Friday, January 15, 2016

My Forp I Bench

At the first French Oak Roubo Project I was a participant but initially I decided not to build a bench. I really did not have a lot of room in my schedule and I knew I would not be able to spend an entire week out of the shop. I also didn't think I had enough room for a second bench, especially not a massive French Oak bench.

As the week went on and I was able to spend more and more time at the Wyatt Childs shop I changed my mind. I began to gather materials to build my own FORP 1 bench. I based my design on the 7 foot long bench configuration.

During the year following this event myself, and the other participants would get emails with pictures of completed FORP 1 benches while mine languished unfinished. I actually had completed about 90 percent of the work but my schedule just wouldn't allow me enough time to get the bench finished and usable.

As FORP 2 week approached I was dismayed that my bench sat unfinished and another batch of FORP benches were about to be built. Fortunately Jameel Abraham came in a fews day early for FORP 2 and we were able to spend a couple days together in my shop. When Jameel asked for something to do I was more than happy to suggest that he put the finishing touches on my bench. Literally all it lacked was completing the planing stop, leveling all the joints, and making the legs even. A good half a day in shop and he had put my bench right.

Because I procrastinated about building my bench, no wooden screw or tapped leg was ordered for my bench so I opted to make my own and designed it to be similar to the BenchCrafted Classic leg vise.

I really didn't want to go into FORP 2 week with my FORP 1 bench still incomplete. Thanks to Jameel I didn't have to face the embarrassment of terrible procrastination.

That reminds me. At the first Woodworking in America event in Berea Kentucky I was involved in a conversation with Gary Blum and Mike Dunbar. I will always remember Mike Dunbar telling us that "procrastinator" was just another word for woodworker. He went on to say that woodworkers were the worst procrastinators ever. He was convinced that many woodworkers would much rather talk about projects than to actually get busy and build them. I have to admit I've known many of those kind of woodworkers and at times I have resembled that remark.

As my friend Jon Fiant would say," anytime you finish something, that's one less thing."

Wesley Tanner makes nice labels to be attached to all the FORP benches. It looks as though I've had a poster size label printed for my bench but that is not the case. If you picked up on the scale of the grain, or figured it out otherwise, my bench is bit smaller than the other benches made at that event.

I mentioned that I based my design on the 7 foot long bench, however I made my bench at 3/16 scale. You'll see the 6" scale across the top of my bench in the pic above. I did in fact have room for this bench and I also have a very nice memento from the FORP I event. The material for my bench was acquired while I was helping Jameel clean up the Wyatt Childs shop the morning after FORP 1 had officially ended. It was either a miniature bench or fuel for the wood stove.

Making this miniature bench was great fun and making things at a smaller scale was harder than I imagined.



  1. Well done, Ron! I didn't know it was a miniature until the last picture. Welcome to the world of Marco Terenzi.

  2. When it comes to small stuff I'm not even close to being in the same league with those guys nor am I trying be. This is most probably a one off.


  3. Ron, Nice work. Maybe you should design a new setup of bench planes for the 3/16 scale woodworker?