Workbench increment #4

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Project by SilverbackReef posted 01-13-2015 12:47 AM 1846 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just finished the next increment on my workbench path. First was an old tabletop on some sawhorses. Second was an upgraded pair of workmates (jaws upgraded to be able to take holdfasts). Third was a “Whitegate” brand off-the-shelf workbench which was a zero dollar curb find and a really terrible bench until I rebuilt the base with extra stretchers using through M&T joinery instead of the badly doweled and badly glued butt joints it came with. The top was still pretty terrible but usable enough for me to live with for a couple of years.

Bench increment #4 is a new top but using the rebuilt whitegate base. The new top is laminated SYP, 3 inches thick, 20 inches across, and 76 inches long. It uses a pair of Rockler bench vises but swaps the positions. I put what Rockler calls the “end vise” in the face vise position. The vises are pretty good. Don’t wrack that much (particularly compared to the ones on the whitegate /shudder/) but were a bit fiddly to get mounted right. I’ve added leather to the jaws since the photo was taken.

Photo Index:
1) Completed bench
2) Upgraded Whitegate base
3) Internet photo of original whitegate (never bothered to take one myself)
4) Boring one of the 55 holes in the top
5) Planing board I made from SYP offcut to help plane lamination parts
6) First couple of boards in the clamps for the lamination

Never done a lamination this big or heavy before, it was an education. I’m not set up to machine the individual boards or subassemblies so the lamination was laid up one board at a time with each board hand tweaked and the lamination tweaked prior to the addition of each board. All in all it went pretty smoothly.

I did a a rough flattening of the top prior to boring all the holes. With the stress relief and additional drying surface provided by the holes, the top has started to move again. Gonna give it a couple of weeks (or maybe a month) before reflattening.

Looking forward to working on this bench. I’m sure it has a lot to teach me.

Couldn’t have done it without the experience, great ideas, and motivation provided by the folks here. Thanks to you all.

6 comments so far

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1845 days

#1 posted 01-13-2015 06:24 AM

That is one giant step for woodwork mankind – Keep going I want to see the end result…

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 2850 days

#2 posted 01-13-2015 10:03 AM

Very nice!!!

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#3 posted 01-13-2015 03:24 PM

Looks great.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CharlieK's profile


459 posts in 3211 days

#4 posted 01-14-2015 12:48 AM

That is a great looking bench. You did a nice job on the top!

What especially impresses me is the open door and the nice greenery in the photo. Not much chance of leaving the doors open at my house in January.


-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View Grumpymike's profile


1885 posts in 1733 days

#5 posted 01-14-2015 12:50 AM

looks like your new friend will be around for a long while … nice job on your new bench.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View dnick's profile


984 posts in 1800 days

#6 posted 01-14-2015 04:20 AM

Nice bench. Well done. Enjoy.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

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