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Made at 173: The Workbench

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I follow quite a few Youtubers who post about their woodworking, rehab and DIY projects, and every so often they post about building their incredible woodworking or shop workbench.  The variety of bench styles tremendous!  Some are beautiful -


Some complicated:

And some are behemoths!

And some are simple and utilitarian.  But no matter the adjective, the single most important common factor is that they serve the needs of the user.  If you're like me, a simple homeowner, DIY'er and weekend woodworker, it's fun to look at these most important of all tools, and I just wanted to take a minute to show the workbench here at 173.  Brace yourselves though - it's not nearly as fancy as any of those pictured above.

It's of the very simplest of construction, but this simple bench has faithfully served 173 for some 20 years now.  It's not huge by any means, but measures 78" long by 27" deep and 34" tall.  I've thought about building a new "fancier&…

Snow Sled Rebuild - Finished!

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The other day I posted Part One of the Sled Rebuild and left off with the wood pieces of the sled cut and ready:

After that it was time to do some serious work on the steel runners.  The sled was built circa 1936, and my neighbor said it was sitting in his basement for a few decades, so the steel was in fairly rough shape:

And the steering mechanism was a bit rusty as well...

I started with a wire brush, moved onto the wire wheel on my drill, then sandpaper.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful day outside so I saved the house from all the dust...

And right there in the carport I spray painted all the parts.  The runners with Krylon Cherry Red and the steering parts in Krylon Satin Black...

That done, it was time to finish fine-tuning the steering handle...

But, when I went to round over the edges, I forgot to tighten the bit in the router and plowed out a huge ugly chunk of wood...

I was absolutely crestfallen.  I was so proud of the work I had done on that handle, only to ruin it so co…

Snow Sled Rebuild - Part 1

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Back in 2017 my neighbor was tossing his old sled out to the trash.  Having seen other blogs and the decorating people did with old sleds I thought - heck!  I'll take that thing!  My neighbor just chuckled and said, "One man's treasure...".  Again, that was in 2017.  Here's a picture from when I first grabbed the sled...


And here it is just a couple days ago...

Yep - pretty much the same!  But - in 2017 I did do a (very) little work on it...

I took the momentous step of sanding the rust off the runners!  And then it sat.  I'm not sure why, but I quickly lost interest in it.  So much so that a week or two ago it was heading back out to the trash, and for whatever reason I held onto it.  Then a couple days ago I thought maybe I'd dig in a little and give it one last chance.  Before I get started, here's the stamp on the underside.  I'm not sure of the manufacturer, but I think I can make out that it was made in 1936.  Maybe?  If anyone can tell, pl…