my first real workbench

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Project by jdh122 posted 11-26-2011 09:08 PM 2371 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My plywood workbench with a single tiny vise just wasn’t cutting it as I continue to do more work with hand-saws and chisels. I built this out of spruce 2X4s, including a few rescued from pallets. The joinery is all double mortise and tenon, bolted in place rather than glued (for a knock-down bench, even though at only 4 feet long I probably could have just glued it). The top sits on dowels on the top of 2 legs. Has a Lee Valley front vise and a bench vise on the end bought at busybeetools. With the two vises and all of the material, I probably have about $150 into it, but I suspect I’ll come to regret not springing the extra cash for quick-release vises, even though it would have added over $100 extra.
I used the bench dogs for the first time today, and it’s infinitely better than clamping boards to the top of the bench.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

11 comments so far

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2679 days

#1 posted 11-26-2011 10:00 PM

hey i am first well well done i am curious why you made it so short are you tight on space it is really a nice little bench I wish you guys making benches would do blogs on the build

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3316 days

#2 posted 11-27-2011 01:23 AM

nice bench but why so short you seems to enoff room for a lot bigger one
liked you have upcycled some palletwood
thank´s for sharing


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2820 days

#3 posted 11-27-2011 01:26 AM

That is a nice bench, with all the key workholding features. And stout, too. Well done!

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

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3593 days

#4 posted 11-27-2011 02:04 AM

May not be the biggest bench around, but it looks sturdy enough to get the job done. Looks nice, too, and it is awesome that you recycled pallet wood. Enjoy your new bench, looks good.

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2834 days

#5 posted 11-27-2011 02:48 AM

ehh. I have a quick release vise on my bench. You’re not missing much. Its a nice feature, but not even close to a dealbreaker. I certainly wouldn’t have paid an extra $100.
That bench looks like a winner to me.

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3757 days

#6 posted 11-27-2011 02:51 AM

Very solid looking, should serve you well. I have a quick release vice but would not have paid an extra $100 for that either. Mine doesn’t have a pop up bench dog and I regret not having one.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View jdh122's profile (online now)


1052 posts in 3019 days

#7 posted 11-27-2011 03:08 AM

Thanks for the nice comments. It is a bit short, but the space is more limited there than it looks, since there is a door that swings just to the left of the bench. I might have been able to get away with 5 feet instead of 4, and am starting to wonder if I should have, but so far none of my projects have involved pieces longer than 4 feet.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3850 days

#8 posted 11-27-2011 04:09 AM

looks like a great work surface and sturdy. with the dog holes and bench dogs (and holdfast) you’ll really appreciate the holding power of a good workbench where you don’t need to improvise with clamps and other methods to keep your work pieces in place – makes work much easier and more enjoyable.

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

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2621 days

#9 posted 11-27-2011 05:44 AM

I have an older butcher block counter top out of maple or something and I’d love to use for a joinery workbench about that size. I have it on hand and it’s only about 36” long, but it’s already laminated and solid, just needs a base and a vice. I’m using a rockwell jawhorse as my workbench and it works well for holding power, but a bench would be 900x better. That design right there would suit it well. I like it. Good luck with it. Looks to be a solid workbench.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View WeekendWarrior's profile


17 posts in 2574 days

#10 posted 11-27-2011 06:44 PM

Great job, thanks for sharing

View exelectrician's profile


2328 posts in 2629 days

#11 posted 11-28-2011 10:57 AM

Nice bench and very nice stretchers. That is solid enough for the hand plane, You are going to love it.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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