Thumbs Down

thumbs down


Well, we have some sad news. Spencer, Mr. Workbench himself, had a bit of a disagreement with our compound miter saw and the saw won. It took a bit of his fingernail and flesh as a consolation prize. This just goes to show that no matter how comfortable you are around power tools, accidents still happen. It is so important to be careful and use proper safety when you tackle any kind of project. And now, if you are even the least bit squeamish you might want to stop reading and just skip along to another one of our delightful posts because it is about to get real, and even a little grizzly up in here.

On the morning of the accident I was going about my morning business of feeding our 14 month old son his breakfast. He was still in footy pajamas and I was nursing a box of Kleenex trying to get past what had been my worst night’s sleep since catching a dreadful cold. Spencer was out in the garage hoping to finish a custom project for a customer. Suddenly, from the garage, I heard a shout. A very loud, very painful shout. I knew immediately something bad had happened. The garage door opened, Spence shouted up the stairs that we needed to go to the emergency room, and a whole lot of scrambling happened.

While I drove Spence sat sweating in the passenger seat gripping his thumb in a hand towel and Blakie sat quietly in his car seat. I dropped Spence off at the ER and ran to go fill up our empty tank of gas. By the time we got back to the hospital Spence was trying to talk to a nurse. He was sweating bullets and looking very white. After intake we were moved to a small little room where a nurse came to check things out. I swear, every practitioner who uncovered Spencer’s thumb made a little grimace. I glanced over a couple of times and, in their defense, it was a little grotesque, but it certainly could have been much worse.

Spence got a shot of anesthetic to numb the pain and then we waited. We had to wait a while, which was not a problem. There was a teenage boy in the ER with a serious, life threatening infection and he needed to be tended to. While we waited I read to Blake and tried to take Spencer’s mind off of his severed digit. Blake fell asleep, Spencer got another shot for his pain, and the Doctor came to check it out. He made a little face too. Surprisingly there was not a lot of blood, but there was a bit of finger missing.

After looking things over the Doctor said there wasn’t anything to stitch, so the best thing they could do was clean it and bandage it up then just let it heal on its own. Another option was to remove Spencer’s nail, but the Doc didn’t recommend it. So Spencer was wrapped up and released. When we got home he even examined the floor of the garage in search of the tip of his finger. Know what? He found it. Yuck! Luckily I didn’t have to see it. Throughout the rest of the day he was in a lot of pain, but I was just glad he would recover and his injury wouldn’t likely even be noticeable once it healed.

Now I get to re-wrap his bandages, ew, and not allow him to work in the garage for a very long time. As you might have guessed, this means things will be even slower around The Workbench, but we hope to have one prototype to show you all soon. I’ll give you a hint, it is another marble run!

See you on the flip side and THUMBS UP!


Welcome to the New Year

Well, we cannot believe a new year is upon us and our business has been up and running for over half of a year now. Crazy!

Things have been going really well and after the Bijou Market we ended up selling all of our inventory. Granted, not all of it was sold at the market itself, but the venue definitely helped to get our company name out there in the real world instead of simply online. The Holidays treated us well and we are really excited to start working on new things for the New Year.

Some of these new things, we hope, will include Mr. Workbench projects as well as some Mrs. Workbench projects. We also want to get you acquainted with our shop as well as some of the tools we love and love to covet. We want to make this blog a little more DIY friendly instead of merely a listing place for our products. We also hope to make a few videos for fun.

Granted these changes will all be a bit of a learning curve, so give us some time to get things together. Also, Spencer is still recovering from his arm injury. That paired with the winter weather is really slowing us down.

Giveaway Winner

This is it! The results from our first Giveaway!

Congratulations Samatha Keele! You are the lucky winner. Send us an email or call us at The Workbench so we can ship this marble run to you.

As it was our first giveaway we certainly have learned a few things along the way, and love all of you for your support and encouragement. It has been such a wonderful holiday season for the elves at our little Workbench LLC and we hope this single track marble race will help improve your holiday season just a little.

So, how we ended up finding a winner was putting all of the submission names in a spreadsheet  and then using a random number generator to pick the number. Thank you so much for your comments, your likes on facebook, and your links to our page!

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Our First Giveaway! A Single Track Marble Run

marble run giveaway

The Workbench is hosting our first giveaway and one lucky reader will win a single track marble run. This wooden toy can make the perfect Christmas gift for that special little someone who is especially difficult to buy for. It is even more perfect if you happen to be looking for something unique, handcrafted, and with no assembly required or batteries for that matter. With this wooden marble run your little one can enjoy hours of pure, imaginative entertainment. We hope this simple gift from us can help simplify your Holiday shopping and make your Christmas all the more enjoyable.

To enter, simply follow The Workbench on any of the following sites and leave a comment for each entry opportunity.

  • Become a follower of The Workbench blog and leave a comment introducing yourself and telling us what you enjoy most about wooden toys. 
  • Like our page on Facebook, share this giveaway with your family and friends, then leave us a comment here to let us know.
  • Follow our feed on Instagram @theworkbench and re-gram this giveaway, making sure to mention #marblerungiveaway.
  • Check out our inspiration on Pinterest and follow our Xmas Gifts and Decor board. Again, leave us a comment here for an entry.

Terms for this giveaway:

This giveaway will run through December 14th and we will randomly select a winner and announce them on the blog Saturday, December 15th. Sadly we can only accept entries from residents in the continental United States at this time and we will ship the single track marble run as soon as we confirm the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.

Best of luck and Happy Holidays!

Basic Wooden Marble Runs

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These simple back and forth marble runs are basic and straight forward. The marble races back and forth down each rung, as you probably would have guessed. The design for these marble drops may seem simple, but honestly these wooden toys can account for hours of fun and engaging playtime. No need for batteries either, which is always a nice bonus when it comes to toys for children.

These wooden marble runs make great gifts, especially with the holidays coming up so quickly. We know how difficult it is to find something for the people who seem to have everything. It is stressful and often results in the purchase of a gift card or certificate. Don’t cop out! If you want a unique, simple yet fun gift, the wooden marble run is certainly something to consider. For these types of wooden marble runs we have a design for a single track, double track, and triple track. That way, if you choose, you can play with more than one person and race against each other. They make great, natural toys for children to play with and are fun to give as presents.

Right now we have a handful of these wooden toys stored up for the Bijou Market happening this weekend. If we have any leftover from the event we will be adding them to our etsy page.

Materials: poplar

Dimensions: approx. L:18″ H:18″ W:6″

Wooden Padlock

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I love all things keys and padlocks. It really is a weakness of mine. So, when Spence surprised me with this little baby I was completely smitten. Love at first sight, that is what it was between me and this working wooden padlock. I immediately slid the wooden key in place, gave it a little turn, and the latch on my completely wooden padlock unlocked. I snapped the latch back in place and unlocked it several more times just for the delight of it all. I was utterly amazed a padlock could be made entirely out of wood and still have a working shackle.

This little project started when Spence purchased a book. For some odd reason he really likes making things that are not normally meant to be woodcrafted into woodcrafted products, like clocks for example. So when he found this book he immediately started making our first wooden lock and key. The project didn’t take him very long. The inner-workings of the wooden padlock is not all that complex. At least, they were not complex to him. I, on the other hand, still to this day have no idea how it all “really” works. I just know that every time I click the shackle into place I have this immense feeling of satisfaction, and I didn’t even build the thing.

This beauty is in no way practical for locking up your bike or securing your locker at the gym, but it is a great home decor piece and conversation starter. There is nothing quite like having this large wooden padlock in your hands, turning it over, and really reveling in the sheer simplicity. Imagine that, a working wooden padlock with its working wooden key. What could we possible add to our collection next?

Materials: oak

Dimensions: Overall H 8″, Body H 3 3/4″ L 4 1/2″ W 2″

Our Modular Bookcase

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This modular bookcase has been one of my favorite handcrafted additions to our home. Originally the main portion of the bookcase was a standalone piece, then for Christmas at the end of the year came the promise of the two side pieces. Now the set is complete and my much loved books have a lovely, comfortable home.

I first fell in love with the design of a modular bookcase while browsing through Target’s website. There was a lovely, tiered bookshelf that caught my eye almost right away. The wood was dark, the shape was modern and interesting. I wanted it then and there. However, when we saw the bookshelf in person we quickly realized the price tag for this modern bookshelf was beyond our range, especially for a pile of plywood. So the dreams of modular bookcasedom had to be put on the top shelf.

Fast forward about a month and a bit. The modular shelf was being revisited when we made a visit to the hardware store. Spence drew up some designs, we priced out the wood, and found that the project would be surprisingly affordable. Spence could build my bookcase for less, out of better materials, and to match my tastes. Win, win, and win!

So he bought the wood and the rest is history. Our modern, modular bookcase is the focal point of our sitting room and is always being complimented by our guests. This piece not only holds all of my favorite characters, but has character. Love it!