Torsion Box Workbench

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Project by Dan Corbin posted 07-01-2012 10:44 PM 7692 views 12 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife & I just finished this workbench for our workshop this weekend. There are still a few things that I could do to it, but I’m not sure that I will quite yet. There is room under the bench for an adjustable shelf system, but I think that would get in the way more often than not. And eventually I might put a face vise on the left side where there’s room. But for now, it’s done.

The base and top are made out of 3/4” pine plywood and 2×4s, glued and screwed every 6”. The screws on the top have been countersunk and then plugged with oak plugs (they were all I could find at short notice). The little tray area in the back is for various tools, to keep them below your work surface. I used a friend’s compound miter saw to cut all of the 2×4s (everything is 90-degree angles, though), and his portable table saw to cut the plywood pieces. Not having the right tools makes a big difference, let me tell you!

I got the plans on the internet from American Woodworker's website. I followed the plans rather blindly, and there are several things that I wish I had done differently. I wouldn’t have cut the top out of 4 pieces, but rather cut it out of one big piece and use a router to open up the tool pocket in back. I’m also unsure about the use of pine plywood for the top—it seems too soft and uneven to me.

-- ~ Dan, North Carolina,

17 comments so far

View SafferinOz's profile


170 posts in 3072 days

#1 posted 07-01-2012 10:48 PM

Looking good!

-- Stephen, Perth Western Australia, My inspiration – the Carpenter from Nazareth!

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2710 days

#2 posted 07-01-2012 11:43 PM

Nice looking bench, great job.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3195 days

#3 posted 07-02-2012 12:04 AM

I have always liked that bench plan. The fancy furniture benches are pretty but there is something about a bench you don’t have to baby that I really like. The only thing I would add is a masonite sacrificial top.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View WoodworkingGeek's profile


181 posts in 2889 days

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

Great looking bench!
Thanks for sharing!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile (online now)

Mainiac Matt

8546 posts in 2525 days

#5 posted 07-02-2012 01:48 PM

looks good…

if you’re woried about the pine plywood top getting beat… try facing it off with 1/8” tempered masonite…. smooth side up…. tack it down with a screw in each corner and replace it when it’s hacked up beyond what you want to continue using.

See if you can scrounge up an old handwheel for your hand screw and you’ll be crankin’ ..... literally :^)

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2871 days

#6 posted 07-02-2012 02:16 PM

Thats a neat idea for a tail vise, using the hand screw clamp. Can’t say I have seen that before.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View Dan Corbin's profile

Dan Corbin

57 posts in 2359 days

#7 posted 07-02-2012 04:24 PM

Thank you for all the compliments! I like the table for all of the reasons that you guys have pointed out, especially it being a workbench that I don’t have to worry about getting dinged or cut. I also really like the idea of putting a sacrificial top on it, and I am definitely going to do that. Thanks again!

-- ~ Dan, North Carolina,

View LeroyTheLips's profile


248 posts in 2444 days

#8 posted 07-02-2012 05:47 PM

That is the type of bench I need to make. Real practical. Nice work.

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2388 days

#9 posted 07-02-2012 10:28 PM

Dan,Try using 3/4” mdf for the top.
You can buy them in sheets, the same size as you got your plywood (4’x8’)
Much smoother, heavier and, it shouldn’t warp unless its outside or something.

-- My terrible signature...

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2958 days

#10 posted 07-03-2012 02:08 AM

Looks like a very sturdy and practical bench. Thanks for posting the link.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View MacSteveT's profile


55 posts in 2890 days

#11 posted 07-05-2012 03:20 AM

Very nicely done! I built this same bench almost 2 years ago, and I love it. I wouldn’t worry too much about the top – it will get get dinged and cut and scratched, but, as long as it is flat you’re good to go. I wish you well in your endeavors!

-- "Do, or do not. There is no try." ~Yoda

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

93 posts in 2482 days

#12 posted 07-06-2012 11:56 PM

Awesome! I’ve been looking around at plans for workbenches and also settled on this one, I might fit it with a regular bench vise for the end and maybe a few other small modifications but so far, for the price, my skill level and my needs this seems to be just what I’m looking for, great job!

-- Chris, Long Island

View nordichomey's profile


100 posts in 3299 days

#13 posted 07-08-2012 02:54 AM

Dan – I built this bench two years ago. It does not move… 0% racking. It is completely solid and have not had any problems with the top.

I did modify the original top plan some. I do like the skirt or 2×6 wrapping I put on. However, I do not care for the Veritas surface vise I use. The other mistake I made is that mine is too wide. Wish I had made it narrower and longer. You can see mine in the project section.

-- nordichomey

View whitewulf's profile


454 posts in 3134 days

#14 posted 08-25-2012 07:20 PM


Optical illusion? Makes the top look really wierd, to me…....maybe my MEDS!

Really like the dog system & the wood clamp you used very stout I bet.
They could be used for tool rack too. I have been lookin for a alternative to end vise.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View JohnnyS's profile


1 post in 2211 days

#15 posted 11-19-2012 11:50 PM

This is a great setup. I have been looking for a bench design like this for a while. I searched for torsion box honeycomb on google and found Sing Core panels, which look kinda neat. I wonder if it would make sense to use those for the top of this bench?

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