set of Mortice chisel's.

Also I am a rank novice only been using Hand Tools for the last 4 years. I still have most of the tailed cousins but wanted to do this with hand tools only and glad I did.

Window Guy,
I am finishing my new bench with Minwax water based Polycrylic. For the bench top, I bought Danish Oil that I will apply after I plane it flat with my Stanley No, 4. I also like the no. 4 and after sharpening the blade according to Paul Sellers methods it is a real pleasure to use. A year or so ago I bought the MKII cabinetmakers sharpening system from Lee Valley and spent a lot of time trying to get my Stanley plane blades sharp. It was very frustrating, I continued to get quite a bit of tear out and was discouraged even using the plane. But, after using the diamonds stones, strop and sharpening by hand my vintage Stanley's cut the finest shavings without any tear-out.
How do you sharpen your plane blades?
Hi West,
I'm building a workbench right now. I thought I'd also share some of my experiences with you. I haven't decided about the finish. I was thinking I might not even apply any finish to my bench when it's done and leave it as will be. You could flatten your workbench with a number four but it might take more elbow grease depending on the dimensions. I'd use a plane as big as a 5 1/2 and if you have anything larger it wouldn't hurt to try.
I have tuned up an old woodie try plane that I had found on eBay for $30 dollars. It needed a new wedge that I made and fitted. It's a pleasure to use. I think this will be the bench plane that I am going to use to flatten my bench top. It is about 21 inches long. I'm also using a number four and a Japanese hand plane about the same size for some general planing and smoothing as well. I wanted to originally use a long Japanese plane that I had purchased from Schtoo (tools from japan ) but I think I need more practice and a lesson in fine tuning this unique plane before I continue using it...

Anyway as for sharpening I have been using Rob Cosman's method (on YouTube) of tertiary micro bevel for a year now. I have stopped using my MKII since unless I want to create a certain accurate primary or back bevel angle.
It took me ten minutes of practice to learn his technique. It has been the most effective and most efficient for me (on my western blades only) unless I'm starting with a hollow ground. I get razor sharp edges every time. After my primary bevel has been established, I do a secondary bevel on a 1200 water stone then put a tertiary bevel on a 13000 sigma power stone. No stropping necessary after that. The whole thing takes me less than two minutes. Every time I want to hone I skip the 1200 stone and go directly to the 13000. After several sharpening your brain will memorize the position of your hands and arms for the same angle and it becomes second nature. If I screw it up, fixing it takes only a minute on the 1200 grit.
Whatever techniques you use and you feel is working for you I'd stick with it.

Best of luck in your project

Hi, Steve, I know it's been a while since you posted this, but I'd like to ask how you worked on the 2x4s for your benchtop. Unlike the stock Paul Sellers uses, the 2x4s here have rounded corners. How did you deal with that as you built the top using only hand tools (which is what I'm doing)?



"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." -- Mae West, who knew a thing or two about how I'd build my workbench.

"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." -- Mae West, who knew a thing or two about how I'd build my workbench.

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