Heavy-duty Workbench

  • Advertise with us
Project by Rydell posted 05-04-2011 01:11 AM 7492 views 19 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first big project, aside from your typical Wood Whisperer end grain cutting board. I started it about 5 years ago when I first got into woodworking. It went on hiatus until a couple months ago because I got frustrated with my low quality tools. Now, I’ve got a garage full of decent tools and this is the first project to be churned out.

The top is 3 layers of 3/4 MDF with red oak aprons all around it. The joinery is all pretty simple and the workbench is designed to be able to be taken apart. The top comes off easily. The rest is held together by the bench bolt/barrel nut combos on each of the legs. Everything else, with the exception of the bottom shelf, is made out of 8/4 red oak. Boy is this thing heavy! I’ve got it outfitted with a Jorgensen quick-release woodworker’s vise and a Veritas twin screw vice on the other end.

It’s all finished with a few coats of boiled linseed oil with van dyke brown linseed oil-based paint mixed in to add a darker tone.

Plans originally came from ShopNotes No. 65. I got the plans here:

Any comments, constructive or otherwise, are welcome! Overall, I’m pretty happy with it, though there were plenty of “Oops!” moments and I definitely learned a lot making it!

18 comments so far

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3163 days

#1 posted 05-04-2011 01:48 AM

Looks like a really nice heavy duty workbench that will get years of use. I love the Veritas tail vice(Im jealous).

Only thing I can think of is you need more bench dog holes at the very least going along the face vice towards back of table. More in the middle along the length of the table would help as well for smaller sized pieces. other than that it looks beefy and a job well done!

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3641 days

#2 posted 05-04-2011 01:58 AM

Nice workbench!

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3151 days

#3 posted 05-04-2011 02:04 AM

Great looking work bench! There was a work bench build on Woodsmith Shop this morning and it looked to be a fairly straight forward build but not as nice as yours. Great job!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View rozzi's profile


323 posts in 3290 days

#4 posted 05-04-2011 02:10 AM

This is a great looking bench. Very nice! Thanks for sharing and welcome back to woodworking. Look forward to more projects.

-- Duane, Iowa

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3545 days

#5 posted 05-04-2011 02:36 AM

That’s one sturdy bench

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Marc's profile


101 posts in 2977 days

#6 posted 05-04-2011 05:13 AM

Hey, I know that bench! I didn’t bother making mine as pretty as yours but it still works. ;-) Great job!

-- Marc,

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3070 days

#7 posted 05-04-2011 07:23 AM

I built my bench with 3 sheets of 3/4 MDF sandwiched together as you did. Rock solid. I left the top MDF so I can run a orbital sander over it as needed to clean it up. Your design style looks great…....

-- mike...............

View Rydell's profile


18 posts in 2605 days

#8 posted 05-04-2011 10:52 AM

Thanks for the comments all! Eric – You’re right. I looked at the plans earlier today and I did indeed leave a couple holes out on the left side of the bench to go with the Jorgensen vise. I guess I’ll be picking up a 3/4 straight bit to start those two holes. Also, one of my “Oops” moments was drilling my original dog holes. You can see some inconsistent spacing on some of the dog holes. I made a jig to space out the dog holes. Trouble is, I wasn’t supposed to start using the jig until drilling a couple dog holes to match the Jorgensen vise. I just ended up drilling matching holes in the front so it didn’t look completely weird. Better than re-sandwiching three sheets of MDF!

Marc – looks great! I almost wish I’d have done something more like yours. I’ll bet it would have been way cheaper than the $700+ of red oak + the veneer I bought after blowing through the veneer on the plywood.

Looks like the folks at ShopNotes designed a cabinet/drawer setup to go along with this bench. I think I found one of my next projects.

redryder – Do you run into any flatness issues by sanding the top from time to time? I’d like to use this top as a flat reference for things like chairs, etc.

View Hoosierdaddy's profile


81 posts in 2610 days

#9 posted 05-04-2011 01:13 PM

Wow Rydell, I’m really liking what you’ve done here, until I get to the part that you dropped seven bills on it, ouch! But I guess if you want quality and something that lasts, that’s what you have to do. With three sheets of 3/4” MDF and all the red oak trimming & vises I bet the top alone is pushing 200lbs! That’s a bench that will be the most valuable tool in your shop, grats. BTW, if you need some $ you can always take that keg back for it’s deposit ;-)

Can’t wait to see what to see how your next project turns out!

-- I don't know what this is going to be like, but there's only one way to find out..........

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3157 days

#10 posted 05-04-2011 01:31 PM

Man that is really well done! One to be proud of for sure. I wish my shop had room for one of these monsters!

One day we will tear down the garage to build a 2 story and put the game room up stairs and make the whole main level a wood shop. In case your wondering most Southern California people dont use the garage for the cars.. LOL

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

View stanley_clifton's profile


195 posts in 3671 days

#11 posted 05-04-2011 06:25 PM

I want your bench – now!

-- Stanley generally struggling

View Rydell's profile


18 posts in 2605 days

#12 posted 05-04-2011 08:26 PM

Hoosier – Yeah, I was wondering if anything would notice the keg in the background!

Thanks again all…Can’t wait to get goin on more projects.

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3120 days

#13 posted 06-07-2011 06:28 PM

Nice bench Rydell, Any idea how many board feet you used? I have a bunch of red oak and I’m thinking of making a bench. Thanks.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 2660 days

#14 posted 06-07-2011 07:03 PM

Very nice bench, Rydell. I’m sure that this will serve you well for mnay many years! thanks for sharing.

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3142 days

#15 posted 06-07-2011 07:42 PM

Oh, BOY !!!!

What you get when Beauty AND The Beast have a child, together !!

Wonderful job. Enjoy using it !!

-- -- Neil

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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