Starting up a workshop the second time around. #4: Small changes in the workbench plan

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Blog entry by David Kirtley posted 06-20-2010 06:21 AM 1359 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Sometimes you win..... Part 4 of Starting up a workshop the second time around. series Part 5: It was a good weekend »

Well, it is a fairly minor revision. I went to the lumberyard today and I got a pretty good deal on some 4×4 rough cedar wood for the base. The base is going to be built completely out of cedar. Cedar is one of my favorites woods to work with. They sell it here in in much nicer dimensions than the regular stock. Nice square edges and nearly full size. The 2×4 lumber is actually almost 2” x 4”. What a concept. It smells nice and it cuts easily. Tools do need to be sharp though. I may break down tomorrow when I am cutting the mortises but so far, no electrons have died in making this.

Right now, I have the leg modules sitting in clamps I don’t have the mortises cut out yet though. That will be tomorrow once the glue sets up and I trim off the filler I just finished with. I cheated on the joinery for the ends. I just cut a dado on the cap pieces and epoxied them on. I still had some left over from my last boat and it doesn’t keep indefinitely. I might as well use it. I also filled a few knots and the boundaries of the dadoes.

I moved the rails down a bit on my model since I last thought about it. I probably will not make built in storage under the bench. Once I thought about it, the storage I had originally planned would get in the way of the bottom ends of the holdfasts. I can put some smaller storage across the stretchers that is removable.

Once I get the base put together, I can glue up the top. I am going with 3 layers of 3/4 hardwood ply with a sacrificial 3/8 in tempered hardboard on top. I will put an edging of 3/4×3 1/2 pine around the edge of the top to dress it up a bit.

The bottom piece of ply I will have to cut out clearance for the vise. I might have to take a little bit out of the next sheet but I won’t know for sure until I get everything lined up and see how stuff fits.

I am also going to add some feet to the legs.No real reason other than I thought it looked better that way.

So, unless anything comes up with the rest of the build, this is what the final bench will look like. I have not really decided on the edge treatment for the base though. I am waffling between just putting a radius on them or chamfering them. That will be the last thing I do before I put the top on though so I have time to think about it.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117086 posts in 3571 days

#1 posted 06-20-2010 06:44 AM

Looks like a plan

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2976 days

#2 posted 06-20-2010 08:56 AM

it will look nice and smell good. i’d put a thumb nail design on top of feet,and small radius between pads on bottom

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 3009 days

#3 posted 06-20-2010 10:52 AM

Looks great. Should do you well.
Only suggestion make the back plate of the vice flush with the front of the bench to support long lumber.;

-- Daniel -

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2992 days

#4 posted 06-20-2010 02:34 PM


I cannot put the vise back flush. It is a patternmaker’s vise.. Well, a cheap Taiwanese copy of a patternmaker’s vise. That is the one drawback to this type of vise. It sings and dances but it doesn’t sit flush. Actually, it swivels and tilts. It rotates 360 degrees around it’s axis and it tilts up to 90 degrees parallel with the benchtop. The vise jaws can pivot and there is an auxiliary jaw to handle up to 30 degree angles.

I will have to drill a couple dog holes on the edge and make a bit thicker board jack to hold long stuff out to meet the vise instead.

I am also going to be heavily using swirt’s lovely handscrew mod.

This has to be one of the most stunningly elegant solutions I have seen in a long time. One of those ideas that you cannot understand why nobody came up with it back when they invented handscrews.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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