Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's On Your WW Bucket List?

A Bucket List refers to things you want to accomplish before you "kick the bucket."

There are only two things on my woodworking bucket list—projects that I feel I must build.

Number one is a Frank Klausz style workbench. This will be a real challenge for me, but I consider it a rite of passage to build my own bench, and Frank's seems to meet my needs (minus the tool tray). Plus, it's pretty.

Number two is a multi-item project: reproduction handplanes like the Moisset plane pictured at right and 18th c. Dutch planes with decorative carving.

That's it! What's on your woodworking bucket list?

The Moisset plane photo is from The Art of Fine Tools, by Sandor Nagyszalanczy.


will said...

Regarding woodworking, I have only one wish ... I would like to have an apprentice to whom I could pass on the things I've learned, as well as, eventually, the tools I've accumulated.

Dave Griessmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Griessmann said...

Mine is a Hal Taylor style rocker.

Kari Hultman said...

(Kari waving hands wildly in Bill's direction) Pick me!!!

Dave, they are lovely and you will have no trouble building one.

Unknown said...

First is a high quality workbench...the Frank Klausz bench is high on the list.

Second is reconstructing the plans for my Grandfather's line of Ranch style furniture he made in the 70's. After his stroke, his shop with all the tools, inventory and papers were auctioned off. (I was overseas at the time.)

Third, reconstructing his Octagonal Gun case. Again, was lost after his stroke.

Frontier Carpenter said...

I want to build a small post and beam house that I do all by hand to include felling the trees for lumber, forging the hardware, and doing the stone work and plaster.

Anonymous said...

I'll settle for just leaving behind some boxes - turned and dovetailed - made as keepsake gifts for those I love, and as thank you gifts for those who help me cope with the sometimes burden of chronic diseases. I don't mind leaving, even 'early' - though I'm not in any rush - but I would like to be remembered working with patience on things tactile and warm-wooded that I hope will bring a smile...

Kari Hultman said...

Greg, what a wonderful way to honor your Grandfather.

Frontier Carpenter, will you be "Alone in the Wilderness" during the build? Sorry, I couldn't resist. ; ) That will be such a fun project.

Anon, I think that's partly why we do woodworking--to leave something meaningful behind. Handmade gifts are always more appreciated than bought ones. You're giving part of yourself to the person.

Gary Roberts said...

Kari... I simply intend to be buried with all my books and tools as well as that rosewood plank I've never known quite what to do with. I figure I'll be reading a book during my last breath and complaining of people interrupting me just as I get to the good part.

Woodbloke said...

Hi Kari - the bench is a great project to build, plenty of good info on t'internet. I built mine a few years ago now from beech, m/t draw bolted construction, everything 75mm (that's 3" to 'murricans) A tool well is very useful if you make the bottom removable (aka a David Charleswoth)as you can then cramp from the far side. I use the tool well a lot...useful for all sorts of rubbish, but it does need to be cleared out regularly. The other thing to include is a rear rail at the top of bench frame as this also helps to prevent 'racking'
As to the 'bucket list' I'd like to upgrade the machinery in the next few years and start to build up a stock of decent air dried timber - Rob

Doug Berch said...

Hi Kari,

Someone had a Klausz style bench nearby on Craigslist last week for $150! I had to go out of town later that day and it was gone when I got back. I had thought that I couldn't pass it up for that price if it was still around. I couldn't buy the wood for that price! On the other hand I had funny feelings about even thinking of buying it; I think making a bench is a right of passage as you say.

Mike Lingenfelter said...

I would want to build a Sam Malouf style chair someday. As my skill progress, it will happen.


antiwork said...

Ya know Kari-- if you're like me, the nice thing about having a workbench on the bucket list is that you can pretty well rest assured it will stay on the list, even if you do build one. I find myself periodically thinking about building a different style of bench all the time. Grass is always greener, I suppose.

Stephen Shepherd said...

That plane is nice. As of late I have developed an interest in old Dutch Tools. I am planing to build a horned plane, much simpler that this fine example. It dates from 1596 and is rectangular in nature like this one.


Kari Hultman said...

Thanks for the chuckle, Gary!

Rob, I was thinking about using beech for my bench, too. I bought some 12/4 rough from a farm auction years ago. It goes for pretty cheap around here. Thanks for the tip on the rear rail.

Doug, I can why a bench like that for that price was scarfed up that quickly!

Mike, Maloof chairs are wonderful. A friend built one in a class at Marc Adam's and it's handsome. I know what you mean about waiting for your skills to progress before you attempt a bucket list project.

Brad, I have a feeling you're right! Every time I think I have the perfect bench design and that I should get started, I read about another design feature that I'd like to include.

Stephen, I've been on the hunt for the book "Four Centuries of Dutch Planes" for a couple years now hoping it would have some images that can be used as reference.

Regis said...

Mine is a Secretary, like the one published on Fine Woodworking (Jan/Feb 2002) by Lonnie Bird.

Albert A Rasch said...

Miss Kari,

Beautifully done blog! I've picked up a half dozen things that will need to do from your ideas alone!

I would like to make one of those fancy plow planes with all the bells and whistles, an infill plane, an 18 century field officers dresser, and a four poster bed.

Probably wouldn't hurt to build a proper workbench first, a couple of saw horses, a tool box to hold the tools I already own, and the assorted and sundry other things that one should have before he starts doing things.

Unfortunately, I come from the ready, fir, aim school of thought...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
The Range Reviews: Tactical.
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

Anonymous said...


I made a bench based on the Klausz design about 10 years ago. It's a great work horse and will see me out.

It's the same as the one in the picture, except that it's a little shorter ('cos the wood I had was that length) and minus the garbage collector at the back - I don't like 'em.

If I made another, (and I may do, one day) I'd do it exactly the same, except for the length (a bit longer) and I would make the top and loose and held with bolts because it does move a little with the seasons.

All Best


Kari Hultman said...

Regis, that will be a real showpiece. I saw some incredible secretaries at the Winterthur Museum last year.

Albert, do you know Jim Leamy's site: Might give you some inspiration for your plow plane. I love those field officers' desks--they are so cool. There's a guy in VA who makes them:

Howard, I'll have to get by with a 6' (or less) bench—a longer one won't fit the space. Any other words of advice on building one besides leaving the top loose?

Anonymous said...


I just looked it up and I made the bench in 1997 using some 2” thick waney edged Beech that I had, re-sawn to 4 x 2. Beech is plentiful in this part of the world, but good Maple would serve just as well. I think that pine will be too soft fro the top as it’s primary function is as a holding device, but I also cut dovetails and large tenons on it – so it gets a lot of hammering. I think that pine is too soft for that sort of thing.
I cribbed the design (with a few modifications) from Scott Landis’s book. There are drawings in it to enable you to see exactly what is needed. As I said, I omitted the tool / debris trap.
I used a pair of 2 x 4s for the front with rectangular dog-holes inclined at about 3 degrees to the tail and the tail inclined in the opposite direction at about 4” intervals. The holes were routed into one and then glued face to face. You can cut all the dog holes, including the tail vice, in the same piece.
2 x 4s were then laid edge on and glued to the dog-beam to make the top. I have also added some 3/4 holes for Veritas bench dogs at strategic points later, but the wooden ones are better. I made these from Appple wood, with a sprung strip of holly in the side and a spring from a ball point pen. They can sit anywhere in the dog-hole without slipping.

What would I doo differently with another one?

Not much, but I’d make it longer next time. I find that the top tends to move a little with the seasons and needs a little cleaning up to get some of the dings out.
Klausz recommends a steel rod through right the shoulder section, front to back, and I would use this method of rods at 2 foot intervals on the rest of the top with locating splines between the boards that would allow seasonal adjustment and the occasional dismantling to re-fettle the top.
Klausz recommends that the tail vice angle and the shoulder vice itself are made with dovetails. This is excellent advice, though I would omit dovetails connecting the rear rail to the side rails as this doesn’t allow for any adjustment on the top.
Perhaps this movement does not give you a problem, but here in wettest Berkshire it is.
I’ll try to get some photos organised on photobucket if you are interested.

Good luck


Albert A Rasch said...

Miss Kari,

Much obliged to you for the links, thank you.

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
The Range Reviews: Tactical.
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

Kari Hultman said...

Howard, thank you for the information and suggestions. Yes, I would love to see photos of your workbench. Please let me know when you have posted them.

Albert, you're welcome. :o)

BikerDad said...

Help my father make a table out of the door that graced the house he grew up in. The door is a classic Southwestern door, solid and big.

Kari Hultman said...

BikerDad, that's a great project, especially since you're making it with your father and that the wood itself has meaning.