Planning a project is often my favorite part (aside the finished product). Thus there will probably be many many more plans/drawings on here than work updates.
However, this project is going to be seen through to completion as I need a workbench in my shop for future projects I probably won’t finish.
I’ve scoured books, magazines, and the internet to come up with a good vision of what I think I need in my bench.
- My current shop is 10’x20’ so space is at a premium. I feel that somewhere between 6’x2’ and 6’x3’ is the ideal size.
- I’m rammy, and can usually find a way to mess anything up so I would like an easily replaceable hardboard top.
- I want my bench to be rigid and heavy.
- I would like to have two perpendicular clamp vises.
- I would like to learn/practice some techniques such as mortise and tenon joinery, and get some time in on my new power tools.
- I want to make most of it with cheap lumber since it’s my first bench.
I’ve done some work in SketchUp (which I’m still learning) and came up with a design that seems to meet my needs. This is a rough version as not everything is to size.
Here we see the bench I’ve started designing. There should be a good bit of support with the 3.5×3.5 legs and large and plentiful stretchers mortised through. As you’ll notice I didn’t put any hardware on the vises.
In this picture I’ve removed the top layers to show the cross supports that would run through the inside sort of like a torsion box, though not complete. I’ve also put in support for the dogs. If you notice, they aren’t all evenly spaced, though I hope for them to be in the final version.
This picture I had a little fun with some textures. I would like to build most everything out of standard lumber from the box store including a top and bottom made of MDF and a sacrificial surface made of hardboard.
I’ve learned, in the process of trying to figure out workbenches, that there are a lot of styles out there. Nobody wants to show you how they’ve attached the legs to the table. I now know what the rows of holes are for.
Any thoughts on how I could improve on this design to better meet my needs.
-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL