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Project by SST posted 12-06-2007 03:13 AM 2830 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have to make My son & family a pair of end tables this Christmas since I made a sofa table for my other son last year. (my first project posted here)
Before I tackle something else, I wanted to upgrade my workbench which was purchased from K-mart about 20 years ago that had some kind of pressed sawdust top.
I did the plan in Google Sketchup but couldn’t get that file to upload to here. (If someone knows how to do that, let me know. I couldn’t get it to upload to photobucket, either)
Since I’m big on doing things cheaply, (remember, I turned tool handles out of sticks from a neighbor’s woodpile) I decided to use up a bunch of used 2×4’s given to me by my brother-in-law…can’t get much cheaper than that.
I found a couple of bench pics to use as a guide and made the benchtop based on them. Dimensions are 24×60 in.
I ripped the 2×4’s in half and glued them up, drilling the dog holes (is that the right term… if so, where did it come from) before assembly & gluing.
I had the smaller vise, and bought another at Harbor Freight on sale (of course) for about $15.00. It didn’t have a dog thingie, but I did a bit of modifying to add one.
I flipped the location of the vises since all the benches I’ve seen pictured have them the other way & most people are right handed, and being left handed, it seemed like the right thing to do, although I really don’t know if it matters. I added that little trough thing, too, not sure what it’s for, but all the really cool benches seem to have them, and I’m sure I can use it to accumulate junk.
Since I’ve really gotten into hand planes recently, This was my first opportunity to use them for something other than just making shavings. It’s truly amazing how well they work. I can’t believe I spent so many years not using them.
I even finished it with “recycled” varnish. (What, you’re asking is recycled varnish?)
Our community has a hazardous waste disposal center, and they have a “recycle room” where unopened, disposed of paints & varnishes are available for us to take them home to use. I picked up several gallons of never opened polyurethane varnish at no cost.(probably a lifetime supply) (Am I cheap, or what???)
Now that I’m done with the bench, It’s time to get to the tables…Christmas is nearer than I thought. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

5 comments so far

View TomFran's profile


2959 posts in 4191 days

#1 posted 12-06-2007 04:04 AM

A great bench! This is giving me some ideas on how to make mine a lot better. Thanks for sharing!

(I know I won’t be able to do mine as cheaply as you did yours though ;^D )

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4159 days

#2 posted 12-06-2007 05:21 AM

I can’t see any reason not to use 2×4’s for a bench top. It’s a place to work not a grand piano. It looks to me like you did a great job at very little cost. Just right.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4262 days

#3 posted 12-06-2007 08:12 AM

Cheap doesn’t matter when it’s functional and your bench looks as functional as any I’ve seen. Nice job.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4071 days

#4 posted 12-06-2007 11:43 AM

Good looking functional bench.

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 4051 days

#5 posted 12-06-2007 10:28 PM

It’s called “thrifty”, and the thriftier (don’t know if thats a real word or not) I do things in my
shop, the happier the Mrs is about my insanely expensive hobby.

Great job!

Look forward to seeing your Christmas projects.


-- Still learning everything

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