Work Bench Build #1: The Beginnings, where I come from, and where I'm going.

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 11-05-2012 04:22 AM 7582 reads 7 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Work Bench Build series Part 2: More Plans, Top Slab, and Starting Legs »

A Workbench… I figured it was about time I make one. I’ve been working with hand tools primarily for almost a year now, and my “workbenches” has had many forms. My primary work horse was the work mate. Now, this works, but is far from ideal.

And so it goes on. I’ve also used a few other arrangements as well.
Parallel jaw clamps, clamped to a folding table, clamped to a porch support beam. This actually worked surprisingly well, until there was any sort of side pressure… then the end would start to dance around

I’ve also used a sitting bench with a single clamp as a planning stop.

Ok, I think you’ve got the point. I’ve made do for some time now, in various different ways. I feel it’s now time to get a real bench to work on. Thus begins the journey.

Here’s the basic design. I will also add a leg vise, and an end vise

That is all I’ve got for this one. I will have an update for some more progress in the coming days.
Thanks for checking it out!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

21 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15368 posts in 2641 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 04:27 AM

Very cool, Mos. Good luck, and I look forward to following along!~

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View ShaneA's profile


6955 posts in 2621 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 04:28 AM

Should be interesting, and a nice upgrade. Looking forward to seeing all transpire.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3132 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 06:55 AM

I really have to admire the creative methods you incorporated to clamp boards for planing without a bench. I have a workmate style table that would slide across the floor. Your use of the items around you is very commendable.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 11:49 AM

I shall follow your post.
I built a bench several year ago.

-- Bert

View bhog's profile


2236 posts in 2713 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 12:26 PM

Looking forward to following along.I have been wanting to build a real bench also.

Are you planning on oak for the entire thing?

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2975 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 12:53 PM

Best wishes on your build! Mauricio will be very proud of that design.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2646 days

#7 posted 11-05-2012 01:38 PM

Sweet Mos.

Just so you know, Roy Underhill did a show on this exact bench. However, I think he uses rising dovetails to attach the top to the base.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View terryR's profile


7168 posts in 2332 days

#8 posted 11-05-2012 02:43 PM

Mos, you certainly deserve this bench! I look forward to following you work…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View AnthonyReed's profile


9755 posts in 2463 days

#9 posted 11-05-2012 02:48 PM

Right on. This will be great; thanks for bringing us along Mos.

-- ~Tony

View Mosquito's profile


9351 posts in 2315 days

#10 posted 11-05-2012 03:39 PM

Thanks everyone. I very much look forward to having a “real” bench to work on.

BHog, Not entirely oak, but mostly. I have an 8’ piece of 1.5”x3.5” hard maple I picked up for $20 a few months ago, that I intend to use for the end caps, and back piece for the tool tray. I’m not sure what I’ll do about the tool tray bottom yet, either. I was thinking about 1/4” plywood to keep the cost/thickness down, but I may T&G 1/2” boards instead…

Scott, I have watched that show several times (it’s actually two episodes), and that’s where I first saw this bench style. He did use rising dovetails, but I’m not sure if I’m confident enough to try that yet… I don’t have a good tenon saw, so I’m going to try to keep things a little more simplistic. I do, however, intend to do “rising tenons” so to speak. So as to have the grain running full length of the tenon on the bench top, but again, I guess we’ll see… I don’t have a drill press, so it’s not like drilling perfect 90 degree angles will be any easier than not :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2646 days

#11 posted 11-05-2012 03:48 PM

Mos, How big is that slab? I am guessing 3 1/2” x 18” by 5’.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3175 days

#12 posted 11-05-2012 03:59 PM

I like it a lot! Big shocker there. The splayed leg club is growing!

What is your reasoning for not having the End Caps extend all the way to the front? Also, if you stay with that idea there is an opportunity to dovetail the front too, just a thought.

I would go with wither poplar or pine for the well bottom, one wide board. Plywood will work well too but not as easy to work with hand tools.

This bench is going to be Great! I’ll be watching eagerly.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mosquito's profile


9351 posts in 2315 days

#13 posted 11-05-2012 04:04 PM

It’s 2 3/4” x 9” and 4’ long. It was a hair over 9” wide when I got it, but there was a ding one one of the corners. I cut off of that edge to get it down to the 9” wide. I intend to add an additional 3/4” thick board to the bottom, to use for the tool tray support on the back, and help with the end caps.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2646 days

#14 posted 11-05-2012 04:05 PM

Mauricio, what would you know? Geez!

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2646 days

#15 posted 11-05-2012 04:06 PM

I meant 18”/2 BTW :^)

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

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