Traditional work benches (roubo for example) are out dated. I know, heresy. But it’s true
The reason they made those crazy over sized legs and joints was because they didnt have sheetgoods back then and they needed to over build them to deal with the lateral and horizontal force they experienced.
It is my opinion that pine 2×6’s and 3/4 ply MORE than cover any of the structural needs of a work bench.
So the next big argument FOR traditional work benches is an ascetic one. Well i have an answer for that as well; 3/16” re-sawed “veneer”. Thick enough that it will take dents and dings with out giving away its not solid hard wood, but a fraction of the price.
Now that i have spouted my own self aggrandizing opinions, i decided i should put it to the test.
My work bench, built with hardware for UNDER $300…..lets see if i can do it
Here is the start:
The exterior wood i chose was quarter sawed oak. Partially because i always loved it and partially because i had a lot of misshaped boards of it. Over the years any time a got a hold of some white oak and a board had a section that had the flecks and look of 1/4 oak, i would cut it out and save it..so a lot of these boards where only 3-4” wide. which worked for covering the 2×4s.
I also decided to make the joints look like large dovetail joints. and then i added some think strips of hard maple just to accentuate the joint even more. All are hand cut. It was a good skill builder to work with hand saws again.
then i just glued it over the 2×4s and 2×6s (the legs are 3.5” wide and the cross supports are 3”)
I’ll post more on the bench and the homemade leg vice later.
Feel free to comment or agree or disagree with my thoughts