Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Taking the reins...

It's funny how things come full circle, if you wait long enough. Years ago - and I mean YEARS ago! - I used to frequent a very cool woodworking store in Cleveland. Think Lee Valley, only thirty years ago.

 I don't even know if they're still in business; I can't find anything out about them. But  I remember being a young (broke) woodworker who would visit their store and drool over the woodworking benches they sold.  

Leichtung Tools sold Lervad benches back then. I don't believe there are any US dealers who carry them anymore. That's a shame - they make a full line of excellent benches - for jewelers, carvers, and everyone in between. 

Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago, a woman called me and said she had a bench that she wanted to give away. Her husband had passed away, and she wanted to find a good home for it. 

I arranged a time to pick it up, and imagine my surprise when I walked into her garage and saw this Lervad Model 610 just sitting there,

 in nearly mint condition! 

She even had the original manual with it! It's a terrific
 little bench - complete with bench dogs 

and two vices. Yup! A tail vise and a shoulder vise....perfect for holding wood while planing 

or cutting joinery. 

This bench has literally been around the world - her husband bought it while in the military, and had it shipped to Europe, where he used it for light carving projects. The address on the paperwork she gave me even had his APO address on it.

It always feels special when someone donates a piece like this to the shop - like I've been given the guardianship of it. Not to sound corny, but receiving a bench like this commands that some respect be given to it. There's a responsibility that comes along with it. 

 You don't want people dripping glue all over it while gluing something up, or getting spray paint all over the top of it. 

So for now - I'll just find a good spot for it in the shop, and hopefully - let some people use it who will treat it well. 

Oh - I thought it might be a nice idea to commemorate it - so I ordered this plate. Many thanks to the Hall family for this... we'll take good care of it.


Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

How wonderful and how nice that she thought of you. I'm sure it will be used for some fabulous creations!

Uncle Ralph said...

Wow, what a great bench, and by the looks of it, the owner loved it and took excellent care of it. I would be so scared to use it! All of my work would be done on carpet or drawer liner material (which is what I do on the bench I made for myself--I neglected to build the top as a replaceable part. Live and learn!). The commemorative plate is a wonderful touch. I'm glad it has a new home with you!