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Making of the Workshop - Behind the Scene #2: The Bench

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Blog entry by Thuan posted 2237 days ago 889 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Going Green Part 2 of Making of the Workshop - Behind the Scene series Part 3: What You Can Get For $1 »

My plan today was to build a workbench for the new workshop. I had the day to myself and wanted to get the thing built before I had to start dinner. This is actually a lofty goal since I had no idea what I was building. I didn’t plan much, I stopped by Agent Orange on the way home from work yesterday and asked them to rip a sheet of MDF to 23-1/2 “ wide. Got some 2×3 pine to along with that, total price, $28. The rest of the materials were things I had saved from my old shop, a couple of 4×4 redwoods and some 1×3 poplars.

I did know the bench would be built permanently onto the wall, it would have a way to clamp wood for planning and cutting dovetails and tenons. That was it. My last work bench was an IKEA stepstool I had purchased for $9.99. It’s design would inspire my new workbench by having a multipurpose slot on the top.
Work Bench
So I went to work. Now, I’m not good at taking pictures of the procedures since it slows down my creative process. But this is the final product. Six hours of work and about $60 worth of materials. I hope it works. The slot is designed for my Japanese saw, it cuts on the pull stroke, so I use the downward force to hold down the wood. This notch gives me clearance as I like to kneel and cut on the down stroke.
saw slot
The front slots is for clamps, there’s plenty of holes so it offers plenty of flexibility. I have more ideas on jigs and attachment for my bench, but that will have to wait for later.
The top is held down my gravity and wood dowels, hammered in and cut flushed. This lets me flip the top and change it should it wears.
Bechclamps slots
After dinner, I continued working on the shop and found a used for an old bamboo ladder. I had a left over cherry door form one of my kitchen client, I used it on the white bookshelf even though it didn’t fit. It thought it looks better with it. Next step is to make wall cabinets from the old shelving the last owner left behind.
West Wall

-- Thuan



13 comments so far

View grovemadman's profile

grovemadman

556 posts in 2272 days


#1 posted 2237 days ago

Looks solid and simple. I like the clamp slots in the front a lot and they look handy. Looks like you got plenty of room to expand if needed…

-- --Chuck

View kshipp's profile

kshipp

179 posts in 2278 days


#2 posted 2237 days ago

Those keyholes at the front of the bench are an excellent idea for clamping. I was trying to figure out the other day how I could hold some boards vertically on my workbench.

-- Kyle Shipp, http://battleshipp.blogspot.com

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2489 days


#3 posted 2237 days ago

I’ve never seen anything like your clamp slots before. That’s a great idea!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2497 days


#4 posted 2237 days ago

Very inventive! Visually appealing too!

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

View WhiskeyWaters's profile

WhiskeyWaters

213 posts in 2306 days


#5 posted 2237 days ago

I like the cut slot personally – might be getting myself a new workshop space. I’ll have to steal er…cough borrow your ideas.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View dustynewt's profile

dustynewt

639 posts in 2363 days


#6 posted 2237 days ago

Fresh, simple ideas! I knew when you came on board LumberJocks that you would be interesting to follow. Thanks for sharing, Thuan.

-- Peace in Wood ~ http://www.etsy.com/shop/DustyNewt

View Thuan's profile

Thuan

203 posts in 2318 days


#7 posted 2237 days ago

Thanks everyone, I really wanted to add something of value to the Lumberjock community so that we can all share. I receive plenty of ideas from this site.

-- Thuan

View RobS's profile

RobS

1333 posts in 2807 days


#8 posted 2236 days ago

Awesome bench and excellent ideas! You are very resourceful, thanks for sharing.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Blake's profile

Blake

3432 posts in 2375 days


#9 posted 2235 days ago

You are amazing, Thuan. Your simple yet extremely effective sense of “streamlined” style is so cool. You incorporated multiple ideas into this bench that I had never seen or would have thought of before. Are they original ideas straight from the brain of Thuan or have you seen them somewhere before? Either way, bravo. Very cool bench. For $60 bucks and an afternoon it looks as solid as a rock. What was for dinner?

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View bfd's profile

bfd

502 posts in 2307 days


#10 posted 2204 days ago

Hi Thuan,

Gotta tell you that is a great idea for a clamp rack! Man you think outside the box. Your innovated ideas and sensibility on how to re-purpose things and use them in a new way is amazing! I love your bench and the thought that went into it. The fact that you spent $60 and did it in an afternoon is just incredible. To call you resourceful would be an understatement. Your passion for the craft definitely shows. I can’t wait to see more on this blog from you.

-- Brian, Folsom, CA http://www.brianfullerdesigns.com

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2129 posts in 2214 days


#11 posted 2204 days ago

Thuan, I really like the clamp slots. I’m going to have to incoroprate that into something I build, like an assembly cart. Very good job! Thanks for the post!

—Steve

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 2299 days


#12 posted 2204 days ago

I fully agree with what everyone has said, this is such a simple design but unbelievabaly useful- what a FANtastic design. The clamp design and saw slot are very unique.

Thuan, did you use dowels to joint the 4×4 legs and front support? Also how did you attach the bottom layer of MDF to the front support and wall cleat?

GREAT Project – nice contribution!

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 2299 days


#13 posted 2204 days ago

PS to the Entire Group – Thuan’s blog is truly amazing a clinic in fine craftsmanship!
It is definitely worth a visit to read his blog and look at his style.

KUDOS Thuan!

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

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