My traditional workbench

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Project by Tim Dahn posted 01-02-2010 09:53 PM 7472 views 30 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished my workbench a few months ago, I had been procrastinating as much as I could on installing the tail vise with good reason, what a pain! I could never wrap my brain around it but it’s on and functions good. So today I put a coat of BLO on it and thought it was time to post on LJ’s. It is made from S.Y.P. construction lumber, the top is 3 1/2” thick, 25” deep and a little over 7ft. long. The the legs are a little less than 5” square, are all mortise and tenon then draw bored where connected to the stretchers. I have really enjoyed using this bench for the past few months, it does not budge at all when planing, and has a real solid feel when chiseling.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

39 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3298 days

#1 posted 01-02-2010 10:06 PM

Let me be the first to congratulate you on a very well done job Tim. You got a fantastic result. All the better that you used construction lumber. You will have this bench forever and it will serve you well. I’m looking forward to seeing all the great projects you will be creating on it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3655 days

#2 posted 01-02-2010 10:06 PM

Very neat Tim i think we all like to see what we work on just mine was that clean LOL…......

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#3 posted 01-02-2010 10:06 PM

Looks GREAT Tim! I like the hybrid of the traditional, and the roubo. very well done!

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

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3838 days

#4 posted 01-02-2010 10:10 PM

Nice looking bench.

Whats interesting is that its a mirror image of the traditional cabinet-makers bench. But thats the beauty of building your own custom bench… its exactly how you like it.

-- Happy woodworking!

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3304 days

#5 posted 01-02-2010 10:15 PM

great build , tim

now you can really enjoy working more !

well done .

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

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14171 posts in 3946 days

#6 posted 01-02-2010 10:25 PM

I like it … reminds me of my ole Crown Vic … big, sturdy and reliable

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3772 days

#7 posted 01-02-2010 10:36 PM

Beautiful job on the bench!
I especially like your design of the top, placement of the vises, and location of lots of dog holes. It shows you really thought about how you’d be using the bench for hand tool work.
Must be a real joy to enter your workshop and see that great piece of work waiting for you to use it on your projects.

-- Gerry

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3128 days

#8 posted 01-02-2010 11:31 PM

I’ve been using a construction lumber bench since 1971, and it has held up well. However, the top eventually got covered with plywood as I beat it up, and got a new sheet recently. Not fancy like yours, but very heavy and solid, basically indestructable. I have always wondered about the cost/value ratio using hardwood in a gross function such as a bench. It is not something I would ever do, I guess, just like I would never buy the very most expensive power tools.

Looks great, Tim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#9 posted 01-02-2010 11:36 PM

Very nice bench Tim. One of these days I’ll have to make one, I’ve never had one in twenty years just a work table. Crazy huh.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3528 days

#10 posted 01-03-2010 12:51 AM

Thanks everyone

Mike, Jim, SYP kept the cost down and I don’t feel so bad about beating on the bench.

Sharon, I started with the Roubo design, I can add the sliding deadman later if I want.

Blake, Yes it is, the vice needs to be on the “right” side…...for us lefty’s.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View blackcherry's profile


3337 posts in 3786 days

#11 posted 01-03-2010 01:30 AM

Hefty Hefty Hefty did i say Hefty!!! Nice work bench Timbo enjoy your new bench…Blkcherry

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3252 days

#12 posted 01-03-2010 01:38 AM

i knew u was a lefty, just by looking at the pic. i wanna make my bench the same way thanks for the post.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3252 days

#13 posted 01-03-2010 01:40 AM

just one question though, what is S.Y.P. lumber and where can u get it? i never heard of this before.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3231 days

#14 posted 01-03-2010 01:41 AM

You can be extremely proud. This is a magnificently handsome bench; one that will last a lifetime.

I’ve got plans that once will sell our house and relocate to set up another shop with a similarly styled workbench as the centerpiece in the new shop.

Really love your wide vise and those holdfasts mounted on the leg, ready at moment’s notice. That’s about the best I’ve seen SYP grain pop. That’s just with BLO?

And that is one hefty work/assembly table/bench along side the bench in the pictures, and seems a perfect companion. Sir, you are ready to go!

Congats, and all best for the new year,

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3383 days

#15 posted 01-03-2010 01:46 AM

beautifully done, Tim. i wish i had the room to put something like that in my shop.

Are the legs all one piece or a laminate?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

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