LumberJocks

Workbench

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Project by arudson posted 06-21-2013 10:54 PM 3175 views 24 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

pintodeluxe

3464 posts in 1509 days


#1 posted 06-21-2013 11:00 PM

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

chrisstef

11189 posts in 1702 days


#2 posted 06-21-2013 11:15 PM

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

SPalm

4854 posts in 2578 days


#3 posted 06-22-2013 12:10 AM

That is just spectacular.
Very well done.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View gklassen's profile

gklassen

3 posts in 1344 days


#4 posted 06-22-2013 12:46 AM

Very impressive Alan!!! Beautiful work.

View Thinkerf's profile

Thinkerf

24 posts in 498 days


#5 posted 06-22-2013 01:06 AM

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

BBF

141 posts in 535 days


#6 posted 06-22-2013 01:18 AM

Very nice.

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

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1997 posts in 972 days


#7 posted 06-22-2013 01:47 AM

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

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

3014 posts in 520 days


#8 posted 06-22-2013 02:08 AM

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

whitebeast88

3553 posts in 886 days


#9 posted 06-22-2013 02:16 AM

awesome bench!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View BillyD3152's profile

BillyD3152

86 posts in 575 days


#10 posted 06-22-2013 02:26 AM

wow

-- Billy Long Island, NY

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2779 posts in 1114 days


#11 posted 06-22-2013 02:30 AM

Another wow. great looking bench.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View MShort's profile

MShort

1727 posts in 2114 days


#12 posted 06-22-2013 03:37 AM

Excellent !!!

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

View PJ72's profile

PJ72

55 posts in 502 days


#13 posted 06-22-2013 02:36 PM

Very nice work bench.

-- PJ

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112363 posts in 2273 days


#14 posted 06-22-2013 03:52 PM

Outstanding work bench ,great design and build.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View LeroyTheLips's profile

LeroyTheLips

214 posts in 943 days


#15 posted 06-22-2013 05:36 PM

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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