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Project by arudson posted 305 days ago 2750 views 23 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My start to woodworking began when I wanted to make a cedar strip canoe. The plans I used called for the construction of an 18 foot long strong-back from 2×10 SPF upon which the canoe would be made. I made the strong-back, and over a long period of time completed the canoe. When the canoe was all done, I was left, essentially, with a long, low, narrow table and I needed to something with it. I decided to disassemble it and use the materials to make a workbench. Despite the gobs of hardened epoxy resin on some parts and the screw holes in others, that workbench served me well for almost 25 years. I broke down and reassembled that workbench for three moves; it did everything I could ask of it and more.

Many woodworkers long to have a workbench like those featured in the woodworking magazines, I know I sure did. Finally, I decided, it was time to make a new workbench for myself. Something with a couple of vices as my old one only had one plastic vice screwed to the top. Something stable so when I worked a board on the top the whole bench wouldn’t wobble and squeak as I have been accustomed. Something that is a good height for woodworking as my current bench was about 3 inches too high making it awkward for many applications. And finally, something that offered lots of storage space – maybe not as much as the two 7’ full length open shelves of my old bench, but something with a cabinet where I could keep things organized and free of dust.

I looked through many books and magazines on different workbench designs and landed on a hybrid. I really liked the cabinet of the workbench featured in ShopNotes Issue #84 and the bench top of Woodsmith Issue #173, so I combined the two. My workbench cabinet is made of straight grain Douglas Fir while the top is made from Ash. I had wanted to use Maple for the top but where I live Ash is less than half the cost and consuming about 100 bf on the top alone, the savings was significant.

I am very happy with how my bench came out. It took some creativity to figure a way to join the top to the base but it all worked out very well. I wasn’t seeking to have a shelf under the bench top but this is what worked best for my design; I’m not sure it this will end up being a blessing or a curse. Although I have good useful storage space, my old bench offered much more and I am still trying to figure how the make the best use of the space I have.

I hope you enjoy these pictures of my new bench. Looking at benches that other Lumberjock’s have posted on this site sure was helpful for me; it allowed me to understand the pros and cons of different design features and determine what was most important to me. Perhaps my posting may help others.

22 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


3036 posts in 1318 days

#1 posted 305 days ago

Very nice! Great storage, and plenty of workspace.
Well done.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


9400 posts in 1512 days

#2 posted 305 days ago

What an awesomely functional bench. I kove how you set back the cabinets and drawers to keep clamping room available at the face and end. Excellent job.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View SPalm's profile


4621 posts in 2387 days

#3 posted 305 days ago

That is just spectacular.
Very well done.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View gklassen's profile


3 posts in 1153 days

#4 posted 305 days ago

Very impressive Alan!!! Beautiful work.

View Thinkerf's profile


24 posts in 308 days

#5 posted 305 days ago

Beautiful work Alan. I know what you mean about having a sturdy “third” hand to hold your work piece while you do what you have to do. After I built my workshop, my workbench was the first project that was built in the shop and I have had excellent service from it ever since.

View BBF's profile


141 posts in 344 days

#6 posted 305 days ago

Very nice.

-- I've never been disappointed buying quality but I have been disappointed buying good enough.

View kdc68's profile (online now)


1729 posts in 782 days

#7 posted 305 days ago

Beautiful bench…I like the dividers inside the drawer….thanks for sharing…

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View aussiedave's profile


2800 posts in 329 days

#8 posted 305 days ago

Wow!...beautiful bench and storage space under it for tools ect….Great job, excellent job.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View whitebeast88's profile


3223 posts in 695 days

#9 posted 305 days ago

awesome bench!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View BillyD3152's profile


81 posts in 384 days

#10 posted 305 days ago


-- Billy Long Island, NY

View Woodbridge's profile


2426 posts in 923 days

#11 posted 305 days ago

Another wow. great looking bench.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View MShort's profile


1707 posts in 1923 days

#12 posted 305 days ago

Excellent !!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View PJ72's profile


55 posts in 312 days

#13 posted 305 days ago

Very nice work bench.

-- PJ

View a1Jim's profile


109523 posts in 2082 days

#14 posted 305 days ago

Outstanding work bench ,great design and build.

-- Custom furniture

View LeroyTheLips's profile


184 posts in 753 days

#15 posted 305 days ago

That is one beautiful bench. If I were a single guy I would put that in my bedroom…which would also make me a single guy…

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