Newfangled Workbench #1: Newfangled Freebie

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Blog entry by Charlzecheeze posted 01-14-2013 11:11 AM 2031 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Newfangled Workbench series Part 2: Continued progress »

I started work this weekend on a newfangled workbench. Thanks to those who have posted their previous projects (Nedb,Jeff, Ben and others) – they were all a big help in trying to piece together the bench from the kinda vague fww article. All the information in the world couldn’t stop me from making some mistakes along the way though… (It’s going to be a little shorter than planned) I guess that is to be expected, as this is one of my first solo projects.

Once I had an idea what I was going to build, the search for Doug fir began. My search was fruitless though, as not many places here in Ontario stock DF anymore. A few more calls and I found some inexpensive ash in small pieces. This seemed like it could be a hassle and I want this thing done.

I was inspired by the cool bench Bandit threw together, so I decided to scrounge through my woodpile. I have lots of oddball trim and studs left over from the ongoing restoration of our 1800’s farmhouse – I figured there may be enough to get the bench done.

One of the 2×4’s looks like OLD (1890) white pine, but some newer ones (1950’s) look like southern yellow pine. It’s hard as nails and kind of waxy, with a wavy grain like syp. (maybe hemlock?) Not sure what it is really, but it will work. I found some oak slabs that will be going on top along with a few pieces of trim that will be laminated to finish the bill.

Ironically – I scored some cheap clamps on closeout at Sears last week ($7 a pop). So, the only parts purchased have been 2 more clamps, some screws and glue.


-- Chuck

4 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2149 days

#1 posted 01-14-2013 12:33 PM

Step one… Scroung around for usable wood.

Step two … buy more clamps. (you’re gonna need ‘em)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 3707 days

#2 posted 01-14-2013 12:47 PM

Hey now, I should Not be at the front of that list…

Looks like some great progress so far, and ‘free’ is good! I’ll be honest, my bench does Not get utilized like it should, but that’s just because I’m horrible at shop clean up and maintenance, nothing to do with the bench itself… there’s always a ton of Stuff piled on it!

one tip: Double check that your vertical pipe clamps are facing ‘out’. One of mine is sideways and I need to tear the bench apart slightly to get it to turn. (note to self…)

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

View mileskimball's profile


97 posts in 2156 days

#3 posted 01-14-2013 02:27 PM

That’s why I decided not to build a tool tray into my latest bench. My old one had a tray, and it was just filled up with crap constantly. No tray = no place to work if I don’t put away the tools at the end of the day!

Seriously, looks like a good project. I love what happens creatively when you scrounge materials or adapt parts. No telling where it’ll take you, but it’s sure to be in your own direction.

-- Miles

View Charlzecheeze's profile


16 posts in 2111 days

#4 posted 01-14-2013 03:24 PM

Thanks Joe, point taken. Shopping for some new clamps today. Looks like I could have used the clamping force of the bench to build the bench…

Ned – I hope my bench comes out as good as yours. On the spun clamp – I would try some prybar action right at midspan to see if the leg and or pipe may flex enough to allow some movement.

I tend to get bogged down in the “what ifs” of building projects and they never seem to be completed. I am trying to take inspiration from my late father-in-law, who would bang stuff out with near-reckless abandon. Amazingly he would turn out some decent stuff.

Thanks for the support – you guys are all inspiration to me, to get off the couch and get it done.

-- Chuck

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