So close yet so far

Had every intention today of picking up enough timber for either a small, or a normal sized workbench.  After all, it is been too long for me not to have a workbench in the shop, and my projects have been crying out for one.

Now I could always go the basic sort of design, MDF top capped with either thin MDF, or masonite.  Chances are, that is what I will end up with, at least for my first workbench, but I really have my heart set on having a solid jarrah workbench one day.

One of the site’s readers sent me a link to the Taunton Fine Woodworking site to see this workbench:

Taunton Workbench

Taunton Workbench

It is an Australian Woodworker, but his username on the Taunton site, afghh doesn’t provide me with any contact details to ask permission for his photo to be used here, so if he comes across this, a. sorry, b. can I have permission. c. if not, happy to remove the image! d. nice bench – how much did it cost, how long did it take? e. Is that you Fred? (There are not too many TS10L owners!)

What really struck me, is the tablesaw in the image is the same as mine – the TS10L, so it is obviously ideal for my shop as well.  It is a modification of the Lee Valley design.

Lee Valley Rolling Cabinet

Lee Valley Rolling Cabinet

When I priced up the Jarrah today at Mathews, it came to over $500, which floored me.  That much for enough Jarrah for a 1000x1000x65mm top?  I didn’t have time to recheck my calcs etc, so I ended up leaving without getting the timber I wanted.  I did pick up a length of PurpleHeart (5.4m x 150 x 50mm), which is a timber that I have wanted to have some of for ages for a few projects as a feature timber. That cost so much less (well under 1/2), so I keep looking at it and wondering if I should use it for the top, but then, is that really a good use for such a timber?  I suppose I was prepared to use Jarrah in that way, but that seems different somehow.

Perhaps I should just make it from gold – probably cheaper.

A2 vs O1 Tool Steel

The Wood Whisperer recently touched on this topic, and has a very comprehensive reply from Ron Hock which is worth the read. (Hock was mentioned on here recently for his new range of carving knives)

O1 Tools Steel is a low alloy steel that can produce a very fine, sharp edge with an oil quench (thus the “O”)
A2 Tool Steel has more alloys in it, can be “A”ir quenched, and can benefit from cryogenic treatment (see my article on Steel for more info).

So if you are choosing what material you want to have for your plane or chisel blades, definitely an article worth considering.

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