Evolution of a Shop #30: New workbench

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Blog entry by Cory posted 06-01-2012 03:39 PM 5375 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 29: New bandsaw and drum sander modification Part 30 of Evolution of a Shop series Part 31: Bench update »

I’ve been jonesing for a new bench for what seems like forever. One project after another has been getting in the way but I finally just said “now or never”. My dream bench is one like this:

But, I didn’t have the budget or the time to build it, so I used all the materials I already had to come up with this:

It’s about 64” long, 34” high, 24” wide. I used hard maple and some maple ply for the legs and stretchers. The legs are a torsion box. The vise chop is cherry or mahogany, can’t remember which. The top used to be a bench at a school that was demolished a few years ago. It was sitting in my warehouse and I cut it down to the size I needed. You can see evidence of its previous life here:

Yet to be done:

-Sand the top, but only a little bit. I don’t want the top to be perfect. It’s a workbench and I don’t want to be afraid to hit it or cut on it.
-Add an end vise, which will come from my other bench.
-Drill a row of dog holes
-Finish with a coat or two of oil.
-Drawer bank for the top of the shelf. But I’ve got quite a few other projects ahead of it so I’ll get to it when I can.

Final Verdict: It’s heavy, rock solid, and cost next to nothing to build. Once I’ve worked on it for a while I’ll be able to really evaluate it. Until then…..

Thanks for looking.


-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

7 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1601 posts in 1119 days

#1 posted 06-01-2012 04:26 PM

Great looking bench and a very workable design.

A wink and a nod from Mother Nature for repurposing the the bench top. – Len

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2496 days

#2 posted 06-01-2012 06:51 PM

Cory, the bench looks great! I really like it. I think it’s a good setup – has room for drawers, but still some amp space above for the holdfast if need be. good all around size, and if it’s rock-solid and heavy as you say it is (and as it should based on that top…) I don’t see any reason this will not be the last bench you have.

would love to see it with both vises, dog holes and drawrers!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5721 posts in 2432 days

#3 posted 06-01-2012 06:58 PM

I bought myself a copy emmerit vice and another nice one called Wilton for the end vice.I am trying to get some wood together whats ash like for a benchtop or maybe sycamore yours looks great incidently thanks for inspiring us once again you jocks for coming up trumps. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View SPalm's profile


5067 posts in 2729 days

#4 posted 06-01-2012 07:13 PM

Neat. I could work with that. It looks great.
And more to come too. Sweet.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Tugboater78's profile


1503 posts in 1039 days

#5 posted 06-02-2012 10:02 AM

Just got finished going through your whole evolution, kudos on a great job. I am envious, but i know before to long I will working on my own evolution, starting at the big bang. Enjoyable journey and lots of nifty ideas!

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View Roger's profile


16282 posts in 1651 days

#6 posted 06-02-2012 12:49 PM

Looks like a fine bench to me

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Cory's profile


737 posts in 2266 days

#7 posted 06-02-2012 09:57 PM

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I had a chance to work on the bench a little bit today. I’ll post up some pictures of it when it’s a “completed” project.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

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