Small Workbench #1: The Design

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Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 12-30-2007 08:36 PM 3402 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Small Workbench series Part 2: The Lumber »

I wanted to make a small bench what would be dedicated for sharpening. I wanted to have a place where my sharpening stones would be ready to use. I used to have to find a place to set everything up, and sometimes I didn’t do that ahead of time. This meant I might have worked with a tool longer without sharpening. That’s not good, because a dull tool is a dangerous tool.

I came up with this simple bench. I made it somewhat heavy, to it to keep it from moving around. I also made it somewhat low. The lower height helps when you are doing some freehand work. It allows you to lock your arms in place and move your body to maintain your angle on whatever tool you might be sharpening. I’ve talked about Rob Cosman before, and this is a technique he talks about in one of his DVDs. If the height isn’t right, it shouldn’t be that hard to make an adjustment.

This bench is about 35” Wide, 22” Deep and 29” High. There is room for a shelf to hold sharpening supplies and jigs.




5 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3824 days

#1 posted 12-30-2007 08:55 PM

Nice design. I made a workbench that is about 27” high. I sit on a chair and It’s great when triming up tenons and cleaning out mortises. And also for sharpening.

Great idea.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3460 days

#2 posted 12-30-2007 09:14 PM

That’s a nice design. Workbench height can be a real issue. My workbench is the right height for hand planing. It’s too low for chisel work and sawing. My assembly table is the right height for fiddling and tinkering, but too high for planing. It’s always a compromise. That’s why I made the small workbench that sits on top of my workbench. I like your design though.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3421 days

#3 posted 12-30-2007 09:16 PM

Looks good – I’ll be on the lookout for number two!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 3538 days

#4 posted 12-30-2007 09:21 PM

Yes, bench height can be tricky when it comes to different operations. My brother is a Manufacturing Engineer and always talk at the 5S process. He would have a different station/workbench for each procedure :). He was happy when I told him I was going to have a dedicated station just for sharpening.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3097 days

#5 posted 04-04-2009 06:59 PM

Nice design.

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