|Project by CaptainKlutz||posted 04-23-2014 10:14 PM||6556 views||59 times favorited||35 comments|
After way too many years of tinkering with wood, getting frustrated with fold up plastic tables scooting around, and building half dozen different utility garage workbenches (from solid core doors and 4X4 pine legs) that were so ugly they go left behind when ever I moved; I finally decided to put time/effort into a real woodworking work bench.
Used the “The Essential Workbench” plans from Fine Woodworking #167 as the baseline. Top is 87” long X 30” wide. The trestle legs are a beefier than plans 3.5”X4.5”made from hard maple to ensure nothing moves during hand plane work. The 2.5” thick top is made from a pile of 4/4 $1 per bd/ft beech I found on CL a few years ago. Was a lot a work to laminate that many strips for the top, so much; I made the (3) 10” wide sections of the top (width to fit my planer) and let it sit for 8 months debating if they were become a bench or give away cutting boards for Christmas. :) When I found some inexpensive 8/4 maple (legs) and 8/4 beech (table apron) during the black Friday holiday sale last year, decided to finish the work bench as you see it. Instead of fancy new vices, used (3) old 10” Wilton rapid acting vices I picked up for $50 each from CL and refurbished. One for the front vise and (2) creating a wide end vise. The vices got new hard maple handles with walnut end caps to match the walnut drawer fronts. Also lined the vice jaws with thick 14oz leather to help with clamping. Finished the top with 3 coats of Tried and True linseed/beeswax blend, that is easy to touch up and even super glue doesn’t stick to it. Legs are finished with 4-5 coats of Arm-r-seal urethane for durability. The pic with ugly green vices is during finishing of the bench/legs.
Used the bench without cabinets for a couple of months and decided it was a huge waste of space under there. As you can see from the test fitting picture, even my 8 year old son liked the size of the storage space created. The cabinets under the bench are based on “Tool Cabinet for a Workbench” from Fine Woodworking #181. Followed the plans except for dimensions, drawer configurations, and pull hardware. I dyed the curly maple edged birch boxes with a custom burgundy color Transtint to match the metallic red automotive paint I used to repaint the refurbished Wilton vices. The exterior of the cabinets are finished with Arm-r-seal urethane, while the drawers got several coats of GF WB high performance urethane with less odor and faster cure. The drawers are all lined with burgundy felt to coddle the tools inside. Included a pic of the first tools that got moved into their new home. :)
To be honest, never would have posted a work bench on the web. There are already thousands out there. It is not my best work, nor my worst. If look real close you will find at least a dozen mistakes and understand my nick name. But SWMBO saw the finished bench, tells me it is too nice to be in the garage, and promptly demanded that I build one like it as a dinning curio cabinet for her china and silverware. That is just too funny not to share. Hope you like it as much as we do. :)
-- I'm not a woodworker, but sometimes I do occasionally find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!