A workbench - Finally #1: The Beginning

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Blog entry by carguy460 posted 12-27-2014 01:50 AM 1372 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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For quite some time now (I’m guessing about 3 or 4 years), I have wanted to build a proper workbench. However, due to my job, a new baby (in 2013), loss of a job (in 2013), a new job (2013-14), significant income reduction due to new job (2013-14), another new job with significant income increase (Sept 2014), a move for the new job (Oct 2014), and all around procrastination and excuses, I haven’t made it happen. That is, until now.

My family went back to the hometown for Christmas, but I was stuck here in Deep South Texas for work. The house that we are renting here isn’t much, but it has a garage, and I set up shop in there. I figured since I had nothing better to do I could finally start building my workbench. After all, this new house I’ve moved into had no built in work surface, and now that I won’t have to work on the house (since I don’t own it), I might actually have time to do some woodworking.

My plan is for a Roubo style bench, made with dimensional lumber from Lowes, 6’ or so long. I’m shooting for a 3”+ thick laminated top (we will see if that works out or not) that is 24” deep. I was able to puchase 6 12’ southern yellow pine 2×8’s from my local Lowes for a little under $50. It took me about an hour, but I was able to find some that were fairly decent boards, though they were all quite wet. My plan is to rip these in half, crosscut in half, and end up with 16 boards for the top that I can laminate together to get my 24” depth, and then use the remainder to build my legs.

My legs will be constructed of 3 laminated boards, and attach to the top with 2 through tenons. For the stretchers, I haven’t decided how wide they will be, but I do know that I will be drawboring them in place. I will purchase the lumber after I figure out my leg spacing, etc.

This blog is going to be more for my own reference than anything else, because I want to document and later review what worked, what didn’t, blah, blah, blah. This will not be my forever bench, but I think it will be a good learning experience and a start.

Here’s my current progress:

The lumber pile (already ripped one of them, forgot to take the first pic):

The good ‘ol Radial Arm Saw I am using to rip the boards:

3 boards for the top glued up and in clamps:

Another glue up pic:

-- Jason K

7 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17872 posts in 1986 days

#1 posted 12-27-2014 05:43 PM

off to a good start!!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View benchbuilder's profile


265 posts in 1869 days

#2 posted 12-27-2014 10:37 PM

The hardest part of any project is getting started and you just finished that.. looking good!

View chrisstef's profile


15459 posts in 2425 days

#3 posted 12-27-2014 10:57 PM

I think ive been procrastinating a bench build as long as you have and now im officially behind. Id say we have a race but id set myself up for disappointment :). Great start on the bench brother. Good luck.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13569 posts in 2037 days

#4 posted 12-27-2014 11:18 PM

Jason, sounds great and looks even better! Keep posting progress, love it!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View BigRedKnothead's profile


7862 posts in 1401 days

#5 posted 12-28-2014 12:40 AM

Atta boy Jason. Gitter done.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View lysdexic's profile


5078 posts in 2042 days

#6 posted 12-30-2014 02:58 PM

Split top or monolithic slab?

What is your plan for vices?

-- I love Jeeps

View carguy460's profile


800 posts in 1754 days

#7 posted 01-05-2015 07:44 PM

Yikes – life got in the way again and I missed some comments..

ScottyB-yo: I am shooting for a monolithic top, unless my sub-par laminations fail, in which case it will morph into a split top. Vices are undecided at the moment, but I am thinking a traditional leg vise with nothing on the tail end for now…I’m going to go cheap and try to work with holdfasts and the leg vise until I decide I need something else.

Thanks for the encouragement, fellas. I need it. This top glue-up is a real biatch…I may finish before Stef, but I bet the results won’t be nearly as good!

-- Jason K

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