Woodworking Essentials: Benches & Boxes
Mike Siemsen is a lifelong woodworker. He has run his own cabinet and furniture shop, worked as a house carpenter, a restoration furniture maker on 18th century American furniture, and in millwork and fixture shops. Mike holds a B.S. in industrial education. He currently runs his own woodworking shop and teaches classes at Mike Siemsen's School of Woodworking.
01: Getting Started
Meet your instructor, professional woodworker Mike Siemsen, and preview the projects you'll make in this class. Mike shows you how to create a simple, inexpensive sharpening station with sandpaper and a piece of glass. Next, learn the proper steps for sharpening a chisel using your newly created sharpening station. Before beginning the first woodworking project, Mike constructs a simple work area, shares his tips for using a handsaw and chisel and discusses how to select quality materials from a long board.
02: Simple Bench
Mike walks through the steps of creating the first project of the class, a simple bench, and shares his time-saving techniques and tips for measuring and cutting the leg pieces and the two aprons. Learn how to chisel dado joints and lay out and cut notches as you pick up advice for dealing with imperfections in the wood. After all the cuts have been made, assemble the bench and discover ways to improve upon the final product.
03: Dovetail Bench, Part One
Apply the skills learned in Lesson 2 to create a dovetail bench. Learn how to prepare and mark the wood before making cuts, as well as the best technique for laying out and cutting tails and pins. Mike shares his time-saving trick for making a simple gauge with an index card. Finally, learn how to precisely lay out and cut pins using the dovetails you just created.
04: Dovetail Bench, Part Two
Finish your dovetail bench as you measure, mark and cut notches in the legs and apron. Next, learn how to test fit each of the pieces and, if necessary, make precise adjustments using a chisel and shims. See how Mike assembles all the pieces together, then makes final touch-ups with a sanding block.
05: Creative Options for Bench
Take your bench to the next level by adding a series of creative touches. First, Mike shows you how to create tapered legs with a handsaw. Then, see how to make an arched cutout at the bottom of the legs using a compass and coping saw. Learn how to lay out an ogee design on the apron and the legs. Finally, discover Mike's technique for taking a basic bench and adding storage and a hinged lid.
06: Dovetail Boxes
Continue practicing the techniques you've learned by building a dovetail box. Mike shares his time-saving tips for laying out and cutting dovetails and demonstrates how to use the dovetails to lay out the pins. Learn proper techniques for cutting out the pins using a handsaw and chisel. Assemble all the piece, make fine-tuning adjustments and finish the box as you attach a bottom and hinged top.
07: Decorative Options
Add more personalized touches to your woodworking projects. Learn how to create a slightly different version of a dovetail box as Mike shows you how to make an alternate lid by sawing off the top of the box and mounting hinges to it. Then, explore the wide variety of decorative feet you can attach to your box, from doorknobs to baseballs to wooden blocks. Finally, Mike shares several finishing techniques and ideas for future projects.