The Not-So-Big/Essential Workbench

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Project by RazedGrain posted 09-20-2013 01:31 AM 6320 views 27 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally done!! :) Well has been for a few weeks but haven’t posted yet.

Those of you who have built Workbenches can understand the awesomeness and immense satisfaction from such a huge project. This was a bear to tackle but it feels so good to have it finished. On and off, Nights, weekends etc, for 5 months this has been my baby. Coming from using a sheet of whatever on top of some shady sawhorses or whatever somewhat horizontal surface I could find, this is such an upgrade it just can’t be described.

I don’t own (or have the space for) a jointer, so I flatten and square edges with hand planes. Not having a vice of any kind before, this makes life SOO much easier!

It incorporates several ideas from several sources. The two biggest were fine woodworking’s “The Not So Big Workbench” and “The Essential Workbench” hence the name. Credit to them for the nice design. The wagon vise design I owe some props to Mauricio. Very similar to his thanks for the inspiration. I really didn’t want a shoulder vise screw sticking out the end of the bench so this solution was awesome.

The base as well as the majority of the top is construction grade lumber from the BORG. Used 2×10’s and ripped out the pith in the middle ending up with 90% quatersawn boards. Apron, end caps, vises, and dog strip are from hard maple and roasted maple. The drawer boxes and drawers are all from Baltic is that stuff expensive!

A few warts on it no doubt as I am still fairly new to this craft, but all in all I couldn’t be happier with it. I learned a lot from the construction, and while I don’t intend this to be my last bench, it will serve me very well for the years to come.

Thanks for looking :)

-- - Jeff - Hamilton, ON, Canada

26 comments so far

View iminmyshop's profile


287 posts in 2191 days

#1 posted 09-20-2013 01:51 AM

Looks awesome. Enjoy it. Can’t wait to see the projects made on it.


View SquintyPolock's profile


99 posts in 2094 days

#2 posted 09-20-2013 01:56 AM

That’s a real proper bench! Very nice looking and solid.

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

View sras's profile


4941 posts in 3326 days

#3 posted 09-20-2013 02:00 AM

Nice combination of designs!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3690 posts in 2448 days

#4 posted 09-20-2013 02:04 AM

Looks really nice and functional too. I like the row of dog holes with the accenting wood. Just how small is your not-so-big bench?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2489 days

#5 posted 09-20-2013 02:04 AM

That’s more than a mere bench—that is a work of art.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View RazedGrain's profile


16 posts in 2168 days

#6 posted 09-20-2013 02:34 AM

thanks for the kind words :) Its already got some wear marks and sharpening stains, but if its going to be around a while I wanted it to be pretty :)

@Don Broussard: it is 63” long. I don’t foresee having to work more than 4’, except in rare occasions and if you saw the size of my little paradise its really fairly large! lol

-- - Jeff - Hamilton, ON, Canada

View James Lango's profile

James Lango

186 posts in 3731 days

#7 posted 09-20-2013 03:14 AM

Nice bench! Lots of hours in her. Looks great


View ErikF's profile


623 posts in 2441 days

#8 posted 09-20-2013 03:22 AM

She is a beauty.

-- Power to the people.

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3137 days

#9 posted 09-20-2013 03:54 AM

Great bench. It will last a lifetime.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View exelectrician's profile


2328 posts in 2624 days

#10 posted 09-20-2013 04:49 AM

Simply beautiful attention to detail – Now go put some real oops! scars on it and you will get over how nice it is and get real work done, and done right!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View bobasaurus's profile


3544 posts in 3381 days

#11 posted 09-20-2013 06:08 AM

Fantastic bench! The lamination colors and apron dovetails really make the top stand out. The sliding deadman looks especially useful… someday I’ll make a fine bench like this for myself.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View DirkEdmund's profile


20 posts in 2049 days

#12 posted 09-20-2013 08:02 AM

I was trying to imagine what my perfect workbench looked like, and then….Poof! Here it is… Really nicely done!

-- DirkEdmundMichigan/

View wardus1973's profile


12 posts in 1976 days

#13 posted 09-20-2013 09:13 AM

Wow! Very nice bench build! I would very much like to hear more about your vice solution as I am in the process of building a new bench from scratch in the paul sellers style. But I would like to have a wagon type of vice on the end like you have.

Thanks for sharing your work of art.

-- Ward, Ottawa ON

View douglbe's profile


369 posts in 4158 days

#14 posted 09-20-2013 01:24 PM

Very nice! The dove tails look fantastic! You’ll have years of pleasure working on that beauty.

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 3232 days

#15 posted 09-20-2013 01:47 PM

looks like all the bench anyone could want, using it will determine what you would do differently in the next bench, excellent job

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