My Simple Workbench

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Project by blackivory69 posted 06-20-2011 09:53 AM 3186 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my traditional workbench. This is just a bit smaller than a regular bench, it’s because of my small shop (the top is 24”x52”). I didn’t follow any plan but I know what I want when I was building it. I know I want a workbench that is clamps friendly, hence the apron size is the same as the thickness of my top which is 3 1/2”. I also want a sliding deadman to hold a longer stock. Both end caps are floating or were only glued around 2” from the center to compensate on the wood movement. This is my first time building a workbench and also my first hand cut dovetail. As you can see from the photo that I did not sand enough to get rid of my line on the fin side. But I don’t mind. The joinery is M & T. And the rails are holding by nuts and bolts. Because the feet and rails are all 4×4s, this bench is very stable. The front vise is an old quick release that I score from an old guy for $35 which is really nice. I forgot the manufacturer but it was made in USA. The end vise is a regular end vise from Veritas. Except for the aprons (hard Maple) where the two vises are and the deadman (don’t know what kind of hardwood is it, but I know it’s hard), the whole bench is made out of Southern Yellow Pine. I finished it with a few coats of Dainish oil.

Now why did I choose Pine instead of maple or other hardwood? Simple answer, it was FREE (i forgot to tell you that I am cheap). The wood came from CRATES that I got from my work. So it’s totally FREE. So the good thing about this workbench is, I am not worry every time I scratch or beat it. i can concentrate on my project and not on the darn workbench. That’s the beauty of it. This is also my assembly table. Any kind of comments, suggestions, questions, or advise will be appreciated. Thanks for looking. :)

-- blackivory69

9 comments so far

View bigkev's profile


198 posts in 2627 days

#1 posted 06-20-2011 11:03 AM

Sounds like you knew exactly what you needed and that’s what you built, so I’d say it’s perfect. If a bench doesn’t have dents and dings in it, I say it’s not being used properly (or nearly enough).

-- Kevin, South Carolina

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#2 posted 06-20-2011 01:19 PM

doesn’t look that simple to me. Its got everything you need.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2637 days

#3 posted 06-20-2011 01:56 PM

Simple, I think not. More like simply perfect!

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3066 days

#4 posted 06-20-2011 02:13 PM

Great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3665 days

#5 posted 06-20-2011 05:50 PM

Good use of recycled materials. Consider protecting the surface by putting a hardboard on top when you do glue up work or do heavy pounding job. I see space underneath for some dovetail joint drawers – another future project!

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View David's profile


172 posts in 2841 days

#6 posted 06-20-2011 07:47 PM

very nice.

-- “Don’t tell me what can’t be done, tell me what you want done then shut up and get out of my way and let me do it!”

View Willie1031's profile


141 posts in 2536 days

#7 posted 06-20-2011 10:55 PM

That’s nice, and looks very sturdy.

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

View blackivory69's profile


84 posts in 3015 days

#8 posted 06-21-2011 09:14 AM

ChuckM: That’s a nice idea. But like i said on my description I don’t mind if this thing got beat up. In fact that’s main thing, I don’t have to protect the top because it was meant to be abused. If glue got into it (which is already did, many times) I can just peel easily (this bench was finished with Dainish Oil) and I can also scrape it with scraper with out a sweat. Now if I spent a fortune with this bench, then yes, I will protect it. But that’s the beauty of it. I don’t have to worry about it. All I have to worry is the project that’s coming out of this bench but not the bench.

About the drawers. If I will put drawers, I will probably put them really low so it will not beat my purpose of a Clamps Friendly. Also everytime something fall on the other side (tools, etc) I will have a hard time retrieving it, also it’s a lot easier to clean underneath the bench when it’s wide open like this. By the way here’s my old workbench that I sold after I made this one

This was I believe an imported (Maybe from china) which I got it from a guy who fast away, for $50, almost unused. The problems with this one were: 1st, the doghole size is 5/8”. Yes, it came with some benchdogs but I can’t use some other benchdogs from other manufacturer. But my main problem was because of the tool tray, the work surface was only 13” wide. And also because of the drawers, using clamps were PITA. Like when I want to use my dovetail jig. I was having a hard time securing it. And the top was only an inch thick (It was hard Maple though). That’s very good advise though. Thanks. :)

Willie: Believe me, with all those 4×4s including the rails, this will not move unless I intend to.

And thank you to everybody for your responses. You guys are awesome!!!!

-- blackivory69

View helluvawreck's profile


31082 posts in 2865 days

#9 posted 06-21-2011 02:02 PM

This is a wonderful bench and you’ve done an excellent job.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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