Over a year ago I acquired several slabs of red oak. There were two 4″ thick slabs sawn from about the center of a single tree, about 14 feet long and 17 to 22 inches wide. The tree had been leaning up against a barn for nearly twenty years, this having more than sufficient time to air dry. It’s actually surprising they did not go to bugs or rot. Regardless, I took the two and cut them into shorter boards, closer to usable lengths with the intention of making a work bench. I haven’t had a work bench since I moved a year and a half ago, and have been making do with some very creative work surfaces. No more.
I’ll expand more on the details as the build continues, but I’m looking to dive right in.
First things first: form. I’m working from a few examples found in the Die Hausbucher der Nurnberger Zwolfbruderstiftungen. Picking two from the first half of the 15th century:
We have a pretty simple construction in both of these benches. Wide top, stake legs, and various dog-holes for stops. Forced perspective as used in these illuminations makes for some weirdnesses, but nothing that can’t be overcome with simple logic.
Obviously, my four inch thick slabs will be quite a bit heftier than the apparent thicknesses of the benches depicted here.Next time, preparing the benchtop.