To start off, this will be a blog series that will follow along as I design and build a truly first-class bench for under $250, including vises.
I’m sure most of you are thinking I’m a bit nuts or that I simply have no idea what I’ve got myself into. But in reality, I’ve been planning for this very build for months upon months. I’ve priced out what I’ll need, have a general idea of where I’m going, and I’m basically ready to get started.
My inspiration for this bench build is being totally fed up with the current designs available commercially, and wanting to prove once and for all that you CAN, with proper use of materials and planning, build a low-cost bench that will function just as well as the best of the best, while using common tools and materials.
The basic design of this bench will be one that has become very popular in recent years, the Roubo. I will be using rough-cut softwood, likely some type of pine or fir, as this is readily available, easy yo work, and very affordable at $0.50-$0.75 per/bf from my suppliers, and sometimes cheaper.
Vises will be self-made using wooden screws cut on a 1.5” Beall threading kit. This gives a lot of versatility and flexibility in what type of vises are used and how they are designed, and again, can save a ton of money over commercial pieces. My plan is to use twin-screw vises for both shoulder and tail vises, but this could easily be changed if someone wanted a different set-up, as having the threading kit give you the ability to make whatever you can dream up!
If you’re interested in building your own bench, but have been put off by the cost, you may want to follow along as I build this bench as it may give you some ideas on how to build your own and save some money too.
I’m going wood shopping this coming week, so this should be kicking off really soon.