My Workbench - Finally Finished

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Project by michaelray posted 05-19-2010 06:56 PM 4169 views 15 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I first began building this back in March I had posted a couple of blog entries and had planned to do more as the build progressed. Unfortunately that never happened and now here we are at the end of the journey.

Personally I would rather spend the time in the shop than sitting in front of the computer blogging about my time in the shop.

Call it whatever style you like. I call it a workbench. Most of the materials are reclaimed from barns and sheds that I’ve had the chance to tear in to. The top is SYP from a local home center. It’s coated with single coat of a 50/50 mix of BLO and urethane – just enough to seal it.

I picked up the holdfasts online at Tools For Working Wood – the only ones I’ve ever owned but I’m really happy with them. Very beefy. I also made some dogs(round) as found in this post from Popular Woodworking Magazine’s Blog. Cheap and works well.

Although you can’t see it in these pictures the vises and holdfast now have buckskin glued to them to prevent marring the work surface. I picked up a grocery bag full of buckskins from a garage sale for 2 bucks (no pun intended) last year.

One last thing. The plane on top of the bench is a new Veritas #4 Smoothing plane I bought during the process of building the bench. Let’s just say I’ve been drooling over the Lee Valley catalog trying to decide on my next plane purchase. Probably the skewed rabbet plane.

Thanks for looking.


25 comments so far

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4254 days

#1 posted 05-19-2010 07:24 PM

Very nice!

What dimensions did it wind up being?

-- To do is to be

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117095 posts in 3577 days

#2 posted 05-19-2010 07:28 PM

Wonderful bench I really like it.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3991 days

#3 posted 05-19-2010 08:04 PM

Really nice job. What height did you end up at? I’m 6’4” so I am very curious how folks choose their finished height.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View JohnnyW's profile


83 posts in 3031 days

#4 posted 05-19-2010 08:18 PM

Looks fantastic. Mr. Schwarz would approve!

-- John

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3195 days

#5 posted 05-19-2010 08:32 PM

Nice bench! I’m curious though, what is the bolt on the edge of the far right side. It doesn’t look like its part of the tail vice, so what is it for?

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3084 days

#6 posted 05-19-2010 08:37 PM

Good looking and nice proportions. Now as you use it it will gain character and ever improve in looks and usefulness especially after that first nick or gouge in the top.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3106 days

#7 posted 05-19-2010 08:40 PM

Sweeet looking bench.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Ray Friddle's profile

Ray Friddle

68 posts in 3030 days

#8 posted 05-19-2010 08:48 PM

Looks useful. Love that leg vise.

-- Ray

View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 3454 days

#9 posted 05-19-2010 09:13 PM

Thanks for the comments all.

For those curious about the dimensions (knew I was missing something). It’s about 70” long 33” H and 24” W. The base is 48”x24”. The thickness of the top is only 2 1/2” if I remember correctly because I goofed when was ripping the SYP down to size. Not being one to waste a lot or run back to the store I went with it. Time will tell if it holds up.

I think bench height is relative to the woodworker – correct my if I’m wrong anyone. I already had a table that was 30-31” high and I’m 6’3” so I wanted something a little taller. Also depends on if you are using hand or power tools. A bit of a lower bench height lets me get down over my work when planning and put some weight behind it when necessary.

First time using drawbore pins too.

The bolt is a little extra insurance. When I was attaching the vise to the underside it sounded like one of the bolts was trying to split the laminations apart (another goof) so I added the lag bolt (2 1/2”) for a little extra strength.

I learned a lot about what not to do and filed a lot of mental notes for ‘next time’.


View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 3454 days

#10 posted 05-19-2010 09:14 PM

The leg vise was a 2×6 piece of red oak from a barn stall.


View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3334 days

#11 posted 05-19-2010 09:25 PM

Looks real good to me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3480 days

#12 posted 05-19-2010 09:58 PM

Nice job. Looks great.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3089 days

#13 posted 05-19-2010 10:21 PM

Thats a beautiful bench, a dream for all.
I bow in the dust.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2940 days

#14 posted 05-19-2010 10:46 PM

I’ve been thinking about a new bench for a long time. You inspire me to get going! LOVE your leg vice.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 3015 days

#15 posted 05-19-2010 11:35 PM

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