Reclaimed Plywood Work Bench

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Project by MactheKnife posted 07-28-2013 09:24 PM 5970 views 10 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my new work bench. My old one was not robust enough for the work I wanted to do on it and I came across a lot of 50mm thick beech plywood that was going in a skip. Its really heavy stuff, it has something like 30 layers in it, each the same quality as the outer layer. Its assembled using M12 bolts for strength and to make it easiy to dismantle.

Its my take on a Roubo bench with a leg vice and a wagon vice. I intend to add a bench hook later.
It needed to be high enough to work on without getting back ache, solid enough to plane hardwoods without moving and also portable, albiet dismantled.

I did try and make my own wood screws for the vices, however I got as far as making the female threads before I decided that my time would be better spent finishing the bench and getting some other projects out of the way rather than battling with wooden threads, they will come later. In the mean time I’m using threaded rod for the screws on the vices, which work really well.

The Leg Vice opens to about 12 inches, there is no parallel bar on this as it can move the full length of the bench. I’m using chocks to keep the leg parallel. The thread is M12 threaded bar. The holding power in it is massive. Nothing moves in it at all. Its also easily removeable.

The wagon vice has two dog holes and runs on an M10 threaded bar and wooden runners. I made the dog from oak, however I need to modify the design to get them to hold properly as there is no reverse edge in them to hold the work yet. Perfectly parallel dogs don’t hold that well!

The parallel leg is removeable and can also be positioned at any point along the bench the same as the leg vice. The dog holes in it match the ones the ones in the leg vice.

All that remains to do is put some dog holes in the face and maybe some sort of protective finish, although I don’t know what yet!

Total costs? a whopping £20! (in nuts bolts and threaded bar)

9 comments so far

View Gibernak's profile


124 posts in 1988 days

#1 posted 07-28-2013 10:26 PM

It looks really great and sturdy, very nice work

View Belg1960's profile


1073 posts in 3207 days

#2 posted 07-28-2013 11:45 PM

Very creative and well executed!! Thanks for posting this.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1966 days

#3 posted 07-29-2013 12:04 AM

Excellent work bench you did an awesome job….well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View punk's profile


181 posts in 2558 days

#4 posted 07-29-2013 12:14 PM

I like it real nice just the right sise has all the bee and whistles

-- Punk in PA

View Underdog's profile


1184 posts in 2178 days

#5 posted 07-29-2013 12:45 PM

Wow. Nice find on the beech ply, and you even put it to an excellent use. Looks really good!

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3294 days

#6 posted 07-29-2013 06:42 PM

I love it! Especially the wooden hand wheels.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6158 posts in 3336 days

#7 posted 07-29-2013 07:16 PM

Stellar job on the new bench….It should serve you well for years to come…...Congrats…..!!!!

-- " It's a rat race out there, and the rats are winning....!!"

View PurpLev's profile


8540 posts in 3791 days

#8 posted 07-29-2013 08:46 PM

real nice bench!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View palaswood's profile


1055 posts in 1893 days

#9 posted 08-20-2013 06:58 PM

Excellent execution. Here I thought using plywood for a “proper woodworking workbench” wouldnt be prudent.

I built my first workbench (table really) out of plywood reclaimed from a concrete pour job near my house. its 1 1/8th in thick. The legs are salvaged 2×4s mostly from the same job. Some were found discarded in the greenbelt behind my home, nicely silvered.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

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