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My first (and most likely not my last) real workbench.

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Project by RGtools posted 1271 days ago 5419 views 6 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Cabinetmakers workbench, took me ~25 hours to build and cost under $200.

I made this out of pine this year using only hand tools working on a “bench” that had more in common with a picnic table. The joinery is rough but strong. All the tenons are huge, glued and pinned. Not going anywhere for a good long time. I built this bench cheaply so I could get working and figure out what I wanted in the long run, it’s going to serve me very well until I build a Roubo some day. The two biggest things I would change: no tool well, all it does it collect clutter. I would also put the stretcher lower so it provides better clearance for my knees when planing cross-grain.

Shown here are my two favorite bench accessories. The Hook in particular spends a lot of time on my bench because it works for push saws, pull saws, and if you flip it over it acts as a planing stop for narrow parts.

The bench is a right of passage of sorts but most importantly it works.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan





21 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2297 days


#1 posted 1271 days ago

Nice workbench that will last for years, great job.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View jerrells's profile

jerrells

847 posts in 1509 days


#2 posted 1271 days ago

Dude – that is one nice power drill you are using in pic. #1 – great looking workbench too

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1622 days


#3 posted 1271 days ago

Definitely nothing to be ashamed of. A little quality time with a plane to flatten a bit and a little oil finish and it will be ready for a sexy photo shoot :)

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View kowtow's profile

kowtow

20 posts in 1282 days


#4 posted 1271 days ago

Great stuff, RG!

View oicurn2it2's profile

oicurn2it2

121 posts in 2462 days


#5 posted 1271 days ago

some say …a man and his dog …....i say…. a man and his bench
great job ...

i’ve got one, and one in process …they are kind of like lays potato chips aren’t they

-- "when you think youre going to slow, slow down just a little bit more" .... Pop's

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1967 posts in 2089 days


#6 posted 1271 days ago

This bench should last yours and several other life times. Must make planing a lot easier to have a stable (rock) under you. Also good to know about the tool well. I had considered one but I may not now. Thanks.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#7 posted 1271 days ago

I flatten the top about once a year. (still never put a finish on it, don’t know if I ever will)

The potato chips thing is so true…

Yes it does make handplaning vastly easier (as well as every other task). The tool well is not a huge nuisance when in power tool mode, but when I use hand tools all it does is become a sea of shavings “I know my glen-drake is in there somewhere.” is something I say a lot

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

610 posts in 1405 days


#8 posted 1271 days ago

A solid piece of work – and the clamps storage system looks well designed ! ( lol )

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View bigfish_95008's profile

bigfish_95008

250 posts in 1728 days


#9 posted 1270 days ago

That’s what you call getting on top of the work. Good looking bench!

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View Houtje's profile

Houtje

299 posts in 1596 days


#10 posted 1270 days ago

That’s a really nice heavy bench

View tdv's profile

tdv

1114 posts in 1694 days


#11 posted 1270 days ago

An old friend of mine(about 40 years my senior)built a bench like this as an apprentice, made from heavy sections of softwood in the early 1930’s it was still in use when he died in the mid 1980’s after a lifetimes work as a Joiner/Builder, so it may be the only bench you’ll ever need it looks great & you can always modify to suit your requirements rather than replace
Good job
Trevor

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#12 posted 1269 days ago

If a replace it, I plan on bequeathing it to someone who is just getting started in the craft.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View dubsaloon's profile

dubsaloon

619 posts in 1418 days


#13 posted 1269 days ago

Really nice job! I have the small end vise like yours. The tenon frame is sweet.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9759 posts in 1243 days


#14 posted 1227 days ago

I know what you’re saying re: tool wells. I have a bench with one but have yet to find a good use for it other that to trap cr*p that otherwise should be swept (effectively) to the floor with my bench brush.

Nice bench! May your next one be everything you’re after and more!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#15 posted 1227 days ago

Thanks Smitty. I figured out why tool wells were useful back in the day. I was looking at a picture of an old cabinet shop (plate 11 Roubo to be more specific) and it dawned on me. When you are working with other cabinet makers you can’t have storage quite at hand but you still needed to work quickly, so you would grab the tools you need for a specific task and those would go in the tool well. For them the benefit of not having to walk across the room constantly was worth the benefit of dealing with the shavings.

Now that most craftsmen work alone, the tool well needs to go extinct.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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