Many of my students delight when I make a mistake or a misstep in class. Not because they are cold-blooded wankers, but because they like to know that all woodworkers screw up at times.
So let me say that these workbenches would be totally delightful to my students.
I lost a whole day when building the movable block for the the wagon vise. After cutting all the joinery, tweaking the blocks to a piston fit and creating all the joinery for the screw and garter it came time to make the dog hole.
I chopped it at the wrong angle – 3° slanting away from the other dogs instead of 3° the other way.
I also lost a day experimenting with different ways to affix the benchtop to a table. Fail, fail and fail again I did. Finally I came back to my original notion – angle iron – which worked brilliantly.
And making the little bench chihuahuas was an entire afternoon of stupid ideas accented by blunders, dead ends, two trips to hardware stores and – ultimately – a five-minute operation that created awesome little dogs.
Even though I have years and years of experience, building something new is never a perfectly orchestrated unicorn square dance.
But the benches are done – finished and functional. The story is written. The SketchUp drawing is sketched. The digital photos are processed and off to Popular Woodworking Magazine. I am ready for a beer or 12.
But the Frenchman calls. Zut alors.
— Christopher Schwarz