It has been the author's custom to begin his handicraft books with several chapters on the selection, care and handling of tools, the construction of cabinets and chests to hold them, the making of handy shop equipment, the preparation of work, and the finishing thereof. In fact, boys who own all of the volumes have in their possession the equivalent of a school course in manual-training.
If you want to know about different forms of tools, what operations they are intended for, and what tools you will require for home carpentry, you will find the information in Chapter II of Handicraft for Handy Boys, you will learn how to handle tools properly by reading Chapter II of The Boy Craftsman, you will discover handy methods of doing things in Chapter III of The Handy Boy. Chapter III of Handicraft for Handy Boys will give you instruction in manual-training problems, Chapter IV of the same volume will tell you about wood finishing, and Chapter V will show you how to prepare working-drawings. The making of tool-chests, tool-cabinets and work-benches is described in The Boy Craftsman, Handicraft for Handy Boys, and The Handy Boy, and the last named volume contains plans for building a small backyard work-shop.
The author knows that most of you readers of Carpentry and Mechanics for Boys will not be satisfied until you have added one or more of his other books to your library, and, therefore, in writing this book, he has touched but lightly upon subjects contained therein. The subject of work-benches has not been exhausted, however, so further suggestions have been brought together in this first chapter.
To accomplish anything worth while in carpentry or mechanics, you must have a means of holding your work securely for planing, sawing, drilling, and other operations - a work-bench. Possibly there is no space at home available for a work-shop, possibly you are denied even enough working space in which to set up a permanent workbench, because of living in an apartment building. Under these conditions you need not be deterred from doing home carpentry, however, even though you may have to work under difficulties. You can provide yourself with
An Improvised Work-Bench like one the author used when he lived in an apartment. This bench, shown in Figs. 1 and 2, requires the use of mother's kitchen table, but the table is not altered or injured in any way, so there should be no reason for your not requisitioning it when it is not in the service of the culinary department, if mother does not object to your working in her kitchen. I believe that after you have demonstrated once or twice that you can and will clean up your scraps of wood, shavings, and sawdust when you are through working, leaving the kitchen as tidy as it was before you began to work, mother will have no objection.
Fig. 1. - You Must Have a Work-Bench if that Bench be nothing more than a Kitchen Table
Fig. 2. - A Kitchen Table with its Improvised Bench-Top Clamped on
You can make the work-bench attachment quickly, and it requires but an instant to attach and detach it. Once father discovers its convenience, he probably will make constant use of it when tinkering.