I’m teaching two classes in building the Knockdown Nicholson Workbench in 2015 (details on the locations to come) and needed to prepare a list of materials and tools for the students. Because I received an S+ in “Sharing” in kindergarten, I am also posting it here.
- Ductile mounting plates for 3/8” x 16 threaded rod. You need 16. Available from McMaster-Carr.
- High-strength steel cap screws, 3/8” x 16 thread. You need 16. Available from McMaster-Carr.
- Plain steel 3/8” flat washers. You need at least 16. Buy a pack of 100 from McMaster-Carr.
- Plain steel split lock washers, 3/8”. You need at least 16. Buy a pack of 100 from McMaster-Carr.
- No. 10 x 1” slot-head screws (for attaching the mounting plates). You need at least 32. Buy a pack of 100 from McMaster-Carr.
- No. 8 x 2-1/2” wood screws to assemble the ends. A box of 50 should be fine. Here’s a link to the square-drive ones from McMaster-Carr.
- No. 8 x 1-1/4” wood screws for attaching the interior apron bracing. You’ll need about 20. You can also buy these from McMaster-Carr.
- Gramercy Holdfasts. One pair. Available from Tools for Working Wood.
For a 6’ or 8’ bench, I recommend you buy four 2x12s that are 16’ long. Buy yellow pine or douglas fir, whatever is available in your area. Buy the clearest, straightest stock in the pile. (And if there’s another 2×12 there that looks good, grab it too.) This will allow you some waste and to cut around knots, shakes, pitch and ugly. Note that this does not include the shelf – add a 2×12 x 16’ if you want a shelf. Yes, you will have leftover wood.
You will also need 1×10 material for the interior apron bracing. For a 6’ bench you can get one 1×10 x 8’. For an 8’-long bench, get two.
You’ll need basic marking and measuring tools, plus screwdrivers, a handsaw, a cordless drill, chisels and a block plane. Here are some of the specialty tools that will make your life easier. Plus:
- 9/16” socket set to assemble and disassemble the bench.
- 3/4” WoodOwl Nailchipper bit. Get yours at Traditional Woodworker.
- Forstner bit. You’ll need 1-1/8” for the counterbores.
- Brad points. Bring your set. Bench building is a lot about drilling holes.
- Tapered countersink bits. The Snappy set from Woodcraft is good.
- A pair of sawbenches or sawhorses to work on. (Barring that, a couple of 5-gallon buckets).
— Christopher Schwarz