Building a workbench at a school is, in my calculation, a wise investment. Good schools have huge machines – wide planers, beefy mortisers and sliding table saws – that can make difficult jobs a breeze.
You also have lots of help – another 10 to 20 people who can help you muscle the stock.
And you get it done in a week, so you can get on with building furniture or guitars or whatever.
This week at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, we’re building 16 benches. And on Friday, all the students will drive away with a bench that is finished or ready to assemble once they get the parts down their basement steps.
The school has some fantastic machines, including a 22” planer with a spiral cutterhead. Marc Adams has spent more money on clamps than some people spend on their first houses. And he has one machine – albeit a fussy one that requires a lot of maintenance – that no other school has. A soft-serve ice cream machine.
— Christopher Schwarz