The little workbench that could

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Project by DHS posted 937 days ago 6164 views 64 times favorited 49 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I did not think I had room in my shop for a “real” woodworking bench. Then I spotted LJ Trev_Batstone’s wee little woodworking bench and realized, of course, that I could make one to fit the space available. This bench is just a little over 2’ x 4’, but it will clamp just about any workpiece I plan to plane, chisel or saw. Made from 2×4s, 2×6s and some old wormy oak I had lying around the shop, the only real expense was for the end vise hardware (Large Front Vise from Lee Valley) and a little extra oak for the vise jaws. To make the top I laminated strips of oak onto fir 2×4s, glued them up, flattened the whole thing with a No.7 hand plane, and then filled the holes and pores in the oak by sanding with a mixture of oak saw dust, BLO, and varnish. I kept the leg vise and side vise (which runs the entire length of the bench) as simple as possible, building them with a few ¾” nuts, some ¾” threaded rod, and washers. The vises work by means of ¾” nuts inserted into mortises in the handles and the rear jaws. The end vise and leg vise jaws are faced with maple but the front jaw of the leg vise is faced with jatoba. I built several bench dogs using a ¾” birch dowel and music wire, which is made from spring steel. (Bench dog in photo enlarged to show texture.)

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

49 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1813 days

#1 posted 937 days ago

Great job on your workbench! Looks like it will serve you for yrs to cvome. I love the pic of your bench dog! I’ll have to see if mine will do that LOL. Congrats!

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

View gavinzagreb's profile


209 posts in 944 days

#2 posted 937 days ago

Has given me food for thought as I also have limited space in my workshop and no access to vice hardware.

View dubsaloon's profile


619 posts in 1418 days

#3 posted 937 days ago

Great looking bench and bench dog. Great job on those vises. i may be able to afford them now.

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

View Traildog's profile


4 posts in 943 days

#4 posted 937 days ago

Very Nice. Looks Great

View blackcherry's profile (online now)


3154 posts in 2447 days

#5 posted 937 days ago

You hit the nail right on the head, custom fit for your own space it better than nothing at all. I took the plan of a 8’ foot bench and made it 6’ and have never look back since. Most projects can be handle easily on smaller bench and the best thing is you can’t accumulate as big a mess on the smaller bench…lol. Nice work thanks for sharing and posting….BC

View Don W's profile

Don W

14824 posts in 1192 days

#6 posted 937 days ago

thats a great looking bench. I may copy parts of your leg vise design if I ever get to that project.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View RGtools's profile


3302 posts in 1279 days

#7 posted 937 days ago

Great job on this bench. I love the way you organized the shelf below, so clean and ready to work.

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

View MShort's profile


1725 posts in 2043 days

#8 posted 937 days ago

nice bench

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View ed220's profile


619 posts in 2018 days

#9 posted 937 days ago

Very nice bench. Great job !

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1491 days

#10 posted 937 days ago

Don, you did a really nice job on that work bench. It’s sharp looking.


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 1798 days

#11 posted 937 days ago

Great job. Beautiful end result. I particularly like your bench brush. Should do a FANTASTIC job of sweeping away dust and shavings :-)


-- -- Neil

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 1117 days

#12 posted 937 days ago

Don..this is a beautiful bench for sure. You said that my bench inspired you to build yours, but I think we’re taking turns inspiring each other. I really like yours, the two-handle vise is a good thing, I am also going to put a shelf under my bench as well.. I was actually looking at the bench last weekend and said to myself “I can put a shelf down there”. Thanks for sharing your new bench, Don, and I know that it will get lots and lots of good use. I don’t know how I ever got along without mine. Happy Woodworking!


View DHS's profile


111 posts in 1848 days

#13 posted 937 days ago

Thanks for the comments Trev. Let’s keep inspring eachother. – David

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View dannelson's profile


140 posts in 996 days

#14 posted 937 days ago

one question on the leg vice, does that diameter of foot wheel work well for you? Im thinking about expanding my bench and was courious

-- nelson woodcrafters

View DHS's profile


111 posts in 1848 days

#15 posted 937 days ago

Hi Dan – The leg vise is somewhat slow to adjust. But, I adjust the foot wheel first before applying clamping pressure so the small wheel works fine.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

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