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Project by Mike posted 10-06-2011 08:01 PM 3013 views 5 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After years of making do with various quickly-constructed workbenches and/or sawhorses I decided to take the time to build a good quality workbench. Glad I did as it makes those common woodworking tasks easier and safer.

Top is Maple with a side vise and end vise providing the needed holding power. Hold downs and bench dogs work nicely with these vises. Cabinet is Poplar.

The design follows several plans/ideas from Fine Woodworking. I wanted drawers so pulled ideas from plans that included them, but needed to keep this bench fairly small since my shop space is limited. Lots of great plans and ideas out there!

20 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 10-06-2011 08:10 PM

very nice. the top looks massive!

amazing how much easier so many tasks become when you have a good bench to work with doesnt it?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15353 posts in 2618 days

#2 posted 10-06-2011 08:15 PM

Congrats, Mike, and Welcome. Great looking bench indeed!

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

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3091 days

#3 posted 10-06-2011 08:16 PM

that looks amazing! I’m jealous. i still have no workbench….or workshop….or tools. DAMN

Great first post! Welcome aboard!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3685 days

#4 posted 10-06-2011 08:20 PM

Nice and solid looking.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Mike's profile


33 posts in 2426 days

#5 posted 10-06-2011 09:00 PM

Thanks, guys. Didn’t know that posting a project would trigger comments. It’s a little humbling. Anyway, thanks for the comments. It is indeed nice to have a solid workbench. Not sure what the bugger weighs, but it does not slide around, bounce, wiggle or do the Hoochie Coochie.

View JFobare's profile


41 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 10-06-2011 09:01 PM

Turned out beautiful Mike…I really like the color contrast. Can’t wait to see what it helps you produce!
One question…are those adjustable feet or rollers?

View Mike's profile


33 posts in 2426 days

#7 posted 10-06-2011 09:06 PM

Thanks, Joshua. Those are casters from Woodcraft ( I give these a big Thumbs Up as they allow this very heavy bench to be moved easily and also provide solid support for planing/sanding/etc. The bench doesn’t move at all when the ‘fee’t are screwed down. Nice product.

View Tyler's profile


174 posts in 2693 days

#8 posted 10-06-2011 09:11 PM

I like the caster setup too. Are the casters attached to some other piece that is then attached to the bench?

Some close up pics would be nice.

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2693 days

#9 posted 10-06-2011 09:12 PM

Whoa! Mike outta nowhere! Really nice bench, Mike, and welcome to LJs! I like the overall dimensions and the top looks quite substantial. I really like how you treated the poplar to ground it visually. When you go to this much trouble, it should please the eyes as well as the hands. Fine job you’ve done here.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Mike's profile


33 posts in 2426 days

#10 posted 10-06-2011 09:30 PM

Tyler, I added a closeup photo of the casters.

The story that goes along with the photo: The casters are attached to the bench with a simple screw-on bracket so they can be removed in the future. I chose to do this because my current shop is small and requires all tools to be on wheels, but someday, when I win that lottery, I’ll be able to skip the wheels. Maybe. The height, both with and without wheels, matches my table saw both with and without it’s wheels. This allows the workbench to be used as an outfeed table should that ever be a good idea. Small shop—> flexibility.

Thanks for the color feedback, Al. Very simple finish, but like you say, when you go to this much work why not apply a decent finish.

View Tyler's profile


174 posts in 2693 days

#11 posted 10-06-2011 09:32 PM

Thanks for the new pic!

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2567 days

#12 posted 10-06-2011 09:32 PM

well, it looks like when you do it, you do it right. Welcome to LJs, both you and your bench.

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

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3796 days

#13 posted 10-06-2011 11:08 PM

Yep, that’s a really nice looking bench. Can’t wait to actually build mine :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3010 days

#14 posted 10-06-2011 11:15 PM

Great looking bench, Mike. I’m starting to get the itch for building a proper, solid bench as my makeshift Ikea-top 1” thick bench isn’t ideal for pounding on. Can I ask how much the maple for the top ran you?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Mike's profile


33 posts in 2426 days

#15 posted 10-06-2011 11:44 PM

I didn’t closely track the cost of the materials (ignorance is bliss sometimes), but the Maple was around $7bf rough. The top is roughly 2” x 30” x 70”. So… the top must have cost a bit more than $200.

One could reduce costs by going a bit thinner or by finger-jointing shorter pieces (I used full-length pieces). I suspect Poplar would have made a nice top too and it’s half the cost of Maple. Not quite as hard, but reasonably durable. Lots of choices!

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