Benchtop Bench. (Jeff Miller plan)

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Project by Brodan posted 11-17-2014 01:58 AM 3622 views 7 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I’ve started putting my shop together, it was clear I needed a vise to do hand work. I opted to build this “bench top bench” using Jeff Miller’s plans. (Puts the work at a comfortable height and holds work securely). I fixed the 1/2-13 all thread to the stationary jaw and allowed the moving jaw to slide freely. To avoid having to screw knobs in and out, I played around and came up with a “quick nut design” that works well. Push up against the moving jaw, engage the threads and tighten about a turn. With the concept prove out, I now need to build 2 nuts to the final more robust design. I’ll post pics when complete.

The mortise and tenon design provided much needed practice. Although I had a couple of miscues, I think it turned out pretty well.

-- Dan, TN

12 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3100 days

#1 posted 11-17-2014 02:24 AM

Nice work. Looks like a good addition to the shop.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View drewpy's profile


568 posts in 781 days

#2 posted 11-17-2014 04:09 AM

I could use a small “bench” like this. Thanks for giving me some ideas.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View drbyte's profile


724 posts in 3486 days

#3 posted 11-17-2014 01:51 PM

Nice bench and good job. Looks very substantial and solid. The only bad thing about it is that those two rods sticking out like a sore thumb will always be catching something or in the way of one operation or another. You might want to reconsider that aspect.

-- Dennis, WV

View Brodan's profile


134 posts in 726 days

#4 posted 11-17-2014 02:30 PM

Thanks Dennis. I struggled with the rods out the front,but wanted a quick clamp vs having to screw a handle in /out constantly. Once I complete the wood nuts, the rod will be covered(aesthetically more pleasing) but your point about them catching is duly noted. If it is too much of a problem, I may revisit an option I had for extending out the back or a buried half nut. I appreciate the feedback.

-- Dan, TN

View ohwoodeye's profile


1713 posts in 2577 days

#5 posted 11-17-2014 03:36 PM

To avoid having to clamp this small bench to your large bench, consider drilling dowels up into the bottom of the legs of your small bench with several inches sticking out. Then drill corresponding holes in your big work bench. Then you could simply insert this small bench into the dowel holes and you would be good to go.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Brodan's profile


134 posts in 726 days

#6 posted 11-17-2014 05:37 PM

Great idea Mike. Thanks

-- Dan, TN

View CL810's profile


3405 posts in 2412 days

#7 posted 11-17-2014 06:11 PM

I like this Dan. Good execution and I’m looking forward to your quick nut design.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

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3814 posts in 1317 days

#8 posted 11-17-2014 06:13 PM

Great job and welcome to LJs

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View BCDesign's profile


514 posts in 846 days

#9 posted 11-17-2014 10:49 PM

this looks cool,with a slanted top it would be nice for carving!my back needs abench like this

-- "The secret of getting ahead is getting started" Mark Twain

View dilpi's profile


1 post in 709 days

#10 posted 11-18-2014 09:26 AM

nice work

View mtalley's profile


98 posts in 899 days

#11 posted 11-19-2014 02:31 PM

I like the use of the threaded rod, much cheaper and easier to source than vice screws

-- Matt at:

View EMFritz's profile


10 posts in 481 days

#12 posted 07-25-2015 04:00 AM

I am making one myself and would like to attach the tresses without screws. Partly b/c I use hand tools and like working with traditional jointery and partly because I attached the leg pieces prior to drilling pilot holes. I am thinking about using wooden dowels and attaching them through the width of the top and into the legs. Anyone tried this or have any recommendations.

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