Benchtop Bench

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Project by JerryinCreek posted 05-20-2015 09:13 PM 31226 views 37 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw this accessory workbench, designed by Jeff Miller, in a Fine Woodworking article (3/21/08). This bench can be used to elevate work to a more comfortable height for handwork such as routing, cutting and carving. This unit was constructed from Ash and the top is 24” wide.

The vise is made using veneer-press screws, but the original design does not allow the vise jaw to open automatically, although the designer suggests using shaft collars to make it automatic. I honed-out some shaft collars and counter-sunk them into the front jaw. I then drilled a small hole in the bottom of the jaw so I could access the collar’s Allen screw (see photo #5).

Photo #6 shows construction detail of the leg and stretcher joinery. I counter-sunk the bolts into the face of the legs for a cleaner look. I added a nylon washer onto each veneer-press screw for smoother action.

An added benefit is the portability of this bench. I’ll be able to take it outside and enjoy working in the sun!

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

9 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3388 days

#1 posted 05-20-2015 10:15 PM

Nice job looks rock solid…. Should serve you well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Don10's profile


40 posts in 1603 days

#2 posted 05-20-2015 10:32 PM

Like icing on the cake. I want it. I will be making the same big and little bench in my new shop in Silver City NM. You have been my inspiration for becoming a better woodworker as well as being best wood buddies. Hope your new DC lives up to expectations and keeps your wonderful shop dust free. Until your next post, Don

-- Don, Silver City, If you always do what what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.

View hotncold's profile


784 posts in 1744 days

#3 posted 05-20-2015 11:58 PM

Very nice Jerry. And it looks great on your awesome bench! Since I’m mostly a “power tool” guy, my main bench is designed with T-tracks and hold downs. This would really be nice to have for those times when I just have to resort to a hand plane.
Be careful of working in the sun…makes you sweat!! :)

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Julian's profile


1398 posts in 2890 days

#4 posted 05-21-2015 02:22 PM

Looks good. I made one very similar awhile ago. The veneer press screws are much cheaper than the bench crafted parts. I don’t use mine very often but it makes cutting dovetails much more comfortable by raising the work up several inches.

-- Julian

View Jeff's profile


70 posts in 1638 days

#5 posted 05-21-2015 02:39 PM

Very nice. I bet it is heavy.

-- "...building is far more gratifying that consuming" - Chris Schwarz

View JerryinCreek's profile


215 posts in 2041 days

#6 posted 05-21-2015 09:41 PM

The entire unit weighs 31#, very manageable.

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

View goodinwood's profile


27 posts in 2298 days

#7 posted 05-21-2015 09:44 PM

Nice bit of kit its on my list ,quility build


View NormG's profile


6283 posts in 3203 days

#8 posted 05-22-2015 01:35 AM

Great project

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View EMFritz's profile


10 posts in 1256 days

#9 posted 07-25-2015 04:01 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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