Workbench Day 1: Grab the Ash With Both Hands - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Workbench Day 1: Grab the Ash With Both Hands

 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Chris Schwarz Woodworking Classes, Schwarz on Workbenches, Woodworking Blogs

The hardest part about teaching a class on building a workbench isn’t the teaching part at all. It’s finding good material that makes the class a pleasure – instead of a battle against the material.

This week I’m teaching a class on building a traditional French workbench at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. All 16 students are using ash bench bundles from Horizon Wood Products. This is, without any doubt, hesitation or qualification, the nicest batch of ash I have ever seen.

In the enormous piles of ash, there were only two (two!) knots in the entire batch. And both of those boards were marked ”spare.”

Today we processed all the stock for the tops and glued up the majority of the top laminations. Tomorrow we’ll finish the tops (and their joinery) and move onto processing the stock for the bases.

As Zane Powell, a long-time employee at Marc Adams, said about the week-long class: “But what will we do on Thursday? All the benches will be done.”

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 6 comments
  • jamierodg

    Seriously? Nobody said, “there’s nothing like a good piece of ash!”

  • Charlie Simpson

    The music is perfect for the commentary! Love it. Who is it by the way?

    • plund

      It’s a group called “Freak Fandango Orchestra”. The song is called “The Gypsy Song”.


  • gumpbelly

    Snazzy tunes

    I must have this all wrong. I always thought that wheel tightened down on the Magic Squirrels nutz, making it hard for the Squirrel to gain access to them, and so the Squirrel in a fit of hunger chewed into the board up as it is pushed by the Magic Squirrel, or some other scenario using exactly those same words.

  • zackdog

    Looks like everybody had a great time picking their ash.

    Is it a rule at the class that you pick your own ash and don’t touch your buddy’s ash until he asks for help?

    Just wondering.

  • joinerman

    OK time for your woodworking sitcom. You are ready.

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