Bench 101 [My workbench], Local Wood and Metal, 2012
My studio and workshop are currently based in London. I have a passion for wood and working with my hands so I decided to build myself a new workbench for the studio.
I wanted the bench woods to be contrasting colours to highlight the techniques used for jointing - almost a binary - and using ethically sourced wood only from the UK. I ended up sourcing Oak, Hornbeam, Beech and Great Western Cedar - all cut locally. The most exotic wood was bog oak from Norfolk supplied with 5000 year old woodworm holes ! The wood was sourced directly from forest management yards. . I had to take my chainsaw along to cut the logs up to fit into my van, and hewed and dried some of the woods myself.
I decided to go further with my binary motif (too many years spent programming) and make all the measurements in 1's and 0's, e.g Bench Height was 101 cm, dimension of legs 101 mm, bench depth 101 mm etc.... which surprisingly made the bench very usable and dead easy to remember the measurements when I was sizing up the wood.
The large leg vice was built from fumed oak and hornbeam, as hornbeam is one of the strongest woods in the UK. I then vaguely shaped it as a cello as the blokes in the workshop used to tease me and say it looked like a child's coffin !
I then finished of the bench by building an end vice from an Singer Sewing Machine Handle as a homage to my Grandmother.
If anyone is interested in the plans for the bench feel free to email me as I have then drawn up in Rhino (CAD).