Today I finished up the first Roman workbench, which is about 18” high x 15” wide and 7’ long. After drilling all the holes in the benchtop (more on those in a moment) I added two coats of boiled linseed oil and called it done.
The only thing left to do with this bench is complete the workholding, which will consist of two 1”-diameter oak pegs plus three or four tapered stakes that I can drive into the holes in the benchtop. This bench will have no metal hardware.
I’ve been studying a lot of vintage workbenches that don’t have vises and have a long list of ideas and theories to test with my stakes and pegs.
Probably the most startling fact about this workbench (so far) is that it took only seven or eight hours to build.
Next week I’m starting construction of a far more complex Roman bench with vises, metal bits and other oddness.
Both benches will be at Woodworking in America next month. So if you are in town – be sure to stop by and give them a try.
Our warehouse has shipped all the pre-publication orders of “Woodworking in Estonia,” which should start arriving in mailboxes in the next five to seven days.
I got my hands on a copy and am really pleased with the printing job. The drawings came out nice and crisp. And the diestamp of the drill on the cover looks even better than I anticipated.
There are a million people involved in this project to thank, from the Viires family, to David Laaneorg (who first got us in touch with the family), to Mart Aru who translated the text, to Meghan Bates who dove into the European-centric design, to Suzanne Ellison, who braved the index, to Peter Follansbee who gave us the first important edit, to Megan Fitzpatrick, who helped me root out every typo we could find.
This book has been a time-consuming and shockingly expensive project for us. And we know this book will never have mass appeal (even in our weird little corner of the world). But we decided to do it because we love this book. It’s a peek at a world of woodworking that gets little or no press. It’s not about dovetails or building handy shelves for the pantry.
It’s an in-depth look at a world where everything revolves around wood and little bits of metal – from the fields to the kitchen to beer tankards.
For those of you who take a chance on this title, we hope you enjoy the book and that it challenges you to try to make some new and interesting forms.