The need for this bench started with the slipper slope of acquiring hand planes and since that time, I’ve been eyeing more and more handplanes and while I’m doing that and using them, I’ve been doing all my work with a ghetto rigged Rockwell Jawhorse (which is a great tool, but not ideal for handplaning). Sooo, after seeing so many nice workbenches and realizes I desperately need one, I started to acquire some hardwood for the top. My first bench will be using this recycled hardwood flooring, and basic big box store pine 4×4’s and 2×4’s. I’m shooting for somewhere between 5-6’ long depending on the what the completed top ends up being. The idea is try to use my handtools has much as possible for all of the joints, but def power tools for the laminate top just because of the amount of lumber I’ll have to mill to make the top and the lack of an existing workbench for dimensioning anything, but I will attempt handcut mortise and tenons in hopes to learn something from my first budget build. I might also use it as excuse to pick up a couple new hand tools like a shoulder plane, perhaps a new saw from either LN, Bad Axe Tool works, or Wenzloff to do the tenon work and a set of mortise chisels.
We own a flooring store and we started a job that required us to take up existing 2 1/2” thick oak hardwood, mostly longer boards instead of shorts, which is nice. I had my guys set aside all the boards they pulled up between the 5’+ length and I have about 50-60 boards that length to use. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m not in a rush. I will pull all of the nails, then joint and plane them down, cut the tongue and groove off, and laminate them to between 2 1/2’ – 3’ wide (once again depending on the amount of wood I actually end up with. It should result in roughly a 2” thick x 3’ wide x 5’6” top roughly which isn’t ideal, but for my first bench and the fact that it’s free and recycled oak, I think it will suit me fine for now. So here’s what I’m starting with:
-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com