If you’ve been trying to reach me during the last few weeks, I apologize. The answers to your questions are:
1. Almost any species of wood will do fine for your workbench.
2. There is no quality difference between Veritas and Lie-Nielsen handplanes.
3. Eagle, and sometimes plov.
When I stop answering my phone and e-mail, it’s amazing how much more woodworking gets done. Today I finished all the mortises and tenons for the base, fit the short stretchers and trued up the shoulders. As luck would have it, two of the four joints went together right from the the saw. The other two required a tad more plov.
– Christopher Schwarz