I’ve been meaning to make my 8 year-old a workbench so he can ‘help’ me when I’m out in the shop, but kept putting it off. When I saw Baligh’s latest contest, I couldn’t think of an idea for a project, then it hit me: “I’ll make a workbench!”. So, here it goes.
This is what I started with: 1- 8’ 2×8 piece of Douglas Fir, 6 board feet of 1×6 pine, 1-4×4x1/2 sheet of CDX plywood (not shown), 1-3’x1” oak dowel, 1-3’x5/8” oak dowel, 1-1’x5/8 piece of threaded rod, 3-5/8” nuts, pocket hole screws, Titebond III.
I decided on pocket hole joinery over mortise and tenons primarily because it was more in line with the ‘kit’ motif of the contest, plus it’s much faster and easier.
Here is the back-end, all screwed together.
This is the other reason I went with pocket holes, my Little Helper could actually help!
Here is a shot of the main body, all assembled. You can kind of see that the left-hand leg is wider than the others. I did that because…
I wanted to add a vice. The jaw is made out of a piece of the leg off-cut and two pieces of the 5/8” dowel.
This is the handle for the vice. Another piece of fir that I band-sawed and sanded into shape, with two pieces of the 1” dowel for handles.
Another shot of the vice handle. You can see I epoxy’d a nut into the handle, which of course will thread onto the threaded rod. You can also see that the damned thing split when I drove the nut into the hole. I opened up the hole a smidge, and glued up the crack.
And a couple shots of the finished project. I attached the vice handle with a little Loc-tite to keep it secure, and cut the CDX to size for the bench top and the shelf below.
This is all I had left out of the original materials. Start to finish, the whole thing took me about four hours to build. It was a fun project to build and I think I got about $35 in the whole thing.
And finally, here is my little man going to work. The finished size of the bench is 36” wide by 18” deep by 30 1/2” tall. It’s a bit tall for him right now, but then he’s a bit too young to do any serious work. I figure by the time he grows into it, his attention span will be long enough to actually build something. For now, he is content to saw off pieces of wood and nail them together. Thanks for taking a look!