My Version of the $175 Workbench #2: Coming together

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Blog entry by jonah posted 06-07-2014 11:15 PM 1906 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting Started Part 2 of My Version of the $175 Workbench series Part 3: Drilling and Drilling and Drilling »

I started this blog series when I was halfway done with the workbench, so it probably seems like the thing is coming together a lot faster than it should.

Yesterday and today I worked on the long stretchers. I got the holes drilled, got the cross dowels situated, and bolted everything together. The process went fairly smoothly, but in hindsight I should have created a jig to determine the exact location of the hole for the cross dowels. In probably 3-4 out of the 8 holes I had to widen the hole by a quarter of an inch or so to be able to thread the cross dowel on. You can see that in the bottom hole in this picture:

Turns out that it’s pretty easy to be off by a quarter inch or so when you’re drilling a 5+ inch hole.

I also trimmed the top to length using my track saw:

In that picture the top is upside down and you can see part of the base assembly.

I then glued some scrap pieces of poplar on to serve as cleats to screw the top to:

Here’s a pic of one of the vises I’ll be bolting on:

Next step is going to be sanding and finishing the top and base separately. I may or may not drill the dog holes before I finish the underside of the top – haven’t decided yet.

I figured I’d finish the underside of the top as well as all sides of the base before I screw the top on. I don’t fancy spending forever underneath the thing trying to wipe varnish or shellac on.

Then I’ll screw the top on, flatten it with hand planes, and put some finish on it. After that it’s vise time.

Any opinions on finishing prior to drilling dog holes? Good idea or bad idea?

2 comments so far

View BigRedKnothead's profile


7882 posts in 1405 days

#1 posted 06-08-2014 04:18 AM

Well done sir. This was the first bench I built as well. I’m not sure I’ve ever finished the underside of my benchtops…lol. But I don’t know if it makes a big difference. I do like to do layouts and perhaps drilling before smoothing because smoothing will remove the marks.

Great job so far.

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

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2757 days

#2 posted 06-08-2014 12:17 PM

Looks great. It’s going to be a great asset in your shop.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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