Saw Sharpening Bench Pt 1

The basic ingredients.

The basic ingredients.

The pic above shows the top and the wood that will be used in this project. The wood has been collected over the last year. For shop projects I don’t usually buy the materials, but try to use what I have, what I can repurpose, or can find from others discards. The first thing I found was the top. It is a high pressure laminated countertop that a cabinet maker in my building no longer wanted. The leg stock is Douglas fir 4×4’s that I have had for many years. The oak board is door sill stock that I got from an estate cleanout several years ago. It will now be used for a shelf. In this case I did buy a Douglas fir 2x10x8′ board because I needed apron stock and wanted to begin the project so I spent a few dollars on that. The final dimensions for the bench were driven by the already existing top which is 24 1/4″ x 42 1/2″.

Today I finalized several key dimensions. Using the chair that will be used with this bench the minimum clearance under the benches apron was determined that would allow my legs to go under the bench. The location of the saw tooth line when being sharpened was determined also using the chair. I placed a saw in my workbenches front vise and, using the chair, the vertical position of the saw was adjusted until a comfortable height for tooth filing was achieved. These critical dimensions along with some measurements from the vise gave me the information needed to determine the length of the legs and the height of the aprons.

The stock for the legs, the aprons, and a shelf have been milled S4S.

The stock for the legs, the aprons, and a shelf have been milled S4S.

The rest of the day was spent breaking down, jointing, and milling the stock for the bench base to S4S final size. As you can see in the pic above I stand my project stock on edge on stickers keeping it spaced apart to allow air circulation. Never lay your freshly milled wood flat on your bench top. This can inhibit moisture loss from the face in contact with the bench top causing the board to cup. I have had this happen. Tomorrow the lengths will be cut as will the joinery. And hopefully glueup can be done Wednesday.

As always thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.



Professional furniture maker and restorer. Dealer and collector of vintage and antique woodworking tools.
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2 Responses to Saw Sharpening Bench Pt 1

  1. John says:

    An entire bench just for sharpening saws? You must have quite a large workshop! Or a need to sharpen saws quit frequently. Seriously – nice blog, lot of useful information. Looking forward to following your posts regularly.

    • My shop is not huge, but is used to make a living so I try to make operations as efficient and fast as possible. That is why I have a dedicated sharpening station and a bandsaw dedicated to cutting only contours.

      Thank you for your kind words. I hope I can pass on some of the things that my experience has taught me.

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