Walnut workbench for toddler

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Project by studie posted 12-22-2012 08:49 PM 2593 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last year I got a nice load of rough cut walnut boards and have finally started to use some of it. Rough, twisted, bowed you name it, hard to tame it. Trying my handplanes to take the twist out was not working so having learned from LJs to use a planer sled was the ticket. My brother wanted a table for his granddaughter so with the size they asked for 2’x3’ x 23” tall I came up with this. I like to make things as they come to me in my mind. I wanted tapered legs and sculpted aprons. Then the tapered legs spoke to me to have a curve on the 2 fronts and the skirts got curves from my trusty french curve gauge. We recognized that someday the table may want to be full hight 29” so I made the legs and aprons detachable. I made 45 degree corner blocks at each corner screwed them to the aprons inside and then a 1/4” lag/machine screw at 45 degree to the leg and then the nut and washer to cinch them tight. The Dominos keep everything in plane and add strength too. To bring out the natural beauty of the wood I used Minwax natural stain and 5 coats of wipe on poly. I have found that if I get a sweet coat with no streaks or drips I can let it dry without wiping it down. I like the fact that the wipe on poly is thin and gives more open time to get that smooth coat unlike regular poly that is so thick like tar. Finished off with a light rub with #4 steel wool, #1 polishing compound then Antiqwax. Will deliver Christmas eve. This took much longer than I thought but was fun and I will get to see it often. I have a magazine that shows the progress-on of ancient work benches and the legs look like these so with the thick top and burly build I”ll call this a workbench not just a table. Hope you like it and welcome any comments. Oh and the outside pic’s the table is sitting on the rough walnut boards also the long handplane made the top flat after gluing up the 3 top boards, many hrs of sanding after that.

-- $tudie

14 comments so far

View Ted78's profile


401 posts in 2121 days

#1 posted 12-22-2012 09:06 PM

I like the flared out legs, reminds me of bell bottom jeans.

-- Ted

View patron's profile


13625 posts in 3462 days

#2 posted 12-22-2012 09:31 PM

sweet studie !

love the nuevo style

very clean

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29802 posts in 2460 days

#3 posted 12-22-2012 10:01 PM

Nice looking bench

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


117204 posts in 3699 days

#4 posted 12-22-2012 10:04 PM

Wow that’s a bench ? very cool looks like high end furniture.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View EarlS's profile


1537 posts in 2469 days

#5 posted 12-23-2012 12:05 AM

Very nice. Are you looking to adopt any “older” children?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6863 posts in 4101 days

#6 posted 12-23-2012 12:18 AM


Your design is really nicely executed, and the proportions look perfect.

Excellent work.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18359 posts in 3797 days

#7 posted 12-23-2012 12:42 AM

Awesome! You really are a wood worker ;-) and a designer to boot!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3268 days

#8 posted 12-23-2012 01:42 AM

Thanks all! Maybe someday they will say we like it as is and I can glue the legs to the skirts for even more strength. I think making it taller would upset the proportions. Any way I learned a lot making this from the Domino machine with it’s fussyness to the planer sled ( now I have 2 one mdf and one laminated bowling ally remnant ). I know that I should start using pro cat lacquer finishes ( fast & less dust issues) but I am getting great results with this method and I think poly is also super durable too.

-- $tudie

View StephenSchaad's profile


201 posts in 2300 days

#9 posted 12-23-2012 01:56 AM

Fancy and beautiful! Hope he and his granddaughter love it!

View scottyeyre's profile


35 posts in 2171 days

#10 posted 12-23-2012 03:38 AM

Great shape and I like the shape of those legs

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3189 days

#11 posted 12-23-2012 02:59 PM

Beautiful, great job!! Very creative design.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3425 days

#12 posted 12-23-2012 11:10 PM

hey amigo, what have you been up to, playing in the walnut huh, this table is sure a beauty, ive also got another slab of walnut that is on my shop porch, it might be used as a sitting bench, ive got to decide, but its a beautiful, is this a keeper for you or is it for someone…merry Christmas buddy…may the new year coming smile upon you and your family…grizz P.S i read the explanation of the build after i left my comment, so i see its going to a relative, good job , and you get to see it often…its always nice to see your own work once in awhile…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Joedcatman's profile


172 posts in 3236 days

#13 posted 12-27-2012 03:57 AM

Scott, Again you have explained every aspect of this project expertly. Is that some of the walnut your neighbor had in his storage trailer? Beautiful work. Maybe after the holidays I’ll get back and do something cool. Been having a battle with sleep apnea and having the desire to do something beside sleeping all the time. Driving me nuts. BTY, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

-- JoeR Nothing that I could make will ever be perfect but I'll use it anyway.

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3268 days

#14 posted 12-27-2012 06:44 AM

Thanks Joe, yes this is some of the wood I got last year and I like it. Tho it’s hard to tell what you get until it’s planed and sanded to see the grain, but thats true with most rough cut wood. Good to hear from you.

-- $tudie

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