Workbench of many colors

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Project by treeman posted 07-08-2009 01:22 PM 11648 views 18 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been wanting a proper workbench for a long time but between buying the lumber and vises I thought the cost was prohibitive. I finally got lucky and found a millwork shop that made custom moldings that was going out of business. I stopped in to see what he had and bought enough lumber to finally start my project. He didn’t have enough of any one variety to complete the whole bench so I bought pretty much what he had. This included poplar, 2 varieties of maple, white oak and sapele. Average price was just under $1.00 per board foot. I picked up the vices from Lee Valley and got underway.

The finished bench measures 28 1/2” wide by 75” long and 35” high. The top is a full 2 1/2” thick and the aprons are 6” deep. I don’t know how much it weighs but it IS heavy. I chose to go with 3/4” round dog holes because of their versatility and because it was easier to make them than square ones.

This image show the Veritas Twin Screw tail vice and looks down the bench from that end. You can see why I called it a workbench of many colors by the color variation in the top. The top is mostly maple with the front apron being white oak.

The front vice is a large quick release vice also from Lee Valley. The vice jaws are laminated maple and the end is hand cut dovetails. This bench was modeled after “The Essential Workbench” I found at Fine Woodworking.

The legs and stretchers are all mortise and tenon, hand cut. The legs attach to the feet with draw bored mortise and tenon. The stretchers are attached with wedged mortise and tenon joints. I cut the wedges from a small piece of sapele.

This shows the half blind dovetails used to join the ends to the front apron.

To finish the bench, I sprayed 4 coats of poly on the base and used a beeswax/turpentine/boiled linseed oil mixture on the top, I am very pleased with the end result and this thing will get much use in the future.

30 comments so far

View SteviePete's profile


225 posts in 2389 days

#1 posted 07-08-2009 01:38 PM

Greatlooking bench. Just starting on my own “Steinway of the Workshop”. Thanks for the post. spj

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View patron's profile


13421 posts in 2427 days

#2 posted 07-08-2009 02:05 PM

very nice bench ,
i’m sure you will have
many enjoyable projects ,
that spring from here !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View lighthearted's profile


142 posts in 2400 days

#3 posted 07-08-2009 02:20 PM

Beautiful Bench! Inspiring!

-- Chris

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 2354 days

#4 posted 07-08-2009 02:26 PM

Plus Ultra!

View mzmac's profile


94 posts in 2754 days

#5 posted 07-08-2009 02:32 PM

Very nice bench love the joinery.

View Neodogg's profile


94 posts in 2514 days

#6 posted 07-08-2009 03:00 PM

sweet! can I place an order, to go please…

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!

View Rudge's profile


40 posts in 2708 days

#7 posted 07-08-2009 03:20 PM

that bench is almost to nice to work on…great job….

-- 'Original Rudge' Muskoka, Cdn

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3305 days

#8 posted 07-08-2009 03:32 PM

Fantastic construction, and a great score on the materials!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View a1Jim's profile


113817 posts in 2663 days

#9 posted 07-08-2009 04:15 PM

super great bench very well done

-- Custom furniture

View Splinterman's profile


23059 posts in 2448 days

#10 posted 07-08-2009 04:17 PM

Hey Treeman,
That is one good looking bench…...nice finish….well done.!!

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2735 days

#11 posted 07-08-2009 04:30 PM

looks like a solid bench – I really like the many-colors aspect of it. much more interesting than the single-tones.

looks very well made as well.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 2347 days

#12 posted 07-08-2009 05:07 PM

Absolutely beautiful. Should be in the living room. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View fred4999's profile


107 posts in 2571 days

#13 posted 07-08-2009 07:02 PM

Great work, almost too pretty to use, I really like the joinery.

-- Fred, Georgia

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8810 posts in 3186 days

#14 posted 07-08-2009 07:16 PM


-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View spanky46's profile


991 posts in 2477 days

#15 posted 07-08-2009 07:32 PM

Very special! I don’t think it could be better unless it was mine! LOL
Nice job!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

showing 1 through 15 of 30 comments

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