New (first) workbench

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Project by Mark Shultz posted 06-14-2012 06:52 PM 9156 views 11 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
New (first) workbench
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This is my attempt at a workbench, my first real one. Real from a non-Rubio non-Schwartz perspective anyway.

I needed a basic design since I was building it on my shop/basement floor. Its of Shop Notes origin but modified.

- the legs are pine 2×4s glued up.
- 39” high, as i am taller than most
- the front stringers are attached via glue and lag bolts. Mortising in my then tool-less work space didn’t excite me.


- the end stringers are actually birch ply glued and screwed to the back of the 2×4s. the Notes design called for MDF all the way to the floor, but by using nice ply and shortening it a bit, I’ve created a design I call the “ghetto panel”.


- the top is a 36” x 80” solid core door, with a layer of MDF and Ply beneath for weight and rigidity. There is a surprising amount of flex in a solid core door. I added a layer of hardwood around the edge.


36” is wider than normal, but i didn’t realize that until after I came into possession of the door.
Have yet to put in a vice and dogs, but at least now i have a level surface to put things.

18 comments so far

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 2464 days

#1 posted 06-14-2012 07:05 PM

Great re-use and very nice design. Thank you for the pictures they provide nice ideas. I built a smaller one for my router not too long ago with a piece of a solid wood door as well; worked out great.

Nice Workbench!

View Stormy's profile


164 posts in 2341 days

#2 posted 06-14-2012 08:00 PM

Right now I have a hollow core door on plastic sawhorses. I like yours much better. Nice work.

-- Stormy: Sometimes the wood just tells you what it wants to be.

View Higgy's profile


9 posts in 3408 days

#3 posted 06-14-2012 08:00 PM

Looks like a great first bench!

-- Paul, Connecticut

View normt's profile


26 posts in 3053 days

#4 posted 06-14-2012 11:23 PM

Both of my benches are 39” tall also. Since you’re tall too, it’s a good move. Just be sure it’s weighted down securely with lotsa heavy stuff, so it doesn’t walk away from you.

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2937 days

#5 posted 06-15-2012 12:39 AM

Nice Job. Don’t you hate it when it gets the first scuff?

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View SignWave's profile


450 posts in 3179 days

#6 posted 06-15-2012 03:31 AM

Looks good.

I used the same design, modified it to fit a space I had, but used their basic design for the base. It’s sturdier than I thought it would be, and very sturdy considering how simple it was to build. My floor is uneven, so I used leveling feet on the corner posts. For my top, I ripped 2×6’s and laminated them together. I picked up a quick release vise from Rockler on sale, and have been using the heck out of this bench.

I am sure that you’ll get years of good work out of this one.

-- Barry,

View FlashG's profile


15 posts in 2484 days

#7 posted 06-15-2012 10:39 AM

Very impressive – will be sure to check back on this when building my own. Well done! :-)

View Johnnyblot's profile


319 posts in 2420 days

#8 posted 06-15-2012 02:52 PM

Excellent! Rough and tuff and hard to bluff. :-)
As long as it is a comfortable height, holds your work and does not move around whilst planing, you are set.

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3147 days

#9 posted 06-15-2012 04:13 PM

Now comes the fun part, use and abuse it.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3095 days

#10 posted 06-15-2012 04:24 PM

Looks nice and beefy! Should serve you well.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6164 posts in 3338 days

#11 posted 06-15-2012 05:12 PM

I remember seeing that bench in ShopNotes magazine, and also one like it (similar) on Woodsmith shows…..

Stellar job on the build… will serve you well for many years…...

-- " It's a rat race out there, and the rats are winning....!!"

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3135 days

#12 posted 06-15-2012 06:41 PM

Mark, this looks great! Sometimes a simple design is all that is needed. How flat are solid core doors?

View scarpenter002's profile


606 posts in 4049 days

#13 posted 06-16-2012 01:53 AM

Great job. Nice use of of the door. Sure speeds up construction.

-- Scott in Texas

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

109 posts in 2534 days

#14 posted 06-16-2012 12:20 PM

Thanks all for the comments. It was fun and easy. Now comes the real projects….

Vertigo- the door is very flat. I would caution all to not use ply as one or both under layers (instead use MDF for weight). The ply warped a bit and was able to distort the mfd and the door ( I was shocked that the ply warp had this strength). Luckily I had just screwed the door to the layers and was able to unscrew and correct it. My 200+ lbs can’t deflect the overhang.

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3734 days

#15 posted 06-16-2012 04:02 PM

Very nice work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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