Making a book stand – 7

Marking up the cuts with a Starrett square

Quality matters

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Now all the lengths are cut and the air is full of sawdust, as evidenced by my camera lens. I'm ready to start measuring for the glue joint grooves, another step where a precise tool matters. I use a Starrett square.

My workbench, which I made from pine, spruce, and maple, is different from a typical American workbench, which is usually waist high. I had watched fine woodworkers in India who worked efficiently on the ground, and had read a wonderful and very beautiful book from Taunton Press, The Workbench Book by Scott Landis, that shows a variety of workbenches, including some very low benches used by Japanese woodworkers. Those experiences enabled me to think freely about my workbench when I was planning it. I opted for a lower table so that I can leverage gravity more when I'm bearing down on some task, and can sit at it without using a high stool when I'm doing really detailed work, for instance, when I'm making a lamp.

The bench is very heavy, for stability, and includes a wonderful Record quick release vice with a maple jaw, so it's a quite versatile work surface. After a dozen years of use, it's beat up and scarred, telling a bit of my story.

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