Build your Own Workbench

The team at Hardware Centre would like to wish a Happy New Year to all our partners in Woodworking, both customers and suppliers alike. We hope that you had a great Festive Season, and are well rested after the holidays. But all good things must come to an end, and we are back again grinding, to ensure that we offer our loyal customers the best Woodworking Experience in 2020.

While we worked on our 2020 events calendar, one of our team members casually asked what the main project for 2020 would be? That simple question drew a deadly silence from all of the team members … which project should we tackle in the new year that would be fun, interesting and most important, offer an opportunity for all to learn?

After some very interesting debates, we all shook hands and an agreement was reached. We decided on a very practical project that is essential to every Woodworker. This piece of equipment should be tailor made to your specific requirements and preferences, to ensure that you get the full benefit and enjoyment from your equipment. Yes, we decided to Design and Build our very own Workbench!

Although the idea seems easy, we found that there is quite a huge amount of work involved in designing and building a workbench. We started off by jotting down some ideas on the features that our workbench should have – and immediately ran into troubles. Each member of the team had his own ideas on what the perfect workbench should look like, and no-one could agree on a design! With this new challenge in mind, we knocked on the door of Bunny Croucamp, a very well-known woodworking professional and put the question to him – how would we design the perfect workbench?

Bunny smiled at our predicament, and said that he has thought of the same predicament many times. I mean, a workbench is a workbench, isn’t it? After years in the workshop, he found that the standard workbenches were not really working for him, and he started to make modifications to them. Small changes at first, growing bigger and bigger as time went by. Finally, he gave up and decided to build his own, according to his requirements. In his research he found a book by Christopher Schwarz, named “The Workbench Design Book”. This book is available on Amazon. With this book he finally realized the art and science involved in designing the perfect workbench.

Armed with this information our next question to him was – “Please help us to design and build the perfect workbench for our demonstration area”, to which he agreed!

So the team from Hardware Centre is very honoured to introduce you to the person who will be leading our project for 2020, Bunny Croucamp.

Okay, so we decided on our project! Now the next big question – which tools to use? The decision was unanimous: For a high-quality workbench we would have to use the best quality tools available. At the end the choice was very simple – we need to use Festool tools for this project! We had a meeting with Festool South Africa, and without hesitation they agreed. Thus, we are proud to announce that our perfect woodbench will be built with Festool Power Tools!

With the background story done, let’s talk about our project. Our workbench design and build will span over a period of 12 months, from January to December 2020. We will kick off the project with an informal talk on 25 January 2020, where Bunny will go in the details of designing a workbench.

He will share the thought process behind our design, and discuss what materials and methods we will use in the construction.

After the talk, we will get down to business! Over the next 11 months, we will have workshops where Bunny will demonstrate the techniques he uses to construct our workbench. These sessions will focus on the different construction methods available to the woodworker and how to use the different tools available to achieve perfect results.

So, when and where will the workshops be? You will be happy to learn that this special project will be held at both our branches, Randburg and Cape Town. Unfortunately, Bunny will not be presenting the workshops at Cape Town. We thought there will be no better person to lead the Cape Town project as Mr. Festool himself, Martin Rossouw! Thank you, Martin!

The workshops will be held on the following dates. The workshops will run from 09:00 to 13:00 on the days:

DateWorkshop Content
25 January 2020This will be the launch of our project. Bunny will have an informal talk on the art of designing your perfect workbench. He will focus on the functionality needed in a workbench. Further he will go into detail on the design of our workbench, and explain why we decided on certain functions.
29 February 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
28 March 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
18 April 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
23 May 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
27 June 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
1 August 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
29 August 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
31 October 2020Content on workshop to be announced.
5 December 2020Content on workshop to be announced.

See you at the project workshops!

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