So, this week was taking what we had learned the previous week from the Hand Tool School on hand sawing techniques and putting it into practice. Taking what is essentially a 5 board bench design and splitting the top in two along the length for a ripping slot.
This was a fun exercise because having a proper saw bench was on my list of needed shop tools. It's not much fun stooping over a recycling bin that wants to collapse from your weight bearing over the middle of the long edge. I attributed this for my issues with staying plumb all the way through my cuts. After all, who wants to admit a shortcoming in skill?
I won't go into the details of how it's built but what I will mention is what I wished I had done differently. The overall length is about 3' with the legs 6" in from the ends. I should have put the legs within 3" of the ends because ad I'm sawing, I find that I put my weight on the end at some point and the bench wants to tip like a see-saw. My only concession to power tools for this project was to use a drill to fasten the stretchers to the legs and pocket screws to fasten the top.
After finishing, I decided to do the practice exercises again. What a difference to have a stable surface! I'm able to cut to a line, but am still having problems with staying plumb all the way through the cut. I (being right handed) put my left knee up on the bench to hold down the work piece, and have a feeling that I am leaning too far out as the cut leans out (with the tip of the saw closer to the bench than the handle). It's not drastic and it starts out plumb but about 1/2 way through, it starts to lean out of square.
I guess it comes down to me and more practice.