Great fun with this, next one will be much better though! Used macrame cord rather than Danish cord, but it was not fun to work with, tangling/unwrapping etc but gor there in the end! As Richard said I've got no skin left on me fingers!!
This was an attractive project to explore joinery with handtools! I used Ash with "Arid" color 425 paracord for the cord.
Made with wood salvaged from a door given away on Freegle. Badly stained then varnished with water based poly. Not without a few minor errors on my part... but salvaged and pleased with the result. First time weaving. Thanks for the good instruction!
Pine base and top with a local slab of cherry for the leg vice, made the cross mechanism with some mild steel bars, filed the ends into rounds and drilled holes through with my cordless drill, amazingly it works!! Made a planing stop as well with some mild steel plate, very proud of myself, just need to decide what to build first!
My plan to build the hall table got delayed through family issues (mother passed aged 94) but when my granddaughter wanted a sturdy bedside table I decided to use with minimum changes making the smaller table. The complication was really the shelf which I had to leave as 2 pieces that I joined in situ because there was no way to make a single piece one that would go in. Think about it! The drawer became quite small but I was asked if a secret compartment could be included. It hold 5 Twix bars! Because of the draw-bored M&T joinery the table is strong and stable and the full taper legs give it a cheeky stance I feel. Paint from Shabby Nook Fusion range. The beech top was made up from narrow boards I was given and the legs and frame from pine with oak pegs. drawer rails from mahogany that was spare.
Clear pine at Lowes costs as.much as cherry at our only wood shop, so paint makes it good.
Well, this is my trusty English Workbench in Douglas Fir. It's my first proper woodworking build, and I've since built several of the projects from this site using this bench. I smile when I think of Richard's comment from the series preview, where he mentions he could "knock one up in a weekend." This took me months to build, an hour each day, starting from rough sawn boards. And while it wasn't easy at times, it was the ideal project for introducing proper techniques. The build made it easy to transition to joinery in other projects, and provided confidence to build with only a few tools. And I made plenty of mistakes. I remade the planing brace more than once, split a couple boards with cut nails, spacing between the plank top is more than intended, and the list goes on. But it's still the perfect bench. It's solid, works perfectly, and lacks nothing. I installed a Lake Eerie 2X wooden vice, Benchcrafted planing stop in ash stock, and use a couple of Gramercy holdfasts. The bench measures 8' long and 27" wide. The top is exactly two inches thick. It's finished with two coats of Tried And True Varnish oil. I built this bench a year or two ago, and I've included pictures of it since then. I know most workbench photos show a new, untouched bench but I thought I'd show mine with a few miles on it. This series was my path to Richard and this site. I was simply looking for a sturdy workbench (that I could build without a workbench). Instead, I discovered hand tool woodworking. I know Richard doesn't care for "the sentimental rose tinted shite" but building this bench is a lesson in more than woodworking, I think.
I enjoyed this series way too much. No sane person should be excited to watch hours of sharpening tutorials, but I was riveted. The series is expertly filmed, and Richard's credibility means you can trust the techniques he suggests. This may be an odd "build" to share in the gallery, but I wanted to post a simple photo of where I landed after watching the series, in case it benefits others. The real lightbulb for me was Richard pointing out that using A2 means first considering the larger impact on your overall set up. And the idea of avoiding grinders completely, by purchasing a diamond plate and sticking to softer steels, clicked for me. So here's my setup at the moment. I adopted Richard's large plywood base, purchased a diamond plate, upgraded my oil stones (to Arkansas whetstones), and added a leather strop. I'm very happy with this approach, which took only a few minutes to assemble. I upgraded to the Arkansas whetstones because I already have a couple small A2 blades for my block and shoulder plane, and these stones (from Dan's Whetstones) can handle A2 steel, especially for small irons like these. But in general, I'm going to stick with softer steels and this setup means I can still handle the occasional A2 or PM-V11 without issue. I highly recommend this series. I now purchase tools based on my sharpening setup, instead of the other way around.
This is one of my favorite builds. It's simple, straightforward, uses a single board, teaches bridle joints, packs flat, and the design is one that everyone seems to enjoy. The appearance of the thin top is a great design trick that I was happy to learn. I first built a table out of pine, to work out any likely errors on my part. Thankfully there were only a few. I learned to pay closer attention to the thickness of the top, to avoid the threaded inserts creating a small bump on the top of the table. I had moderate success with the bridle guides, but eventually decided to freehand those cuts. I think that was the right choice, to better locate the joints (and I can now quickly cut a decent bridle joint, thanks to this project). I eventually landed on red oak for the final table, and plan to build several more in the future. This is a great series that I'd highly recommend.
I really appreciated the design and difficulty of this build. And I don't think I would have attempted it without this series. Richard and Helen's videos make builds like this much more accessible; I would never have imagined weaving with Danish cord before this series. I did stumble here and there, particularly with the small tenon where we couldn't use the router. And a leg or two found their way into the wrong mortise at glue up, but the end result is a humble stool that my family seems to really enjoy.
Thanks Richard and Helen, I learned SOOO much from this series! I'm still a beginner and many of the techniques in this video were outside my comfort zone: the angled mortices, the angled tenons, the through tenons, the compound angles, the curves, the weave, etc. Thanks to your amazing instruction and demonstration, I managed without struggling too much. It was hard (in a good way), but certainly not frustrating. I'm really happy with the outcome. The joints fit snugly and are virtually gap-less, the stool feels nice and is plenty strong enough to hold my weight as I sit on it. Here it is, on the workbench, 2 minutes after completing the weave (oops, we can still see the cord scraps in the photo). I'm honestly still surprised/amazed at how well it turned out and I can barely believe I made this. I would never have attempted a build of this complexity without this series. I think the hardest part for me was the angled tenons in chapter four. I had to restart these pieces several times to get all 4 tenons fit snugly with consistent angles. I was simply incapable of sawing them correctly and trying to correct them with a chisel only made things worse. I resorted to planing the ends with a variable angle shooting board and then using a magnetic 90 degree sawing guide and then the result was near perfect. I put off the weave for some time as was rather intimidating. In the end, it wasn't that hard. In fact, I enjoyed it quite a bit and now I kind of feel silly for having put this off for so long. I did struggle a bit with the paper cord, especially at the start. The cord snaps off surprisingly easily when bent around the nails or pulled too tight. I even cut one of the loops on the underside while driving the nails in at the very end, but I managed to tie it off with a an extra nail. It takes a bit of getting used to, but by the time I reached the final middle section, I was progressing with decent speed and no longer snapped the cord. I've said this before in my previous posts, but I truly feel more and more confident/empowered after each of these series. Building this stool suddenly makes me want to try building more chairs. Maybe I'll try your chair building series next :-)
After making some boxes, I decided to challenge myself a bit and make myself a piece of furniture. I did the thicknessing by hand after that I bought a compact thicknesser. Doing the joinery was a lot of fun. Lesson 5 was a bit challenging, because it was a lot of info and work. I didn’t curve the side rails because I don’t have bandsaw and the experience to make these curves and roundings with a chisel. So I stayed save instead of ruining my work. I really enjoyed this build and I learned a lot of it.
I absolutely loved building this stool. It’s perfect for woodworkers that already have a bit of experience trying to learn new things. The fitting of the legs to a curved surface, whacking the tenons, fitting the through tenons, weaving: all new to me but perfectly doable. And as always, I loved the videos. I made a short video of the build myself: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CX2ALiBl9iT/
Building the first side table in poplar gave me the confidence I needed to try this out with more expensive lumber. So here is my 2nd table out of oak with slightly altered dimensions and with ebonized legs. It was so much fun to build this a 2nd time. Last time I used the 4 guides to cut the bridle joints. This time, I used a single guide for both sides of the mortice and then hand-fitted each of the tenons. It was a bit longer, but I really like the perfectly centered joints. Finally, I had some issues with ebonizing and with the top coat, but I managed. What an amazing series! Next up, I will be trying my hand at the danish stool!
After spending around two years fooling around with hand tools and wood in the basement (without producing any usable furniture), I was about to give up. This side table series empowered me to finally produce working, functional and beautiful furniture. I built this first one with poplar and finished it with water-based polyurethane (leftovers from a previous dead end). The result isn't quite a sexy as ebonized oak, but I'm really proud and my 4 year-old is really happy with his new night stand :-)
The weaving was a bit rough. But the wife wants another to match so I’ll have a chance to improve.
Had a blast completing my first English Woodworker project. Despite the delicate wooden frame the stool is surprisingly strong. Details, like the tapered legs, round overs and gentle curves, really make the difference and more interesting to look at from all angles. Using Richards techniques meant I made neat through mortises, all by hand, first time. The Danish cord weaving was fun and I’ll definitely use it again in a future project. Love the way the black cord looks in changing light. Have signed up for the industrial desk series and it’s my next project. Great job Richard and Helen!
Very happy with my first stool (I feel more to come in the near future). There have been many moments trying to work out angles and things I will do better next time. Thank you Richard, I could not have done this without you. Note the side-table project photo-bombing!
Pine base and oak top, 2 legs and a drawer in the bin, took 3 months of an hour an evening but eventually got it done! On to the French workbench now.
I did some skip diving following the loft conversion of the house opposite ours in SW London. Combined with some other scavenging I was able to build this six seater dinning table which is a mashup of the tressle table and hall table builds. Chuffed with how it turned out.
This side table in cherry was a great project to build so many essential skills. It was my first real piece of furniture to grace my home built by own hands.
I have only recently got into woodwork and was looking for projects and ideas. I spend a week at Rowden Atelier and got some basic experience of how to use handtools. I then found your site and and really enjoying the approach. I have done the side table project but really needed a decent workbench, so the logical thing to do was order a lot of beech and then get into it. I have learnt so much from your videos and correcting the errors I made along the way. If you note the walnut inserts on the side they cover up where I had to drill holes through as one of the top boards had a split in it. Thank you and looking forward to whatever comes next.
Almost finished. Just need to leather prep the vice, drill the holes for. The holdfast and make the toothed planing stop. Been fun making it but hard graft with beech an hand tools.
Starting from barely being able to put up a shelf I cannot believe I've made this! very scruffy in parts and took me ages but I learned loads. The bridle joints were a lot trickier than I thought they'd be and not sure I got the ebonising quite right but onwards and upwards now! Thanks a lot for the excellent videos, keep up the fantastic work!
It was a revelation to make this entire wood bench using hand tools. The skills I learned building this bench will be with forever. I loved I could make bench left handed.
My first piece of furniture! Hopefully not the last. Built over about 5-6 weeks with just a jack plane, block plane, ryoba saw, marking guage, knife, square, ruler, mallet, hammer, punch and one chisel. Thanks for the lessons!
Happy with the build (&enjoyed it) but defects in my oak board forced me to match the oak unsatisfactory. I didn’t use the bridle guides as after making 20 sets my saws still drifted so cut them by hand.Didn’t realise how difficult bridle joints were! Wanted to ebonise but the wife wouldn’t let me due to furniture matching! Will do one day.
2nd project after my English workbench was supposed to be the spoon rack, but then i put my hand on some oak boards... So here's my side table instead! Another great learning curve, much went well (i was delighted with my initial glue joint for the top!), some less so (bridle joints...). As others have noted, i struggled a bit with the bridle guides, partly because they require (i now realise...) very precise thicknessing of the aprons and legs, and mine were a bit out here and there. Lesson learnt. Oak is not quite as easy and satisfying to work as i'd expected - oddly brittle and very hard not to tear out, compared to softwood or ash, and despite all the raising of grain and sanding, some grain still trying to pop out in the finished piece! Also i found that he grain changed direction frequently over the thin boards, so even over the length of the top, it was very hard to smooth the whole thing to perfection without causing issues in one corner or another, and lots of tail chasing ensued! I love the ebonised finish - that one is a banker, but I've used Osmo on a couple of pieces now, and not sure I've worked out how to get the best out of it, just seems a little 'flat', even with past wax over the top. Still learning. Anyway, another very enjoyable series and onwards and upwards....
Well all I can say is I had a go! Made from fence posts, floor joists and 4 x 2s, more knots than timber. What a learning experience. Loved it! I will make a smaller one but next time I will use some decent timber and hopefully my joinery will be much better. It is a solid, stable beast though!
Righty then, it's time for a Norwegian version of the side table! In oak, with aprons and legs ebonized darker than a midwinter night in the north. A brew of tea strong enough to remove paint helps the process. The madness is described here: https://fagerjord.org/woodworking-projects/furniture/2802/ The outdoor image is of course taken in sunny weather, to keep up with tradition. Dedicated to two wonderful people: Richard and Helen Best regards, Vidar F. Harboe, Norway.
My first woodworking project since school (a long time ago!). It took about 3 weeks of long evenings and some weekend work. I thought it was going wrong at several stages but it all came together in the end, and all the working surfaces are flat and square. My early joints were a bit hit and miss but i absolutely nailed the vice mortice - spot on square, so got it right when it counted, with just enough experience to take on that joint! The traditional wood screw vice (Lake Erie Toolworks) is a delight! I made a couple of design tweaks - as a leftie I had to decide whether to move the vice position but in the end i went for traditional left mounted, so my (right handed) sons can use it too, and it just doesn’t look ‘right’ the other way around. However i did add a second planing brace on the right trestle, so aggressive planing can be done in both directions - i also like the symmetry this gives visually. To increase the L/R flexibility, instead of Richard’s planing spike design i bought a pair of Simon James blacksmith-forged toothed dogs, which are ¾” hole mounted. They still suit the traditional feel of the bench but can be moved from one end to the other to accommodate left and right handers. The only other change i made was to add a lower central brace, which means the two upper ones work with it as a triangle – i was concerned there was a risk of my apron cupping outwards over time, due to the orientation i ended up mounting it in and noting the half-glued apron joints, so that central brace triangle should help stabilise it. I've learned a huge amount in a few weeks and wish to give great credit to Richard for his hugely insightful and highly accessible tuition style which was really transformative. I've learned a huge amount very quickly and I’m delighted with the results. Ready to take on my next project – the spoon rack. Looking forward to doing my first ever dovetails!
Thanks so much for the plans and the video. The quality of the video and the instruction are fantastic. I had to abandon the guides. The saw seemed to wander off line in the bottom 1/8 or so of the cut. I tried different stances and different saws, but just couldn’t fix the drift. I’m sure it’s pilot error. Finally, I decided to fight that battle another time. I marked the joints out and cut them free hand. Any trouble shooting tips would be appreciated. The top is red oak, according to plan. The base is cherry because I ran through my oak supply in the aforementioned difficulties. The ebonized cherry took on a more mottled appearance which I actually like. It has some red and gray tones that give it some warmth. It doesn’t really show up in the picture. The Osmo finish was just the thing. It feels fantastic. I feel much more confident in my ability and I’m looking forward to building this table a mate!
Knee high saw horses based on: https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/the-saw-donkey/ . Made from reclaimed fence posts. Sacrificial top can be changed if too damaged. This was my first try at M&T joints and pegged M&Ts. It makes a good platform to built my English Workbench while I don't have a bench. Stout and sturdy - start here if a bench build is too overwhelming as a first project. I'm glad I did.
My first build is just waiting for an oil bath. Body in Sapele with a maple pin, wedge, and tote.
This build was educational for me. It was The first time I did some of these joints. I definitely recommend this for a beginner. Not sure sure if it’s gonna be for tea and coffee or for my chisels. Tung oil finish and a coat of wax.
After I finished making a foreplane and jack plane following Richard’s contruction method I continued with a smoother. I spiced things up a bit, with 9” smoother with full handle. This one is at a higher 50 deg bed angle and hopefully will help me tackling difficult wood in smoothing.
This is my second plane build. This one is 15 1/2” long made from purple heart wood with hock 2” blade. I love how it turns out and now my favorite jack.
Finished my workbench in March 2020 and it's had a lot of use since, not all woodworking! here's an old shot when I first finished it. Also, while I'm not sure it was Richards original intended use for the design, I've just been building a mud kitchen for my goddaughter and decided the best base for it was...... and English style work bench! It's not quite finished but for a bunch of old pallets it's certainly has a lot of strength. I'll try to remember to post a picture of the completed beastie.
My completed english style workbench build. I used mahogany wood except for the reclaimed Ipil wood for the legs. Finished it with 2 coats of linseed oil/varnish/thinner and waxed it with beezwax/BLO. My favorite part is the big face vise with 3” diameter wooden screw, i think i did something right as it operates very smoothly without racking 🙂
My first plane build, a foreplane made from cut off acasia wood from my bench build. It takes heavy shavings by design and 18” long which helps me develop the initial level of flatness in dimensioning rough stocks.
Since a granddaughter wanted a makeup vanity, it needed a bench. I made a reduced ton of the table sans drawer. Surprisingly, it turned out quite nice. I will deliver it Christmas day.
That took a hell of a lot longer than I imagined. I enjoyed it, though and I've ended up with a beast of a bench I'm very happy with. Thanks for the videos!
I am well satisfied with the results, even with a couple of plane tracks in the red oak top. I have a deal with my grandchildren: take the first one or take the chance I'll live to make a second...I am 72 years old. The base is poplar and painted with Dixie Belle Bunker Hill Blue Chalk Mineral Paint.
Here is my English Workbench, I am very pleased with it and slightly amazed that I made it, I started with a very low skill level. The timber I used was mostly reclaimed from my Dad's barn, so not a square corner or flat surface anywhere, the week I optimistically allowed to build it just about sore the wood flattened and squared, 6 weeks later I had a workbench, all built by hand except for ripping the length of 9x4 in half for the legs. There is very little perfect about it so good job perfection isn't a thing and you would need something larger than a gnat to measure the inaccuracies. However thanks largely to my engineer husband and his vernier calipers the joints are good in all the right places so it stands solidly on all 4 feet and the surface and aprons are flat and square. I missed out the planing brace as it looked like a skill to far and my bench is only 5ft long, to fit in the shed, so less leverage to cause racking. I'll add holes for holding things when I know where I need them, it has been much admired by friends and relatives, one suggesting it looked strong enough to park his car on, it is a pleasure to use. I thoroughly enjoyed making it and could not have done it without you're instructive clear and entertaining videos, good job they're digital, I'd have worn holes in tapes at all the difficult bits. Thank you very much Richard and Helen
This coffee table is made of elm that I managed to scrounge from a joiner friend of mine. He reckons it's been kicking around his workshop for at least 20yrs!! The base is an elongated version of Richard's side table and it is approximately 800mm x 500mmx450mm. I think this is about the maximum size using the dimensions of the side table. Beyond that I think there will be too much flex in the frame so thicker dimensions would be required. The top is two colour resin (Green and Black). I also made some coasters to go with it.