Utilitarian bench

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Project by sgmdwk posted 05-12-2013 08:14 AM 5478 views 23 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been using a Workmate with a removable plywood work top for more than 20 years – through the latter half of an Army career, 10 years of civil service and two more of retirement. I found a good vice on sale a couple months ago, and today finished building a bench to hold it. I see many benches on LJ that are true works of art – mine isn’t. But it is really solid and rigid, and a vast improvement on my old workaround. The top is laminated from three layers of 3/4 inch oak plywood and is edged with oak that was part of an orderly room sign I rescued from a dumpster on Fort Lewis a couple years ago. The base is made from 2 X 6 studs. It is held together with a lot of glue and some 1/2 inch dowels. The only metal fasteners are the pocket screws holding on the top and the lag bolts for the vice. I finished the whole thing with a couple coats of Danish Oil and some wipe-on poly. I had no plans, just an image in my head, but I am pretty happy with the result. My old “bench” will move into peaceful retirement – just like its owner.

-- Dave K.

20 comments so far

View RHC's profile


11 posts in 949 days

#1 posted 05-12-2013 09:04 AM

That is a beautiful bench! You sell yourself short, that is a work of art. I love the before/after pictures of the workmate and the new bench.

View MasterSergeant's profile


1324 posts in 1778 days

#2 posted 05-12-2013 10:48 AM

Thanks for your service and welcome to LJ’s!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Kevin's profile


539 posts in 1389 days

#3 posted 05-12-2013 12:23 PM

Nice Bench, I also agree this is a work of art. Have fun with the new bench.

-- Measure twice, cut once, then rout a whole bunch

View BigRedKnothead's profile


7130 posts in 1072 days

#4 posted 05-12-2013 01:45 PM

Very nice bench. You made it sturdy and strong. I bet you use the heck out of it.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Sandra's profile


6324 posts in 1165 days

#5 posted 05-12-2013 02:31 PM

Very nice bench. All the better that you designed it yourself!

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View whitebeast88's profile


3971 posts in 1280 days

#6 posted 05-12-2013 03:40 PM

very nice work looks sturdy enough to park a truck on!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View mikeroddy's profile


1 post in 1076 days

#7 posted 05-12-2013 03:50 PM

Good lucking bench. Very stout.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1251 posts in 1025 days

#8 posted 05-12-2013 08:35 PM

Awesome bench. That thing will serve you well and make things around the shop much easier and less frustrating. A good bench is one of the best ways to make a shop a more enjoyable space to work in.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Tedstor's profile


1599 posts in 1722 days

#9 posted 05-12-2013 09:15 PM

That thing is a BEAST!
Honestly, I’ve toyed with the idea of buildig a Roubo, as well as some other fancy designs. But when I finally get around to the build, I might just (shamelessly) knock-off your design.

View cutworm's profile


1074 posts in 1883 days

#10 posted 05-12-2013 10:00 PM

Looks great!

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1666 days

#11 posted 05-12-2013 10:44 PM

Excellent job and story behind it!
Like yourself, I’m sure the bench will provide many years of faithful service.
Thank you for your service. It does not go unappreciated.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View SquintyPolock's profile


96 posts in 987 days

#12 posted 05-12-2013 11:01 PM

Super cool!

-- It's all in a day's work...

View NormG's profile


5086 posts in 2093 days

#13 posted 05-13-2013 01:57 AM

Wonderful bench. Remember, if it meets your needs and it works there is nothing wrong with any bench and/or any other item

-- Norman

View Nickdarr's profile


66 posts in 1121 days

#14 posted 05-13-2013 03:13 AM

Echoing the others, that is a sturdy looking bench just waiting for many years of use. Hope the rest of your retirement goes as well as the bench turned out.

-- Darren... Hmmmm, I got nothin.

View Richard's profile


1549 posts in 1780 days

#15 posted 05-13-2013 08:15 PM

I think you had better beat it up a little before your Wife takes the Vice off of it and puts into Kitchen for a work Table for her.
If it came form a thought in your head to the final product I see here , it is Art.

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