Last night, I went downstairs and looked at the four legs I’d finished for the sawbench I’m working on. One of the ends wasn’t square, so I grabbed my jack plane and my shooting board and went to work. Only I made it worse. I couldn’t for the life of me get a square edge on this board. I became very frustrated and cursed my decision to buy vintage planes because they don’t have sides perfectly perpendicular to the sole.

I decided to just saw it later, and move on to making the top. I cut the top out of my pine 2×12 and trued up one face and the long edges with my jack plane. I then marked the notches where the legs will mate with the top. I cut the notches, but I ended up getting a lot of split out using my rip-filed Tenon saw. I removed the waste with a coping saw (now I know why Chris Schwarz doesn’t like new coping saws, he’s right – they twist all over and generally suck) and the proceeded to use my router plane to true up the bottoms. I love this tool, one of my favorite new tools. Although I got more split out, but at this point I was past caring. It’s going to be a shop appliance, and as one of my first hand tool projects, it’s going to be riddled with course rather than fine craftsmanship. I’m learning from my mistakes, but in this project, I think it best to move forward and record some success in completing the project rather than get mired in the details.

The instructions from WKFineTools state you save the cauls (the waste bits from the notches cut in the legs) to use later for clamping. I did this, and tried to clamp the legs down, but had difficulty. Even with tape, as the instructions suggest, the cauls kept slipping. I finally got it clamped up, but it took a lot longer than I expected. I cleaned up the shop and called it a night.

I need a crossciut carcase or sash saw, and I think I’m going to have to move up my plans to build a Roubo workbench. It has been very frustrating trying to do hand tool woodworking with a plywood bench and a Jawhorse. Although the Jawhorse is really handy and I’m sure I’ll use it as an auxiliary vise in the future.