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Getting a nice looking pegged joint is all about compression.
You basically want the peg to be a bit too tight for the hole so it cleans up without any gaps.
But, that’s not to say you can just whack a fat bit of dowel through a hole that’s too small and expect a good job (although that does sound a lot like life at times).

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Follow Step-by-Step with our French Workbench Video Build

Pre-Order Today To Receive The Introductory Discount

Chapter One will be up on Thursday 16th May

The series can be purchased by Clicking Here
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The Bench Design

The French workbench is simple and strong – just how a bench should be.

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You can sharpen owt on the humble old oil stone, but that doesn’t mean that you’d want to.

In our sharpening trilogy, I go on quite a bit about how your choice of tool will tell you what kind of sharpening method and set up you’ll need. I’m very firm on how effective oil stones are, but also that this is only the case when you’re dealing with O1 (or the softer type) steels and preferably blades which are thin.

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When owt gets born there’s blood, sweat and faecal matter.
That’s just a fact.

Giving birth to a workbench is the same.

It’s been a while since I’ve built a bench and I have to say I’ve been twitching for quite some time to do one. Building this hasn’t scratched that itch, actually this has made the itch worse….

My Rough French Bench

This workbench is for myself so that means that it’s had to be knocked up out of bits and bobs that have been kicking around the workshop for years.

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I’ve been having a good old tidy up and done that thing where you stumble upon a great big sod off vice.

Now, if you’ve been lingering around from our old days you may remember this thing.

It was rather nicely given to me by my good friend Richard Arnold.
He mentioned he’d had it for years and felt it was a great shame that is wasn’t getting used.

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It feels a bit awkward when a customer asks you when their DVD will arrive and you haven’t got one for them.

This has happened to us a few times just though the misunderstanding that the Series they’ve bought is provided online.

But all the streaming and downloading can certainly seem a bit technical at times, and it’s been a common request for our content to actually be made available on DVD.

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If you know anything about the way that I work then you’ll know that I don’t like to faff.

I will always do a proper job though, in fact I tend to do things somewhat overkill. But when it comes to the tools and techniques used I’ll always find the most basic and simple route.

I’m no different when it comes to timber movement.

For many timber movement is a huge area of frustration.

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The English Woodworker by Richard Maguire - 3M ago

Many of you have pointed out my shoddy array of straight-ish, straight edges.
I’m often asked if there’s a reason why I favour these home made things over something more posh.

This is one of those questions where I really wish I had a good answer. I don’t, but I’ll still cobble one together anyway.

First off, they don’t have to be fancy –

It’s easy enough to make one accurately straight off a hand plane.

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Buying timber can seem to be some sort of secret club that you’ve yet to be initiated in to. I’d like to say that after all these years of sourcing timber I’ve been through that initiation, but if I’m honest I’m often still stumped.

It’s not the technicalities that get to me, I’m pretty good now at knowing what I’m looking for. But the problem I see is that all suppliers like to go about it in their own way (a polite way of saying they’re all a bit odd).

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Sadly I ain’t one of those that can say he’s been in a generations old workshop all of his working life.

There aren’t tools still hung on the wall that my grandad put up, or boxes full of secrets who’s keys were lost lifetimes ago.
Instead I seem to move workshop like a Viking.

I’ve never been able to settle for one reason or another. Change of location, change of work but mostly as I’ve always wanted to do it alone, or my way as I like to say.

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