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My Second Workbench

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Project by JoshLawson posted 1635 days ago 3089 views 14 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my second workbench I built for my shop. I’ve found that making something and living with it for a year really helps you understand what you did wrong. My first workbench was the $50 quick bench, which works fine for a lot of things, but once I started using hand planes and chisels more the bench was not very effective. So I decided I should spoil myself and build a nice bench that will meet all my needs for the rest of my life.

This bench is made mostly all 8/4 hard maple with some 4/4 Hard Maple and 6/4 Walnut in the end vise. One of the shortcomings of being a relatively new wood worker is that I don’t have a Planer or Jointer. So I had all the stock pre-surfaced from my hardwood supplier. Each component in the base is made with square 3.5” x 3.5” laminated hard maple pieces. The trestle ends are all joined with 2” x 2” pegged mortise and tenon joinery. The trestle ends were joined using large bench bolts. The base is extremely rigid.

I made the 3” thick top using the base as my flat surface to work on. I glued up the entire top (minus the aprons) in one shot using slow set epoxy. The epoxy gave me a work time around 45 minutes so I didn’t have any panics during the glue up. I then leveled the 28” wide top using my trusty #6 Woodriver bench plane. The following day I took off because I was too sore to move.

The rest was pretty easy, making the aprons, drilling the bench dog holes, and mounting the vises.

The bench weighs around 450 to 500 lbs and is perfect for hand tool or power tool work.

-- Josh Lawson - Ankeny, Iowa





22 comments so far

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1920 days


#1 posted 1635 days ago

saweeeeeeeeet bench!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View Gary's profile

Gary

7102 posts in 2064 days


#2 posted 1635 days ago

Great job. Super bench!!

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Lupo's profile

Lupo

206 posts in 1654 days


#3 posted 1635 days ago

What a great bench. That has some serious weight to it for sure…..

I am planning mine. I just don’t have my own shop at the moment and if I build what I want I might be able to get it out!!!

View kimball's profile

kimball

323 posts in 1928 days


#4 posted 1635 days ago

Nice one Josh. Wish I had the room for a dedicated work bench.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2304 days


#5 posted 1635 days ago

Nice looking bench.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View WWilson's profile

WWilson

104 posts in 1694 days


#6 posted 1635 days ago

Two words: Tre Mendous! Aswome bench. Did you design it yourself? If yes had you given any consideration to a tool trough along the back? I am just not sure if that is a feature I would use in my bench when I finally get a chance to build it. Kudos to you for surfacing that thing by hand. You probally have a whole new appreciation for a sharp plane iron after that! Thanks for sharing.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112014 posts in 2208 days


#7 posted 1635 days ago

That’s a winner cool bench.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View bobdurnell's profile

bobdurnell

302 posts in 2528 days


#8 posted 1635 days ago

Killer bench!

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View kernalkorn's profile

kernalkorn

9 posts in 1663 days


#9 posted 1635 days ago

That is a bench any master craftsman would be proud to own. What a awsome bench

-- If it dont fit, get a bigger hammer!!!!!

View SouthpawCA's profile

SouthpawCA

254 posts in 1864 days


#10 posted 1634 days ago

As a future workbench builder your bench is awesome. However, wouldn’t the cost of having someone else surface the wood at least been a good down payment on a jointer and planer. How do you make the furniture shown on your website without those tools?

-- Don

View RKW's profile

RKW

326 posts in 2078 days


#11 posted 1634 days ago

Josh, very nice. This is similar to what i have churning in my head right now. I have even been thinking about buying that very vice. If i remember right i think i saw that vice for around $250. Im guessing your happy with it. Once again, excellent job.

-- RKWoods

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3156 posts in 2454 days


#12 posted 1634 days ago

You’ll find that you just step into a new portal of woodworking now. It amazing what a stout and large bench will do for one skill level. Enjoy your new beastly workmate…BC

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1805 days


#13 posted 1634 days ago

It happened again.

All I can come up with is …. Wow.

Wow. What an awesome bench!!

-- -- Neil

View DoctorDan's profile

DoctorDan

281 posts in 1646 days


#14 posted 1634 days ago

i like it. the veritas twin screw is a treat.

-- Daniel - http://theloveofwood.blogspot.com/

View JoshLawson's profile

JoshLawson

54 posts in 1635 days


#15 posted 1634 days ago

A couple responses to some of the comments:

First, The hardwood supplier I use rough planes and straight line rips one edge for no additional cost – so I would have a hard time justifying a planer and jointer for that reason. I also work in the basement of my house and some of those large stationary tools would be nice to have, but a killer to get down the basement.

It certainly takes longer and a lot more patience to work with hand tools in place of some power tools, but I find it so much more relaxing to sit in a quiet shop without a respirator on (I have no dust collection… so safety first!)

As to the design, I definitely took some cues from “Matt’s Monster Workbench” from Fine Woodworking, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” by Chris Schwarz, and “Shannon’s Workbench” on the Wood Whisperer. You’ll be able to see some pieces or thoughts from each source in my bench. I really took my time deciding what’s most important to me in a good workbench, threw out the budget, and went to town.

Third, I looked at adding a tool tray, but I would have to give up valuable workspace. Also, I always leave my tools around anyway, so I decided not to encourage that behavior any more. I plan to add a cabinet that will sit between the lower stretchers with drawers for all my favorite tools eventually.

-- Josh Lawson - Ankeny, Iowa

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