French Workbench Class – Day 3
The problem with Wednesdays at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking is that Kelly and Teri are a bit too nice to the students and instructors. That’s the evening when the Mehlers shut down the school a little early to feed the students a light dinner, some wine and beer and bring in a masseuse.
It’s a lot of fun. It’s also the day we don’t get enough done, so I start to panic.
Yes, all the workbench bases are complete and ready to glue. The tops are ready to assemble. But it’s the legs that are kicking our behinds.
They need to be fit into the tops. And the fit needs to be crazy-good because with these ancient workbenches, all of their strength comes from the connection between the legs and the top. So it’s an arduous paring process to make the legs slide home.
Some of the students managed to get some of their legs fit. But we have a lot of work ahead for Thursday. Still, I hope we can start assembling benches on Thursday. My plan is to order pizza that evening then bootleg some beer into the school for dinner, trapping them into a game where we assemble the benches.
I know that sounds stupid, but you have never seen how I assemble these French benches. It’s as fun as cockfighting (but without becoming “Faces of Death – The Poultry Edition”). Yes, assembly time is redneck time. No mallets. No gently pulling the assembly together with clamps while we twiddle our pocket square and ascots. It’s mostly a process involving “Yeeee Haw” and “Coo-coo” and “Here, hold my beer.”
Of course, if you know me, then you know those three phrases were in my wedding vows.
In any case, stay tuned.
— Christopher Schwarz