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Taught by Mike Siemsen
Online Class

Woodworking Essentials: Benches & Boxes

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Make a simple bench, a dovetail bench and a dovetail box as you discover a variety of small woodworking project ideas and techniques. Woodworking professional and instructor Mike Siemsen shows you how to sharpen a chisel and shares tips on proper usage. Next, find out how to construct a simple workbench top, and use effective hand-sawing techniques. Then, build a sturdy, simple bench with secure dado joints. Go step by step through building a more complex bench with snug, clean dovetails, and use a compass and coping saw to cut an impressive ogee design in your bench apron. For your box project, you'll create dovetails with an excellent fit, construct mortise hinges for the lid, add decorative hardware and finish your work with shellac. Enjoy making three useful, personalized projects as you build essential hand tool skills.


  • intermediate
  • 7 episodes
  • 3h5m

Included in this Class

1. Getting Started

1. 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.

2. Simple Bench

2. 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.

3. Dovetail Bench, Part One

3. 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.