New workbench for a new shop

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Project by mjk posted 08-13-2012 08:58 PM 6868 views 27 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My new workshop deserved a suitable workbench so I came up w/ this one. It’s a combination of several plans I found (Woodsmith #133, ShopNotes #65 & #84).
It’s about 84” long & 36”wide; made of hard maple throughout except for the top. The top is 3 layers of 3/4” MDF. The middle layer has pieces of hard maple inset into the layer to strengthen the MDF at all the dog hole locations.
The drawers are dovetailed poplar boxes w/hard maple fronts & ride on blum soft-close slides.
The addition of the Rockler workbench retractable casters allow me to move it easily whenever necessary.
The Veritas twin-screw vise is new for me & I’m looking forward to finding many practical uses for it.

All in all, I’m pleased w/the results & look forward to many years of useful service.


-- mjk, Prescott

21 comments so far

View exelectrician's profile


2328 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 08-13-2012 09:06 PM

Wow – nice bench! You now have a bench that will last a lifetime or three.
Is that a Record, made in England vise?

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View a1Jim's profile


117263 posts in 3746 days

#2 posted 08-13-2012 09:17 PM

Great looking Bench ,I’d be afraid to work on it,kinda like doing woodworking on a fine dinning room table :))

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3025 days

#3 posted 08-13-2012 09:51 PM


That is a well thought out bench


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View dpow's profile


503 posts in 3013 days

#4 posted 08-13-2012 10:47 PM

That bench should serve you well. Nice project for the new shop. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View mjk's profile


8 posts in 2288 days

#5 posted 08-13-2012 11:37 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments. They are deeply appreciated.
The Record vise is pretty old (~20 yrs.). As to whether or not it was made in England, I don’t know.
As far as being “well thought out” – I can’t tolerate wasted space so I tried to get as much “clean” storage
underneath as I could. Drawers seemed the best way to go.

Thanks again for the comments & the encouragement.


-- mjk, Prescott

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2647 days

#6 posted 08-14-2012 01:14 AM

looks good. I am a little shocked you didn’t go with a traditional solid wood top, but to each his own. Your work was great.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2370 days

#7 posted 08-14-2012 01:15 AM

Pretty Bench, now you just go out to the shop and ding it up right now and get it over with….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Insagent's profile


51 posts in 2480 days

#8 posted 08-14-2012 03:03 AM

I found what I’ve been looking for. This is must have!

View Tony's profile


21 posts in 3887 days

#9 posted 08-14-2012 04:54 AM

Nice bench. How well does the bench lift and move with the Rockler casters? Do you have to apply a lot of force to lift the bench? I am building a bench that will be over 250 lbs and wonder if they will work with such weight.

-- Tony, Sacramento

View mjk's profile


8 posts in 2288 days

#10 posted 08-14-2012 06:31 AM

Dude50: I decided on the MDF top because it is extremely flat & stable. The reading I did indicated that solid wood tops have a tendency to “move” and might cause problems down the road. The decision was made on the basis of practicality rather than aesthetics. I’m 66 yrs. old – I don’t have tme to do it again!

Tony: The Rockler casters are rated for 100lbs each (400 lbs total) so 250lbs should be OK. I’m sure my bench weighs more than 250lbs & it moves easily. Lifting, on the other hand, is a little difficult &, in my case, needs a little manual assistance.

Thanks for the comments,


-- mjk, Prescott

View rdwile's profile


160 posts in 2281 days

#11 posted 08-14-2012 12:02 PM

Very nice bench project, this will serve you well. I am a big fan of drawers under the bench, helps to keep sawdust and other material from falling onto your tools.

-- Richard D. Wile,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16277 posts in 4387 days

#12 posted 08-14-2012 12:34 PM

Very, very nice!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3237 days

#13 posted 08-14-2012 12:46 PM

Well done!! It will serve you well, enjoy.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View woodenwarrior's profile


238 posts in 2364 days

#14 posted 08-14-2012 12:59 PM

Very nice bench! It will definately be a fine addition to your shop. I just finished building mine and hope you get the same satisfaction as I do from working on it. One question, where did you pick up your hold fasts from? I’m looking for a couple of reasonably priced and sturdy ones for my bench.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1075 posts in 3342 days

#15 posted 08-14-2012 01:19 PM

Very well built. I like the design with the storage.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

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