Work Bench

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Project by Jeffrey Williams posted 01-12-2011 07:39 PM 5037 views 27 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I always wanted a nice solid bench to prepare projects and this fills my needs. It may look somewhat familar to others as it is a compilation of many bench ideas rolled into the bench that suits my needs. The top is comprised of 22 2×4 doug fir capped with 3/4” hard maple with everything laminated together. The finished thickness is 3 1/2” after milling and sealed with tung oil and several coats of paste wax. In fact after a project I clean it with paste wax to freshen it up. The skirt is full dimension 2×6 purpleheart finished with General Finishes water based poly satin. The vices are quick release types from Rockler. The legs are birch ply over a double 2×3 frame with solid maple feet. The cabinet is birch ply with purpleheart drawer fronts rolling on 100lb glides. A nice feature is that the legs are lagged from the top and the chest is screwed between the legs making the entire bench very sturdy with no racking but can be broken down into four components for moving. Weight is over 300lbs but two people can slide it on furniture glide pads under the feet. Total cost was $700.

As good as it looks it is still a tool and I look forward to the bungs and scrapes that will give it more character like my grreat-grandfather’s tool chest from 1907 which has been past to me.

Some have asked why use exotic woods on my work pieces. The simple answer is it looks good but more importantly it gives me the opportunity to work with and evaluate some of these woods for experience. I am a novice having only ramped up my work product three years ago.

20 comments so far

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 2844 days

#1 posted 01-12-2011 07:42 PM

Wow – nice piece of work. Looks like you have a new bench and first piece of furniture made with it all in one project!!


-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3315 days

#2 posted 01-12-2011 07:49 PM

Very nice, that is alot of purpleheart.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2720 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 08:05 PM

Gorgeous.. how did you finish the PH?

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2910 days

#4 posted 01-12-2011 08:17 PM

Wow, a purpleheart bench. This is the Mercedes Benz of work benches! Looks beautiful.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View rozzi's profile


323 posts in 3349 days

#5 posted 01-12-2011 08:36 PM

Real nice looking bench. Welcome to LJ’s. Hope you enjoy it.

-- Duane, Iowa

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3454 days

#6 posted 01-12-2011 08:46 PM

great bench
that’s nicer than my dining room table

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2988 days

#7 posted 01-12-2011 08:53 PM

What woody57 said. I would be afraid to use it for fear of scratching it. Good idea for portability!

View CiscoKid's profile


343 posts in 2900 days

#8 posted 01-12-2011 09:46 PM

Wow! I really like that. Nicely done.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View GabrielX's profile


231 posts in 2858 days

#9 posted 01-12-2011 10:59 PM

Wow, 22 2×4’s eh?! Great investment!!

-- GX

View Jeffrey Williams's profile

Jeffrey Williams

30 posts in 2718 days

#10 posted 01-13-2011 12:15 AM

To answer a couple of questions. Yes 2×4 are a lot of stock but after capping with maple and milling along the way the finished thickness is 3” x 27” wide x 67” long. The purpleheart is coated with water based poly and is holding up really well. I used a mahogany stain on the purpleheart and got a nice deep wine color.

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3523 days

#11 posted 01-13-2011 12:21 AM

Wow, a “purpleheart workbench”, now that is something!
Beautiful and sleek looking, yet looks totally functional. Actually, just the bench I want to build!

Did you do plans for this at all?

Just noticed your other 2 standalone pieces…....” Zebrawood”, now wait a minute!
Go ahead and tell me that you now have a bandsaw stand out of “bloodwood” and a
miter saw station out of “birdseye maple”, or maybe “ebony”.............

Welcome to LJ’s and I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful work.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View groland's profile


183 posts in 3439 days

#12 posted 01-13-2011 12:51 AM

A handsome, striking, bench visually with well thought , useful storage underneath. Congratulations on a fine job!


View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3313 days

#13 posted 01-13-2011 01:05 AM

Obviously you have a lot to contribute here on Ljs. Great looking bench.

Welcome. I look forward to more from you


View NormG's profile


6141 posts in 3031 days

#14 posted 01-13-2011 02:09 AM

I thought it was a billiards table until I read the header. Real nice work

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View cwdance1's profile


1158 posts in 3286 days

#15 posted 01-13-2011 02:27 AM

That is way to nice to get dirty. Maybe you should store it at my house for a few years. HaHa

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