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SHOP OWNER: Matt Wilkerson
LOCATION: Fort Wayne, IN
I have been working wood for about three years now. The first couple of years mainly consisted of purchasing the tools and setting up shop. Like most people, I started watching woodworking shows on TV and buying power tools left and right. However, after picking up my first Lie-Nielsen plane, I found myself hooked on hand tools for sure. These days I prepare my stock using power tools and take care of the joinery with hand tools.
I built my workbench from quartersawn white oak. It measures about 7' long and 3' wide. It has a single row of dog holes, a twin-screw Veritas shoulder vise and a tail vise with double guide rods. The strip in the bench top for the dog holes is 8" wide and 7" thick, while the rest of the top is only about 2" thick. The bench dogs are from some African black wood, which I think were turning blanks. I prepared the stock with my new 8" Grizzly jointer, and my Delta 12 ½" planer. The base of the bench is white oak too, with through mortise and tenon joints all around. I finished the bench with tung oil and I believe it is the best tool in my shop now.
My workshop occupies the 11' x 24' space of our one-car garage. My next big purchase is going to be a Jet 18" bandsaw. The only problem will be finding the space to put it. I would also like to do a small bit of turning whenever I can find some extra space.
The nightstand is cherry with curly cherry drawer fronts (they still need pulls for the drawers). The drawers are all pine except for the fronts and they feature hand-cut dovetails front and back. This was only the second time I have cut these joints by hand.
. . . Matt Wilkerson
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Springtown, PA 18081