2. Wedged-Base Workbench

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Project by JANSKK posted 01-22-2018 10:50 PM 760 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inspired here I built my first workbench.

I already had a machine laminated spruce slab with pretty raw uneven surface (1m x 2,4m), that served me for years as workbench on wobbly saw horses or scaffold stage. It was intended to be used as a framework slab for my concrete pillar creations, that luckily not happened. I was looking for collapsible but stable base to replace sawhorses.

I followed the Popular Woodworking instructions, but adjusted the dimensions for lumber size available at my workshop. Mind the larch front rail and side rails. All larch lumber comes from my dad, who stored tons of it for decades. Front rail is low, to reach the shelf easily with my tool boxes. There is no upper rail under the slab – perfect for even more room under the slab for vise and boxes. Dimensions (especially thickness of materials) are not much important, as I prefer to scribe instead of measuring and I still do not have thickness planer as of 01/2018. Table top was planed with my grandpa’s hand planer and coated with mahogany oil stain, that gives it a stain, glue and water resistance. Workbench is pretty neat and serves as a big party table even with vise mounted now :)

posts – beefy 8×16 cm dimensioned “offcuts” from lumber yard.

side rails – excess larch fence lumber from my brother.

front rail – larch joist from my balcony with laminated ends.

back rail – 4×20 cm construction grade spruce lumber

90mm bolt screws – for top brackets

wedges – pallet wood

stain – Osmo wax and mahogany stain oil.

glue – warter based D3 grade glue.

I used my plunge saw instead of tablesaw joinery. My combined tablesaw / mitre saw is not capable of angled cuts. D3 grade glue was used for end assemblies. I ran out of nice spruce lumber, so I used pallet wood for wedges. Once hammered together the base is rock solid. I’m Wondering if there is some scale of “solidness”. Many workbenches are so wobbly, this one can be strengthened by just 4 good aimed plastic hammer hits.

-- Jan

8 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


7894 posts in 2703 days

#1 posted 01-23-2018 02:27 PM

Nice bench. If you are interested in some wedge based vices to go with it check these out.
I am sure your bench is rock solid. I’m a big believer in the power of wedges.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Rick's profile


8899 posts in 2937 days

#2 posted 01-23-2018 02:34 PM

Nice Workbench! (I just enjoy doing it.)


-- I Take My Kids Everywhere! The Problem Is, They Keep Finding Their Way Back Home! (Rick, Ontario, Canada)

View helluvawreck's profile


30129 posts in 2771 days

#3 posted 01-23-2018 03:55 PM

It looks like you did a fine job on this bench and it will make a nice addition to you shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View johnstoneb's profile


2788 posts in 2077 days

#4 posted 01-23-2018 05:47 PM

Nice bench

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View oldnovice's profile


6543 posts in 3272 days

#5 posted 01-23-2018 06:12 PM

Nice looking bench, good work!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View robscastle's profile


4787 posts in 2109 days

#6 posted 01-24-2018 12:17 AM

Echo: i think you owe Rick a thank you for fixing your neck straining pics! welcome to lumber jocks just learn how to post em straight.

-- Regards Robert

View JANSKK's profile


7 posts in 35 days

#7 posted 01-24-2018 07:46 AM

Hi Rick, hi Robscastle,

thanks for letting me know ;-) Well, 9 out of 10 photo viewers and web pages read the exif info of the picture file and rotate it automatically. I will keep in mind to do it manually for lumberjocks in future.

Thanks again.


Nice Workbench! (I just enjoy doing it.)


- Rick

-- Jan

View JANSKK's profile


7 posts in 35 days

#8 posted 01-24-2018 08:04 AM

Hi shipwright,

those vises are awesome! I will use the wagon vise for sure – it keeps the slab “low profile” and no crank or winch sticking up. GREAT IDEA!
Not sure about the leg vise. In my case the leg is recessed under the slab. I will use under bench vise on the left side – I am just used to it.

Nice bench. If you are interested in some wedge based vices to go with it check these out.
I am sure your bench is rock solid. I’m a big believer in the power of wedges.

- shipwright

-- Jan

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