Shortly after I found a Sjobergs bench at an auction, I came across an elderly woodworker in my neighborhood that was giving up his shop for health reasons. I heard he had a Shopsmith for sale, and being who I am, I couldn’t resist a visit to see if I might add yet another one to my shop. Alas, it wasn’t to be. He wanted too much for it. ( I like to find them cheap)
He did, however, have a workbench he had built some 50 years ago that he was selling for $75. While the lower part was simply 4×4 legs, oak frame and a shelf, the top was 1 1/2” solid oak with breadboard ends & glued & screwed together with 3/8” threaded rod through the full width. The dimensions are 60” x 23”. And what I really wanted were the vises. One a vintage Wilton, and the other a quick release Abernathy tool Co. vise.
If you read my bench # 1 blog, you may remember that I like both storage & weight in a bench. Well, this one’s got both. The storage comes from 5 old oak face pine drawers I got free from a woodworker friend who needed space. I built a plywood cabinet to house the drawers. I used 7 ply, 3/4” plywood. I get them free from a local builder of camper trailers. They are door cutouts that he discards. (I love material cost lists that contain only a couple of screws & finishing materials)
I wanted to keep a vintage look to the bench, and luckily the drawers were close to the tone of the top, so with a little of stain work, I was able to get the look I wanted. The sides of the enclosure are peg board & the back is oak face plywood. I faced the legs, which were not hardwood, with 1/8” resawn oak.
I cut down the height of 2 drawers to fit & had to get creative with the 5th drawer, as I wanted to utilize all the available space. I made a vertical drawer to house some of my lathe chisels.
So now I’ve got more storage, enough benchtop area, and enough weight (I can’t even slide the bench around, I estimate that with the top, vises, and all the tools in the drawers, it weighs in at 250, 300 lbs) to keep me happy for a while. Now, it’s time to put ‘em to use. -SST
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you