On Setting up Shop

Workbench

Along with wanting to learn the art of woodcarving, I am also interested in the possibility of exploring woodworking with hand tools at some point. What is a workbench? A woodworker’s/carver’s workbench isn’t a table, it’s a work-holding system. It’s not something you set things on top of, it’s a tool that holds your work. Where a worktable might have a machinist’s vise bolted to its top, a woodworker’s/carver’s bench is built to accommodate a number of different work-holding mechanisms, such as bench dogs, planing stops, hold fasts, or board jacks, and will usually have one or more woodworker’s vises integrated into its structure.

There are many romantic notions of tradition about building vs buying your workbench. For me, I was impatient to begin carving and had the budget for purchasing a high quality pre-made bench. I settled on the Sjobergs-Scandi-Plus-1825-Workbench. Because this is primarily a woodworker’s workbench, with the top lower than ideal for carving, I built some removable risers for the legs to raise the bench to a suitable height for carving.

For my own peace-of-mind and the safety of our two cats, I built two wall cabinets for storage of my tools. I found instructions online and learned a great deal in the construction of them. The workbench with the risers removed made their construction much easier.

The Tools

After much research, I decided to purchase Swiss Made - Pfeil Tools carving gouges from Chipping Away.

Initial gouges and chisels

  • #1 fishtail, 14mm
  • #1, 14mm flat chisel
  • #1, 20mm
  • #3, 3mm
  • #3 fishtail, 6mm
  • #3 fishtail, 14mm
  • #3 fishtail, 16mm
  • #3, 18mm
  • #4, 12mm
  • #5 fishtail, 6mm
  • #5 fishtail, 8mm
  • #5 fishtail, 14mm
  • #6, 8mm
  • #7 fishtail, 6mm
  • #7 fishtail, 8mm
  • #7 fishtail, 10mm
  • #7, 12mm
  • #8, 6mm
  • #8, 10mm
  • #10, 6mm
  • #11, 3mm
  • #11, 5mm
  • #12 V-Tool, 3mm
  • #12 V-Tool, 6mm
  • #4, 6mm spoon bent
  • #8, 10mm spoon bent
  • 6mm skew chisel
  • #5, 12mm back bent

Additional gouges and chisels

  • #2, 5mm
  • #2, 12mm
  • #2, 16mm
  • #2, 20mm
  • #3, 20mm
  • #3 fishtail, 8mm
  • #3, 30mm
  • #5 fishtail, 20mm
  • #7, 8mm
  • #7 fishtail, 14mm
  • #7 fishtail, 20mm
  • #8, 4mm
  • #8, 7mm
  • #9 fishtail, 10mm
  • #12 V-Tool, 10mm

Miscellaneous Tools

  • 1.5 lbs Cherry and Brass Mallet
  • Veritas Wheel Marking Gauge
  • Veritas Bevel-Up Smoother Plane
  • Veritas Mk.II Standard Honing Guide
  • Eli Woodcarvers Vise

Sharpening Supplies

  • Soft & Hard Slipstone
  • 8” x 3’ DIA-Sharp (extra fine) Diamond Stone
  • 8” x 3’ DIA-Sharp (extra-extra fine) Diamond Stone
  • Flexcut Slip Strop
  • 12” XL Leather Bench Mountable Strop (Suede)
  • Green Honing Compound