This week we received a visit from James Travis, who built what could be the most ornate sawbench.
Travis, who is in his early 20s, was traveling through Cincinnati on his way from Boston to San Antonio, Texas, and dropped by the shop. Travis recently completed the “Three-month Furniture Making Intensive” program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston and was headed back to Texas to set up shop as a furniture designer and craftsman.
After showing Travis our shop, he asked me to step outside to his Budget rent-a-truck to see his sawbench.
He built the bench entirely by hand using simple tools and home center red oak. The sawbench is, in every way, completely over the top. There are wedged through tenons at every corner. The pegs that attach the leg go entirely through the top and are capped with carved oak.
“I will never carve red oak again,” Travis said of the project.
And like every woodworker, Travis immediately began pointing out the errors he made in building the sawbench, including the patches he had to make when the base didn’t quite fit the notches he’d cut in the top.