First Project Posted: Benchtop Bench

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Project by Freakazoid posted 03-03-2012 09:23 PM 4349 views 9 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project is all about firsts for me – starting with my first project post.

I based my design off of the fine woodworking design, and altered a few things. Here is the finished bench. It is made primarily out of Douglas Fir. I used boiled linseed oil for the finish, the first time using the stuff (messy!)

This picture was intended to show off the bench but really demonstrates what a wreck my garage is. The front ends of the base line up with the inside jaw. The thought at the time was when I finally build a real bench (the kind that sits on the floor) I could clamp it up to the very edge and use the big table and whatever vises it has to help:

The jaws are hard maple and open to about 2 inches or so (I haven’t yet measured it). The vise kit is from Benchcrafted. I noticed some glue behind the left side of the jaw that I hadn’t cleaned up while I was putting the oil on (this is not a first for me).

The FWW plans use mortise and tenon joinery for the legs and lag bolts for the stretchers. I chose to give drawboring a shot for the legs and dovetails for the stretchers, both firsts – although the pictures do not show the first attempts! It took me a while to figure things out for the dovetails, but I ended up cutting the tails on the table saw and hand cutting the pins. Worked OK, just a few minor problems.

Overall this was a fun project and I got to try a lot of the things I had only read about.

Dimensions: 11” tall, ~35” wide, top is 14” deep, base is 16” deep for clamping. Top is 1.25” thick. Vise jaws are 6 ” tall, 3/4” thick hard maple
Hardware: Benchcrafted Moxon vise kit, 6 lag bolts to fasten top to base

One last thing – thanks for all the information you all post. It would be near impossible to do these things without any help.

-- I can complicate anything

6 comments so far

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2563 days

#1 posted 03-03-2012 09:29 PM

Looks awesome! Very nice! I might be building one of those very soon!

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3161 days

#2 posted 03-03-2012 09:43 PM

BLO- boiled linseed oil is usually applied, then wait a while (sometimes several days), letting the wood absorb the oil, then wiping/rubbing off and wait a couple days or so then another coat of it, repeat process and maybe repeat whole process 2 or 3 more times waiting in between or doing another project. This is why BLO is not one of my favorite finishes!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3699 days

#3 posted 03-04-2012 01:43 AM

Wow, nice joinery, that came out great

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View alfa189's profile


95 posts in 2604 days

#4 posted 03-04-2012 03:42 AM

Nice little bench bro! And don’t sweat the state of your garage, mine is the same way. And I would venture most guys on here are in the same boat. I would love to have a neat, tidy, organized shop like you see in WW mags, but that just isnt reality with most weekend warrior shops like ours :-) That just shows progress! Also, way to branch out and try new stuff. I’ve been too chicken to try some complicated stuff (like hand cut dovetails). Way to sack up and do it. I’m always worried about screwing up a nice piece that I’ll have to redo. You’ve inspired me to give some stuff a try and not rely on the stuff I’m comfortable with. Keep postin.

-- "It's not a mistake. It's a design feature."

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3708 days

#5 posted 03-04-2012 02:12 PM

Nice mini bench, several different joinery techniques you can now use in other projects. I like the end grain in pic 4.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3232 days

#6 posted 03-04-2012 03:40 PM

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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