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Building a new workbench #11: Project Completion: The tool trays are completed & installed

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Blog entry by Loogie posted 1945 days ago 4932 reads 17 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Time to install the tail vise Part 11 of Building a new workbench series no next part

After several weeks of working on hanging doors, trim work and building a bathroom vanity I finally got a chance to finish up my workbench. One of the features that really attracted me to this workbench design in the first place was the reversible tool trays. I really don’t like the idea of having a big trough running down the middle of my bench, but being able to flip the trays over and have flat surface was very appealing. I decided to dovetail the trays rather than use the rabbet joint that Bob Lang had used. Although that would have been much easier I didn’t want to have to look at rabbeted drawers for the rest of my life. I also decided to use a 67 1/2* shaker panel raising bit for the tray bottoms. It was simply more aesthetically pleasing to me.

Photobucket

Photobucket

-- Mark



10 comments so far

View steveosshop's profile

steveosshop

230 posts in 2251 days


#1 posted 1945 days ago

That is an amazing looking workbench!!! That should be a great tool to use for any future projects.

-- Steve-o

View azwoodman's profile

azwoodman

132 posts in 2006 days


#2 posted 1945 days ago

Absolutely amazing! The 21st Century Workbench at its finest! I want to build the same one. I am going to favorite your bench and definitely refer back to it when it’s my turn to build it. I like the contrasting woods that you used. Very nice.

-- Spencer, Gilbert Az (http://www.azwoodshop.com)

View kiwi1969's profile

kiwi1969

609 posts in 2067 days


#3 posted 1945 days ago

you can rightfully be proud of that one.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View TheRecklessOne's profile

TheRecklessOne

15 posts in 1954 days


#4 posted 1945 days ago

That’s incredibly gorgeous… Are you busting at the seems to work on it? I’d be afraid to muff up something that nice… Great work!!!!

-- Sponsored by craigslist brand power tools!

View Mario's profile

Mario

902 posts in 2676 days


#5 posted 1945 days ago

That is one awesome bench. Great work.

thanks for sharing the progress with us.

-- Hope Never fails

View WhittleMeThis's profile

WhittleMeThis

125 posts in 1998 days


#6 posted 1944 days ago

Great job, the tool trays in the middle are a great touch. The workbench should last a lifetime.

View charlton's profile

charlton

78 posts in 2034 days


#7 posted 1941 days ago

Very nice. Looks impressive! Congrats!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2298 days


#8 posted 1417 days ago

Thats a nice looking workbench.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View reDesigner's profile

reDesigner

3 posts in 615 days


#9 posted 587 days ago

I was just looking back over the entire workbench series and this looks like a great project.

As I understand, this bench is designed with knock-down components so it can be disassembled at some point.

How are the slab tops attached to the upright leg frames that they still remain removable? I tried to extract this information from pictures, but didn’t catch that part.

View Loogie's profile

Loogie

99 posts in 2405 days


#10 posted 587 days ago

The bench top is secured to the legs with lag screws. Two per slab per leg. Eight screws in total.

If you are considering making this bench then there are a couple of modifications I would make now that I’ve used it for a few years.
1) eliminate the top cross-member. You don’t need it. The bench does not rack at all with it removed. If you are concerned about that you could always increase the width of the bottom crossmember.
2) add a sliding deadman. Elimination of the crossmember will allow you to install the sliding deadman. As it stands I find that panel edges often fall in the gap above and below the top cross member and I have no easy way to support it.
3) eliminate the trays and just make a gap 1 1/2” – 2” wide to allow you to get a clamp through it.
4) fill the gap with a filler that creates a 3/8” gap to store chisels and saws in while working. If you create the filler piece to be taller than the bench top slabs by 3/8” and then notch it around the leg cross braces you will be able to flip it over and have a nice planing stop. My trays are rarely flipped over. They looked great, but don’t get much use in reality. I made another bench with a split-top as described and I like it a lot better.
5) make the bench top slabs asymmetrical with the wider one in the the front and the narrower one in the back. That will give you as much room as possible to work without having to maneuver around things stores in the slot.

-- Mark

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