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Project by gforce posted 07-30-2010 04:53 PM 2191 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first woodworking bench. I looked at the various available workbenches and I didn’t like the low end ones and didn’t want to spend ~$1700 for the high end ones, so I built my own. I didn’t use any particular plan, instead I just compiled features from other peoples bench projects on the LJ site and elsewhere on the web.

The base is made from 4×4 and 2×8 Port Orford Cedar which I had left over from my deck project. It seems to be much denser than other cedars I have seen and so far seems to work fine for the base. I used Mortise and Tenon joinery with walnut pegs. The stretchers use bench bolts in case I need to disassemble it at some point.

I bought the 72”x30”x2.25 maple top from Grizzley. The apron is made from oak and maple, with purpleheart for the screw caps. I finished the base with wipe on poly and the top with Watco Danish oil.

The most controversial feature is probably the height, which is 38 1/2” I did do a lot of research and I realized that this is higher than most, but it felt right to me and I figured I could always shorten it if necessary. My Father, who is Swiss and was raised in the family cabinet makers business, visited with me during construction. He said that he and his contemporary’s were always having issues with bench height and they would raise them to approximately the same height as mine. So that reassured me a bit, time will tell.


12 comments so far

View levan's profile


457 posts in 2070 days

#1 posted 07-30-2010 05:22 PM

wow that is some bench. looks like years of happy woodworking coming your way. As for the height, I like my benches higher also, its just easier on my back. Very nice build.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1076 posts in 2065 days

#2 posted 07-30-2010 05:24 PM

Yeah, it is really nice.
I like that you made it custom height…it will save your back!

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View RonPeters's profile


709 posts in 1971 days

#3 posted 07-30-2010 05:33 PM

Very nice bench. Beautiful joinery!

There’s nothing wrong with a custom fitted bench. Contrary to the ethic of popular mass production, one size does not fit all.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2165 days

#4 posted 07-30-2010 06:02 PM

That’s a great bench, well done!

Regarding height – My bench is also higher than most (37.5”). It is the same height as my bandsaw table and it is positioned such that it offers support to a long piece of wood that I may be pushing through the bandsaw.

The bonus is that I find this height much more comfortable to work with.

I note the twin screw vise. I seriously considered one and ultimately decided that I wanted a quick release vice. There is no quick release twin screw vise that I am aware of.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

778 posts in 2924 days

#5 posted 07-30-2010 06:24 PM

Very Nice Bench. excellent workmanship. Are you going to put dog holes in it?

The twin screw sure cranks fast when you need it to and has the advantage of being able to pull things apart or exert force in both directions.

-- 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 Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2206 days

#6 posted 07-30-2010 06:43 PM

I´ll bett this will serve you well even if you try to abuse it
well done


View BTKS's profile


1984 posts in 2555 days

#7 posted 07-30-2010 11:31 PM

NICE bench! I’m jealous and need another one in the shop. This will certainly be looked at for features and ideas.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Benighted's profile


57 posts in 1952 days

#8 posted 07-31-2010 12:39 AM

Real nice, I’m in the progress of designing and building my first workbench and it’s looking a lot like yours in the design, but you had some points in your design that I’ll probably incorporate in mine, if it’s OK with you :)..

The height to me is individual and I think there is a problem that a lot of the designs used are based on old 18-19th century designs when people on average where shorter than today. I’m 6ft 2inches and the normal benches just kill my back if I work a longer time, especially as I love working with hand tools. Thats the good thing about making your own bench, you can customize it to your own needs. Mine will probably be a tad over 1m (40”)... Again, a lovely bench that will serve you well for years to come..

-- Jani, a Neanderthal woodworker in Sweden.

View AaronK's profile


1418 posts in 2555 days

#9 posted 07-31-2010 01:13 AM

nice bench! but what’s with those small pins in the tail vise?

View gforce's profile


7 posts in 2053 days

#10 posted 07-31-2010 02:21 AM

The small pins come with the vice hardware. They keep your workpiece off the lead screws depending on how you have your piece oriented in the vice. They mate with holes on the opposite vice face as the vice is closed.

View Dan's profile


33 posts in 1960 days

#11 posted 07-31-2010 02:56 AM

Very nice. I have one of these on my list to make for myself.

-- I am an amateur that makes sawdust and designer firewood. Every once in a while after the sawdust settles I find something useful. ;)

View SlickSeth's profile


7 posts in 1948 days

#12 posted 07-31-2010 03:52 AM

nice bench, I like the vise

-- Seth Vaugn

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