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Project by langski93 posted 10-21-2009 05:05 AM 2994 views 8 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This workbench replaces my first one, built with 2×4s and plywood then mounted on wheels for a small shop. I got a lot of use out of my original, but the minute I got into hand planning, I realized I could not have a bench that did a hula dance when I applied the smallest amount of elbow grease. This is a step up.

So, here it is. 80”x 31” (#4.5 and #7 Bailey’s shown) top made from 1.25” x 2.75” laminated strips of soft maple set on edge. Each end of the top is 1.75”x 3.5” hard maple, breadboarded with pins. The front three courses are 1.75”x 3.5” hard maple to accomodate the wagon vice and I figured this area will get the most wear. All perimeter edges are beveled save a 17” area to the left front left square in anticipation of a face vice. I am concerned I will lose my nice long runway for planing with a vice there. Any thoughts or comments?

The top is mounted on 3.75”x 3.75” legs and bases. All mortise and tenoned, including the 1.75”x 6” stretchers with hardware. I am able to knock it down in case I get crazy enough to move it.

The top was laminated in small sections, using 10 K Besseys, assorted quick, pipe & Jorgensen wooden clamps for alignment. I built it up in small sections until I had two sections that had become too wide to run through the power planer. Finished it with the handplanes, the two Baileys and a Lie Nielsen #5.5 (sweet). Three coats of tunge oil gave it a nice patina.

The vice hardware is pretty straight forward, though I reverse mounted the flange on the right, the one closest to the handle, so as the resistence on the end of the bench increased it would not strip out the screws that held the flange. Now the flange and the screws move in the same direction as the load, with the pressure against the end piece. I am not sure how clear that will be in the photo.

All in all a worthwhile project that I must admit took longer than I thought, but a project I should have done 8 years ago. Thanks for looking.


-- Langski, New Hampshire

18 comments so far

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 2524 days

#1 posted 10-21-2009 05:11 AM

Very nice job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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

View bigike's profile


4047 posts in 2380 days

#2 posted 10-21-2009 05:13 AM

sweet very nice job i like the tail vice i want to do a bench just like this but with the vice on the other end cuz im a lefty

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View DocK16's profile


1167 posts in 3178 days

#3 posted 10-21-2009 05:22 AM

Very nice, I have been working on a bench of almost same design for the past 2 weeks. This gives me incentive to get it done.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View mjlauro's profile


244 posts in 2852 days

#4 posted 10-21-2009 05:43 AM

What is it about a great workbench that gets me excited?.....I don’t know, but great job!

View a1Jim's profile


113836 posts in 2668 days

#5 posted 10-21-2009 05:48 AM

Looks good, nice planes super bench

-- Custom furniture

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

778 posts in 2924 days

#6 posted 10-21-2009 06:02 AM

Absolutely beautiful!!!!

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View woodworm's profile


14144 posts in 2682 days

#7 posted 10-21-2009 07:43 AM

Beautiful workbench!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Splinterman's profile


23059 posts in 2452 days

#8 posted 10-21-2009 11:01 AM

Very good attention to detail….....great job.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2913 days

#9 posted 10-21-2009 02:35 PM

That is a gorgeous bench. Any of us would be proud to have a bench like this in our shop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 2313 days

#10 posted 10-21-2009 03:03 PM

Nice work. I have to build myself a nice bench when time and money permit. I hope mine turns out this nice.

-- James -

View woodenships's profile


33 posts in 2260 days

#11 posted 10-21-2009 07:25 PM

Sweet…I can see the Hardwood edges.
My bench is a maple hardwood floor on top of 1” Baltic Birch…I’ll be posting pics as soon as I clear off the tool cabinet I’m finishing.

I think one day I will rebench in a couples years.
Looks real good!!.I need a few good hand planes now.

-- "Safety is habit you start and always keep!"

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 2432 days

#12 posted 10-22-2009 03:15 AM

nice bench. If you don’t want to lose the “runway” then put a face vise on the other side of the bench. It seems like you have alot of room.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1193 posts in 3090 days

#13 posted 10-22-2009 04:08 AM

Very nice bench indeed!

-- Bob A in NJ

View langski93's profile


74 posts in 2524 days

#14 posted 10-22-2009 04:36 AM

I thought about that, but I beveled around the entire bench except for that area on the front. I would not have the two top edges, one from the face of the vice and the other from the bench itself mating. The second issue is that there is not as much room as it looks, although I could probably swing it if issue #1 did not concern me.

Thanks for all kind words.

-- Langski, New Hampshire

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3769 posts in 2256 days

#15 posted 10-22-2009 08:33 PM

Fine looking bench. About to start looking for planes myself. Just have an old Stanley I bought new probably about 1971, it probably needs a new blade.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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