My Simple Workbench

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Project by NiteWalker posted 02-06-2012 08:00 AM 5238 views 10 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My Simple Workbench
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So I finally decided I needed a better workbench than the surface of my table saw. :p

The bench I built marries two sets of plans I had; Fine Woodworking's GSIW Workbench, and Kreg Tool's basic 2x4 workbench. I used the base design from the kreg bench (resized a bit for my needs) and the FWW GSIW workbench top. I liked the simplicity of the kreg base, but really liked the dog holes and vise on the FWW top.

I used 2×4’s for the base and plywood for the top. I didn’t want to use MDF since I didn’t plan on sealing the bench top. I also didn’t want to have to worry about it getting dinged up. All the scratches and dents will remind me of past projects.

The vise was mounted with the use of a plywood spacer and lag screws. The dog holes I drilled with a forstner, which took forever. I should have used a spade bit.

I plan on building another in the springtime but with formica laminated MDF as the top as an assembly table. I’ll skip the vise on that one and make the base longer since I won’t need the vise overhang.

Thanks for looking.

One thing I forgot to add, I bought and have been using Rockler's cheap bench dogs, and they’ve been doing everything I’ve needed.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

16 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2617 days

#1 posted 02-06-2012 08:03 AM

Looks like it will do the job,that’s all that counts.

-- Custom furniture

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1617 days

#2 posted 02-06-2012 08:07 AM

Yep, it’s been in service about two months now and it’s been working great. My tablesaw is relieved.

Next up is a new router table and drill press table.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View KMT's profile


594 posts in 1702 days

#3 posted 02-06-2012 08:15 AM

I like it.You should get many years of use out of it

-- - Martin



166 posts in 1374 days

#4 posted 02-06-2012 12:06 PM

Nice. My table is almost similar one, except that i fixed the bottom shelf to the bottom on the frame instead of placing it on top. Now i have a bottom shelf is in fact a 4 inch deep box of 27”X39”. I am posting this project in a a few days, as i am yet to bore the bench dog holes. I bought a Forster bit, but after reading your comment, I would rather use a spade bit of same diameter as a Forster. For bench dogs, i found nice 3 inch long SS rods of 18mm dia and i would file it flat on one end for about 5/8”.


View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 1346 days

#5 posted 02-06-2012 02:18 PM

That’s a sturdy looking bench, nice work.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 1574 days

#6 posted 02-06-2012 08:34 PM

On my list, i’ve been using a crappy old kitchen table

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View GlennsGrandson's profile


437 posts in 1349 days

#7 posted 02-06-2012 11:22 PM

Good looking, nice job. Where did you get your vise?


-- Grant - S/N Dakota

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1617 days

#8 posted 02-06-2012 11:25 PM

Thanks for the comments. :)
Yeah, my tablesaw has a few dings and scratches from using it as a workbench. No more of that .:)

The vise is a columbian/wilton amazon had on sale for $11 shipped a few years back.

It’s not the greatest; some of the paint is chipping off but it works well.
I still need to add wooden jaws.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View sikrap's profile


1096 posts in 2399 days

#9 posted 02-07-2012 03:22 AM

Nice bench, John. You might want to look at the Kreg video for the router table. That’s the one I made and it works great. Let me know if you want to borrow the dvd.


-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View cabmaker's profile


1399 posts in 1849 days

#10 posted 02-07-2012 05:28 AM

Simple is a good thing. Looks utilitarian and that s what counts. Enjoy !

View jeff's profile


783 posts in 2505 days

#11 posted 02-07-2012 06:37 AM

nothing like having a workbench,it makes life easier in the shop…nice job…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View thedude50's profile


3582 posts in 1518 days

#12 posted 02-07-2012 06:51 AM

i have a bench just like that except i use it as an outfeed table no dog holes or any vises as i am about to build 2 of the 21st century benches so i knew i wasnt going to use it as my primary bench there are 4 benches in my shop plans and two are of this design i used 2 sheets of osb for the top and toped that with hardboard it is very strong yet cheeper than plywood. the 2 21st century benches will cost me 1400 each to build including the vises that are on them this bench was like a hundred bucks for me to build so i assume yours was a bit more sence you used plywood . you might want to add the hardboard top like i did norm made a bench he used the hard board top too it takes a beating and if it gets ugly you replace the top easy as pie

-- Please check out my new stores and

View dbhost's profile


5386 posts in 2272 days

#13 posted 02-07-2012 07:25 AM

I did the FWW plan to the letter except for the length of the top, mine’s 6’. Due to the fact that I did NOT want to use PT lumber, and the plan calls for 4×4 stock, I ended up using cedar. BIG mistake… Nice easy material to work, WAY too light to be useful..

Honestly, I would have some serious doubts that the Kreg design is all that sturdy using pocket screws and all.If you think about it, post up your experience with it as time goes by… This would be a real time saver if it’s sturdy enough…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1617 days

#14 posted 02-07-2012 07:28 AM

It’s held up so far, but I used glue at the joints too.

I’m primarily a power tool woodworker, so I don’t subject the bench to a lot of the stresses that a hand tool woodworker would, like planing.

IMHO, I think the kreg plan is more of a utility bench.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2116 days

#15 posted 02-07-2012 05:49 PM

I like it! Looks sturdy and usable… That is what really matters. Well done!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

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