Workbench Part 1 of 2

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Project by Bill Akins posted 10-17-2008 03:15 PM 12958 views 11 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to break this up into 2 parts. Since I started woodworking as a hobby a couple of years ago, I have been dying to make myself a good, sturdy workbench. I absolutley love the benches made out of maple but that is hard to come by around here and way out of my price range. After studying several pictures, books and plans and with a few of my own twist, I come up with this. I have enjoyed my 2×4/plywood bench I started with but I needed a bit more. I ordered a large shoulder vise from Highland Woodworking, took off a week from work and set to make myself a new bench.

This part covers the base only and the next part will have the top and finished product. The entire bench (excluding the vise) cost me only $100. The vise was an extra $70. My first trip to HD i picked up 3 4×4 post and a 2×6. All pressure treated southern yellow pine. I cut the tenon’s in the legs and the stretchers with my new dado blade set. First time I have used this gift. I touched them up with a block plane. I drilled the mortises with forstner bits and cleaned up with a chisel.

I then belt sanded all pieces ( I have no planer or jointer) to clean them up and “get the green off”. All of the joints fit nicely and were sealed with Gorilla glue. I don’t have a lot of clamps, especially large ones, so I made do with some ratchet straps from my truck to pull each section together. When all was tested square I ran screws through each joint. I knew that my top would be a dark brown so I used some walnut scraps to plug the screw holes. Also I do not have a band saw so I really couldn’t cut the feet into the bottom of the base like the plans call for so I made feet from some more scrap walnut.

After the base was together I decided to make a shelf between the stretchers. The base was stained with Minwax golden pecan and a few coats of polyurethane. I am very pleased with the whole project. My next post will have the top I decided on along with my new vise.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

8 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3572 days

#1 posted 10-17-2008 03:46 PM

That base came out sweet!
I have about the same type and number of tools you have.
Figuring out how to do the same processes that that the guys with the fancy shops do with what I have is half the fun.
I can’t wait to see the top to your bench.
That stain really brought the grain.
I use a lot of scrap Oak and Pine and I use Minwax Natural stain on it, It makes it look like store bought fancy wood.
Then if I have it, some Polyurethane for a finish.
Thanks for the posting. You do nice work.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View scarpenter002's profile


606 posts in 3901 days

#2 posted 10-17-2008 04:38 PM


Looking good. Looks like your going to have a sturdy bench there to provide you with many years of service.

-- Scott in Texas

View martin007's profile


142 posts in 3772 days

#3 posted 10-17-2008 05:08 PM

beefy and solid, that’s the way to go

looking forward to see it complete

-- Martin, Gatineau, Qu├ębec

View marter1229's profile


437 posts in 3507 days

#4 posted 10-17-2008 05:32 PM

Great looking table. I will send you my address, and you can ship it to me!
N. Idaho

-- It's all fun, Terry******N. Idaho

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

505 posts in 3513 days

#5 posted 10-17-2008 08:25 PM

I will echo the thoughts of others about how sturdy it looks. Since you used a treated lumber, if it is the new one, be sure to isolate your vise so that it does not begin to corrode. The newer “green” lumber is quite corrosive. Replacing all the screws in a large deck after only 10 months drove that point home really well for me. And I just got to help my neighbor.

You probably already knew that, but just in case…

-- jstegall

View mjlauro's profile


244 posts in 3757 days

#6 posted 10-18-2008 12:04 AM

looks strong and sturdy. Are you building a shelf/cabinet under the bench?

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3882 days

#7 posted 10-18-2008 05:57 AM

Great start THANKS.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 3695 days

#8 posted 10-18-2008 03:55 PM

Thanks for all the great comments. I’ll be posting the rest soon. I was unaware that treated lumber might corrode the vise but I think it should be OK. I did decide to add the shelf which wasn’t in the plan.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

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