Workbench #1: Working on a Workbench

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Blog entry by Safetyboy posted 11-22-2009 06:41 AM 2666 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workbench series Part 2: Nearly Completed Workbench »

I’ve been wanting a real wood-working bench for a while, instead of the shaky typical “garage bench” I’ve been using. Needed something I could clamp a panel in for planing across & diagonal, a vice with a larger capacity, and a better way to clamp parts while cutting dovetails.

But I knew this was not going to be my “final” workbench – I know that I’ll eventually want something bigger once my shop moves out of the garage into a dedicated space (well, okay, my 1/2 of the garage is already dedicated 10 months out of the year, but still…), and as I get more experience I’ll probably want different features than I think I need now. So I didn’t want to take the time to build a bench that looked like furniture – I just wanted to build a quick, sturdy bench that would help me build furniture.

So when I saw the LVL (“Gluebo”) workbench in the Nov Pop. Woodworking, it looked like just the thing – something I could make quickly, and then get back to building furniture, but sturdy enough to do the job. And it was as easy to make as I’d hoped – I milled & glued up all the parts on one Saturday:

I’m using up a pile of soft maple that I bought for a couple other projects and had lots left over.

The base of the bench went together in another Saturday:


Cutting the halp-laps on the legs, I realized my 6” dado stack couldn’t make a deep enough cut… so I cut a bit off the stretchers too, to make the joints true half-laps (more or less):

That was the only hiccup so far – next up is to start working on the top…

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

6 comments so far

View Unskilled's profile


13 posts in 3116 days

#1 posted 11-22-2009 01:15 PM

Looking good – look forward to the next part.

-- -- Northamptonshire, England -- USAF Veteran

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#2 posted 11-22-2009 02:17 PM

Kevin, you have a nice start on your bench. It will be interesting to see the next installment.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ehegwer's profile


26 posts in 3111 days

#3 posted 11-22-2009 02:31 PM

I saw this design, too. Keep us posted :)


View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3167 days

#4 posted 11-23-2009 12:42 PM

Thank you for sharing this great looking project. Are you planning to use LVL like in the article?

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Safetyboy's profile


119 posts in 3758 days

#5 posted 11-23-2009 02:34 PM

559 – No, I don’t think I’ll use LVL for the top… I can get yellow pine or soft maple for a decent price – the whole top will cost me less than $100 – so I think that’s the route I’ll go.

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3672 days

#6 posted 04-20-2011 06:28 PM

Nice workbench blog.

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