Scandinavian style workbench with tail and shoulder vises

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Project by Dominic posted 1267 days ago 7742 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Scandinavian-style workbench with shoulder vise and tail vise. Hard maple and ash top with cherry and walnut tail vise accents, mahogany vise handles and leather-lined vise jaws. Base is cheapo borg lumber, stained dark. Boiled linseed oil and wax finish. Heavy and rock solid. Shoulder and tail vise screws from Lee Valley, used the Franz Klaus plan from FWW. The tail vise was the most difficult part of the build, taking more time to make than the entire base. I found I really liked working with ash (it’s used for the aprons and shoulder); it’s hard, planes beautifully, affordable and I really like the light color with prominent grain. Total cost of for wood, vises and hardware was about $300, as I got a great deal on the maple and ash and had the rest of the wood sitting around in the shop. That’s about $10 for every year of use I expect to get. My 7 year old son likes to sit on the bench and plane scrap blocks of wood, and I hope to pass it on to him someday.

The first picture was taken when the bench was completed about 1 year ago. The remaining 5 pictures were taken today after I flattened the top using the LV LA jack seen in the pictures, applied a fresh coat of wipe on poly, and tightened up all the nuts in the top and base. I was surprised to see how much I could tighten each nut. The tool tray never looks so tidy. Most of the crap on the adjacent table in the 5th picture is usually in the tool tray.

I plan to 1) add a bank of drawers underneath to store my hand tools, 2) make a board jack to support long stock held in the shoulder vise, 3) add a LV mortised bench stop between the 1st and 2nd dogs in the tail vise, as I have found that the spacing is a little wide for my taste and 4) turn new handles for the vises that look nicer but do not protrude past the top of the bench.

-- Dominic P.- Duxbury MA

12 comments so far

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1063 posts in 1559 days

#1 posted 1267 days ago

It is gorgeous
Perhaps you should move it up to the dining room and out of the basement, it is too nice to work on :)
Great job!

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

View MrDan's profile


199 posts in 1873 days

#2 posted 1267 days ago

That’s awesome, you should post some more pics though, that one doesn’t seem to do it justice. Close ups and details!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1700 days

#3 posted 1267 days ago

that does look a lot better than mine with all the ding and scratches it has
but on the other side its allso 80+ years old ….LOL

thank´s for sharing it

View AttainableApex's profile


338 posts in 1418 days

#4 posted 1267 days ago

what makes it a Scandinavian bench

-- Ben L

View Norwegian_woodworker's profile


62 posts in 1417 days

#5 posted 1266 days ago

what makes it a Scandinavian bench: The shoulder vise and tail vise is spesial for the skandinavien bench
the Norwegian

-- Lars, woodworker from Norway.

View Schwieb's profile


1464 posts in 2046 days

#6 posted 1266 days ago

Great bench. Nice planes. This will server for many, many years to come.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Splinterman's profile


23058 posts in 1946 days

#7 posted 1266 days ago

One sweet bench…well done.

View stumpybear's profile


50 posts in 1440 days

#8 posted 1266 days ago

Nice Bench!!!! I’d be afraid to use it!!!

-- Stumpybear,Petersburg PA

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2199 posts in 1743 days

#9 posted 1266 days ago

Wow, I think I’ll build one and make it my kitchen island. Just to pretty for anything else!

-- jay,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2258 days

#10 posted 1262 days ago

Dominic, thats a nice workbench.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View brianinpa's profile


1809 posts in 2308 days

#11 posted 1262 days ago

That is a Beaut!!!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile


130 posts in 1616 days

#12 posted 1250 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. Your attention to detail is inspiring! I too love working with ash. Its a great wood and very affordable. In Michigan we get it very cheap now due to the emerald ash borer which has devastated our ash population. Market is glutted now, but I suspect ash will get more expensive in the next 5 to 10 years as the number of ash trees dwindles nationwide.

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

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