• Advertise with us
Project by GarageJunkie posted 11-22-2010 06:54 AM 2414 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got the plans from the Woodsmith Shop magazine/show. It’s called the weekend workbench but it took me 2 weekends. The top is built up from 2 full layers of 3/4” MDF and 2 more layers around the edges making it 3” thick. The rest is doug fir. I put a cheap light duty clamp on the end and ran electric to it as well.

My reasoning for picking this plan was that I knew it would have a large, heavy, perfectly flat top. Also, after watching the 30 minute show on my local public access station it seemed like something i could do.

I’m very happy with it and I think it will last a lifetime.

-- "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

11 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 11-22-2010 06:59 AM

Nice table, it looks study enough to last a lifetime, I am sure will enjoy it for one.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2998 days

#2 posted 11-22-2010 07:17 AM

Nice bench. I built my bench with a laminated top, 4 layers plywood and topped with MDF. It works very well. I can’t tell if your’s is finished with anything or not, but I finished mine with a mixture of BLO and Poly. The finish will help keep glue and water from penetrating into the MDF and damaging it. 100% poly would make it too slick IMHO.

View steopa's profile


60 posts in 2817 days

#3 posted 11-22-2010 03:44 PM

Looks great Junkie! That top should be nice and stable. I can’t see the clamp, but you may want to put in some holes for bench dogs. I did a similar top and love it.

Hope it gives you years of fun.

-- Steopa

View GarageJunkie's profile


14 posts in 2892 days

#4 posted 11-22-2010 04:39 PM

@crank49: I don’t have any finish on it but I do see your point and have thought about doing something. I’ve already got a few specs of glue on it and yesterday I sort of tossed a new chisel to the side while working and it gouged the top.

What would be the best finish to use to make the top a little more scratch and cut resistant?

-- "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

View helluvawreck's profile


31403 posts in 2894 days

#5 posted 11-22-2010 04:49 PM

You should be proud of it because you did a wonderful job.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3216 days

#6 posted 11-22-2010 05:13 PM

I watch all them shows on my public television. Love that show, I have about 18 of them saved on my DVR. They have great tricks and info, although some are pretty basic. Sometimes I shake my head thinking, Wow thats a simple way to do that. Trying to remember some the basic things that you don’t use everyday is the trick.

Nice bench the top should be one solid performer. great work.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

267 posts in 3215 days

#7 posted 11-22-2010 05:22 PM

I don’t think any finish is going to give you much scratch or cut resistance. It’s more to keep liquids at bay. I don’t know the Woodworking plan, but if you can easily replace the top layer of MDF I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just plan on dropping in a new top when the old one gets too beat up.

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 3233 days

#8 posted 11-22-2010 05:49 PM

looks nice. That might be what I’ve been looking for.

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

View briant's profile


31 posts in 2801 days

#9 posted 11-24-2010 05:38 PM

Bench looks solid, nice job! All in two weekends sounds great to me. It’s amazing what these guys can do in half an hour. It seems to take me that long just to have my coffee, just so I can get started.

-- Brian, New Mexico

View GarageJunkie's profile


14 posts in 2892 days

#10 posted 11-24-2010 05:51 PM

I’m sure that I worked on it here and there a few evenings as well. I know exactly what you mean about the time it takes to complete projects. I’m so horribly slow that I get frustrated with myself. The thing that slows me down the most (i think) is trying to get everything dry-fitted then realigned and squared for glue up. It’s brutal.

I’m hoping that I’ll get much faster with experience.

-- "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2998 days

#11 posted 11-24-2010 07:23 PM

I don’t know about other’s experiences, but I found a couple of tricks to help me with glue ups. One is when gluing big sheets together, like my bench top, I laid the sheets down and squared and leveled without glue first. Then wrapped three or four “Gorilla Tape” strips (about 6” long) around one side. Then I opened the sheets up like a book using the tape like a hinge, applied my glue, then closed the book and applied clamps. The second trick for smaller assemblies like legs or stretchers is to lay the pieses side by side, apply glue, quickly stack and align the edges while the glue is still slick. Then I shoot a few 23ga pin brads through the parts before applying the clamps. the pins keep the parts from sliding around when tightening the clamps.
One last thing I have just discovered is the value of good parallel jaw cabinet clamps. I know they are expensive, but they don’t tend to make parts slide around and shift when you are tightening them.

I only attached my top layer with double sided tape so I can pry it off and replace that top layer when it gets too beat up. Like Scott said, the finish is mostly to keep liquids from soaking in.

Anyway, that’s a nice bench GarageJunkie, I’m sure you will enjoy using it; I sure do enjoy mine.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics