My New Workbench

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Project by MrFid posted 04-14-2013 07:58 AM 4206 views 15 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi there!

This is my first post on Lumberjocks. I have been on this site for a short time, and it has quickly become one of my favorite websites on the internet. Thank you all for inspiring me to dive more deeply into this hobby.

I have known for a while that I needed a workbench, but had been putting it off for other priorities (non-woodworking related). Once I returned and decided that I’d like to try it on a more serious level, I started reading blogs, books, LJs, etc. I quickly realized that it would be tremendously harder without a workbench. I found the plans for this bench at (I have read most of the plans that they have posted, and I DVR the show). Someday this will become my backup bench, and I plan to build a full-tilt Roubo, but not right now. This one will suffice.

The bench is made from 2x stock premium Douglas Fir (not sure why they call it premium… I had to dig through for 20 mins to find enough suitable pieces for this) and MDF (cheap, flat and heavy as the plans call for). The firs were cut on my crappy Ryobi table saw (mistake #1 that I have made so far in woodworking was settling for a lame TS), then planed and jointed on my 735 DeWalt planer and my Grizzly 8” jointer (oh. wait. I own neither of those. They were planed and jointed by handplanes that I restored…more on that later maybe). The top is 4 layers of MDF (2 full layers and 2 more layers underneath to provide clamping purchase a la “the plans”). It’s possible that I should note that the plans are for a ginormous workbench. Mine is only 6 feet long. All I have room for. I have drilled some dog holes, for which I use the Kreg Dogs. I plan to drill more later if necessary. They work great!

The face clamp is a 9” face clamp that I picked up at Woodcraft. Not bad. One side (static side) is buried in the fir that surrounds the top, and the other (sliding) side has more fir attached to it.

You may also notice in the third picture that I have conveniently located my bench beside my kegerator (Allagash White on tap right now!). This location was not chosen coincidentally.

I have aspirations of putting a caster system in place with hinges that will allow the bench to sit at its present height when not in roll-ey mode. Someday.

I welcome any comments positive or negative! I am having a lot of fun building, reading, and learning from all of you!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

18 comments so far

View Gittyup's profile


150 posts in 2161 days

#1 posted 04-14-2013 09:57 AM

Nice job. I think it will server you well.

I am building a similar bench myself, and have those same plans. I’m curious about how durable the dog holes will be in MDF. I would love to use MDF, but was thinking about making part of the top where the dogs are located out of hardwood. If someone can convince me the MDF will be plenty durable it would save me a lot of extra work and the expense of the hardwood too.

-- tel

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3061 days

#2 posted 04-14-2013 10:46 AM

Great bench a place to build many projects

-- 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 deon's profile


2522 posts in 3231 days

#3 posted 04-14-2013 11:48 AM

It looks sturdy enough

-- Dreaming patterns

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 3181 days

#4 posted 04-14-2013 12:08 PM

Looks good. I’ve got plans and will hopefully soon build same bench except I have a commercial grade solid core door I’m going to cut down for the top. My plan is to use cut-offs from door for the first layer on top giving me about 3-1/2” total thickness.

View MrFid's profile


886 posts in 2109 days

#5 posted 04-14-2013 02:13 PM

Hi all thanks for the comments! It’s definitely sturdy enough for planing and sawing. No movement whatsoever. Regarding the dog holes, so far they seem to be holding up well, but it’s possie that through use they will open up to an unacceptable level. The top is easy enough to replace with something like what you describe gittyup. I’ll let you know in a few months if I needed to go that route. Thanks again!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3272 days

#6 posted 04-14-2013 02:21 PM

Well done!! Should serve you well. Welcome to LJ’s.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View SignWave's profile


451 posts in 3240 days

#7 posted 04-14-2013 02:26 PM

Looks good. I made my bench using those plans as well. It’s a very elegant design for the base as far as being easy to build but still very sturdy. Instead of the laminated sheet goods for the top, I used 2x’s doug fir, laminated, similar to what Paul Sellers posted here (but without the apron).

I see that you put bench dog holes in line with the edge of the vise. I suggest adding a row along the middle to be used with the pop-up dog that is part of the vise as well. If you need to holds something narrow, the vise will probably hold better (not rack side to side) if you use the row in the middle than just on the side.

As for “select”, I find that the day of the week matters a lot. If you go saturday afternoon, the pile of 2x’s will be picked over. If you go after the new delivery usually Monday morning, the selection will include more good pieces.

-- Barry,

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2212 days

#8 posted 04-14-2013 02:43 PM

Hmmm, I see the keg-erator is right next to your new bench.

Coincidence? I think not! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View MrFid's profile


886 posts in 2109 days

#9 posted 04-14-2013 04:35 PM

Signwave- thanks for the advice. I’ll definitely add a row down the middle. And if I need to replace the top ill definitely do it like you did. Is your any lighter because you didnt use mdf? Also I like your name being a math teacher.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View sgmdwk's profile


308 posts in 2078 days

#10 posted 04-14-2013 06:28 PM

Good looking first bench. I am starting something similar this week – after 25 years getting by with a Workmate and a piece of plywood.

-- Dave K.

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2765 days

#11 posted 04-14-2013 08:33 PM

Thanks for posting and sharing with us. Don’t worry about being in a hurry to build a Roubo; build some projects with this, and keep track of how it does and doesn’t work well for you. When the limitations start to get frustrating, you’ll know when to build your next bench, and what sort of features and design you need. Maybe a Roubo will be what you want, maybe something else will work better; your experience with this one will inform you.

Have fun and make stuff!

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View gsimon's profile


1293 posts in 2318 days

#12 posted 04-14-2013 11:56 PM

great job!

-- Greg Simon

View hoss12992's profile


4093 posts in 2098 days

#13 posted 04-15-2013 02:49 AM

great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Timthemailman's profile


327 posts in 2981 days

#14 posted 04-15-2013 02:55 AM

great job

View MrFid's profile


886 posts in 2109 days

#15 posted 04-15-2013 03:42 AM

Thank you all for the positive feedback. It is good to be a part of such a warm, welcoming, helpful community. All of your work is what has inspired me to create a space for myself to build. I only hope to someday be able to achieve some of the work that I see on here daily. Funny that it’s easier to find people to communicate with on the internet than in the flesh today.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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