smacks head, walks away muttering…

It has been suggested that I would benefit from adult supervision. Less a life coach and more a babysitter. For instance, I walked around the house in circles this morning looking for my phone then realised I had set out to find a book.


I’d ordered hardware for my camp stool a while back, not trusting that the local hardware stores here in the DR would carry what I needed. When it arrived I thought it looked a bit thin. Then I drilled the holes and did a test sit in the thing. The hardware is indeed too thin, or I too fat. Whichever, need bigger hex bolts.

As such, the stool is totally ready except for the necessary parts. I’ve been sitting on this project for a while already, and another delay is…well, another delay.

This brings a Chinese idiom (chengyu) to mind: 万事皆备,只欠东风. Roughly translated as ” Everything is ready except for the east wind.” If memory serves, the story is that a general, in preparing for the defence of a city, prepared such a complex and meticulous plan that every element was critical. Of course as the attack began there was no wind from the east, which was apparently a very crucial part of the plan. I want to say there were flaming arrows involved, too. Anyway, the town was SOL.


After a lot of work the bench has entered this world at 38″ tall, 23″wide and 67″ long. Benchtop is 3 1/4″ thick. Weight? Er, probably around 175. It’s a big baby. And since it’s all yellow pine (entirely from 12×2 boards), it ran under $100. Before the vise.


It’s possible that as much time went into deciding what kind of bench to build as did building it. Eventually, Paul Seller’s plan from his “Working Wood” won out. I had the book and DVDs already, but more importantly it’s a straight forward design that looked sturdy and workable. A workbench, not a lifetime experience, was what I was after.

Light, glorious light.

Not perfect, not a looker. Now that it’s done I have a real tool for  other projects.

I probably would have done some things differently in building this, like not fuck up the mortises so violently. There are a few tweaks I may make down the line. This will probably be a Frankenstein’s monster bench – a way for me to play around with ideas without worrying that I am screwing it up. That we’ll be moving in a year and I might have to leave it behind plays a part in that, removing whatever remaining concerns about making it pretty and perfect.