Planktop Workbench

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Project by booyeah posted 08-01-2007 05:55 PM 2997 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A coworker asked I help him build a workbench for his garage. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity to get more time in the shop. It’s especially fun when it’s somebody else’s project and materials and they are learning alongside you.

The workbench is very simplistic and from a plan in ShopNotes. As the description eludes, it is built with three 10” planks for the worktop surface. What is interesting is the use of mortise and tenon joints in a non-traditional buil up method. Instead of drilling the through mortises with a dedicated mortiser or other method, the legs are split down the middle and using a dado blade, I was made cooresponding half laps. The legs were then glued up and the matching half laps created mortises!

Next Steps: Finish cutting and attaching the 8’ stretchers for both the top and bottom of the bench. Cut and install bottom shelving. Cut and bolt the top to the bench. Sand everything, then finish with some protective coating.

Cutting Half Laps

Legs Built

More Legs

Lower Stretchers Installed

Machine Screws

Down the Line

Through Tenon

8/6/07 Update

All the stretchers are installed and I’ve dry fit the top planks. Need to finish with some cross supports for the top and then cut and install the bottom shelving. Once everything is where it should be, I’ll disassemble to add some chamfers, fine tune anything, sand it down and finish it up.

10/29/7 Update

The bench is now completed and delivered to customer, he chose to not have me finish it so the look is a bit incomplete.

edit: got my Zooomr account back up and running so the images are now hotlinked. Enjoy!

Finished Project in the Customer's Garage

-- James, SE Michigan, novice sawdust creator

12 comments so far

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 08-01-2007 06:15 PM

I am looking forward to seeing the top for this workbench. Looks good so far though.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4058 days

#2 posted 08-01-2007 06:31 PM

Doing a great job!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4182 days

#3 posted 08-01-2007 07:33 PM

yes indeed… lookin’ GOOD ! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 4266 days

#4 posted 08-01-2007 07:47 PM

Should be a sound bench when completed. Keep us posted.

-- Joel Tille

View Aubster's profile


132 posts in 4050 days

#5 posted 08-01-2007 10:55 PM

Look like it going to strong. Can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.

-- A man who moves mountains starts one stone at a time.

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4046 days

#6 posted 08-01-2007 11:38 PM

Looking good! The bridle joints and through-tenons are a nice touch. I’m curious to see how the top goes on.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View booyeah's profile


10 posts in 3974 days

#7 posted 08-08-2007 06:45 PM

I’ve not yet decided on how to finish the worktop. Any suggestions?

-- James, SE Michigan, novice sawdust creator

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4333 days

#8 posted 08-08-2007 08:27 PM

Nice work.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4046 days

#9 posted 08-08-2007 09:43 PM

I used Watco on mine, then found out that a 50:50 mix of boiled linseed oil & spar urethane would work just as well for a LOT less money. If you go that route, just be sure to add turpentine to the first coat to make it 1:1:1 so the first coat will penetrate.

A good coat of paste wax over the last coat will help keep glue etc. from sticking.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4019 days

#10 posted 08-08-2007 09:43 PM

Looks like a fun project!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View booyeah's profile


10 posts in 3974 days

#11 posted 10-29-2007 01:00 PM

Gravedigger, I’ll let my client know, sounds like a great finish.

-- James, SE Michigan, novice sawdust creator

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4183 days

#12 posted 11-03-2007 06:59 PM

Looks like the bench came out well. Good job.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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