The New Workbench Journey #5: My Design/Plan

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Blog entry by DrJosh posted 07-28-2010 08:00 PM 3203 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Almost Ready to Begin Part 5 of The New Workbench Journey series Part 6: And so it begins... »

Well, after much fiddling around with the design parameters and Sketchup (which I’m still pretty inexperienced at using), I have my “finalized” plan for my new workbench.

My workbench design

I had toyed with the idea of trying to make this bench a knock-down bench, but I had difficulty figuring out exactly how to make that work. So, this will be a permanant build using glue, screws, and half-lap joints to connect the legs and stretchers. The top is going to be a doubled up slab of 3/4” birch plywood with a 1/8” hardboard skin. The overall bech should come out to be approximately 34” high, 23” wide and 72” liong. Since this bech will spend almost its entire life again a wall in my garade shop, I still might loose the wide, rear apron and the apron(s) may get several holes drilled (at a later time) for holdfasts. Planing and squaring up the lumbers will begin this afternoon or possibly tomorrow. Any and all comments, thought, or constructive criticisms are welcome!

-- Nashville, TN

4 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3887 days

#1 posted 07-28-2010 09:19 PM

looks good. here are some pointers:

1. since you wish for a knock-down design – you could connect the long stretchers with bolds to the 2 legs, and when needed, you could take that apart into smaller parts that can be transported. better yet – add a dovetail angle on the ends of the stretchers to give you a bit more friction and holding power between the parts.

2. the top – its hard to see, but it looks like the lets are cut down to allow the top to nest in flush with the legs- not sure of sizes, but it makes the leg verticals look a bit narrow in those areas. again – for knock down – you could make the top as a part of it’s own, and let it fit into dowels/tenons sticking up from the leg assemblies.

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

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3210 days

#2 posted 07-28-2010 09:48 PM

Looks nice. Somewhat similar to my bench.
I don’t know what type of work you are going to do on this bench, but I would not want those wide aprons. If you want to add a vise they will be in the way. Or, maybe you don’t want a vise. What will you use this for?

I’m building my bench right now as well. My top is 4 layers of 3/4 ply, with notches in the 3 bottom layers that form sockets for the legs to plug into. Then I am banding the top with maple 1×4, ripped down to 3” wide to match the top’s thickness.

View Tomw's profile


102 posts in 3466 days

#3 posted 07-29-2010 02:13 AM

How often do you clamp something to your bench? I do this a lot, and those wide aprons would require a much larger clamp. If that’s an issue, maybe you could let the top cantilever past the aprons a couple of inches to create a clampable surface. Having the legs and aprons recessed in this way might make standing close to the bench a little more comfortable, too. Just a thought.

-- Tom

View dryhter's profile


74 posts in 3842 days

#4 posted 07-29-2010 02:25 AM

I am just curious why you are not using mortise and tenon joints. rabbeted joints joints just will not hold up over time. mortise and tenon joints can be pegged instead of glued and essentially knock down. Here is a link to a series of videos ( 1 of 9 )I made while making my work bench workbench

I am not trying to blow my own horn, but you may just want to reconsider, there is a reason why certain joints are used for certain applications. Good luck with what ever you decide.

Just my .02 cents

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

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