New workbench build

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Project by Croakermea posted 12-27-2013 03:14 AM 3169 views 11 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Workbench build

I’ve been using an old kitchen base cabinet with an MDF top as a workbench for the past 10 years. After looking and drooling over some of the commercially available workbenches, I realized that the prices were just a bit too much. Building my own bench, however, had one big problem – how to get a solid flat top. After looking at the options on the web – planing or flattening with a router and then planing were just beyond what I felt I could accomplish. I then searched for options of buying a top that I could mount to a homemade frame and cabinet. After quite a bit of searching, I found Bally Block in Bally, PA a company about an hour and 15 min from my home that makes solid maple table tops in a variety of thicknesses and sizes. It was a bit challenging to get to the right contact who does retail sales, but I was able to buy a 3” thick, 24” x 60” maple butcher block top for what I considered a reasonable price compared to the price of 2×3 maple stock and work to glue up and flatten.

Knowing I was going to build my workbench, over Thanksgiving while I was building my daughter a TV stand, I paid close attention to how I worked on my old bench and what the strengths and weaknesses it had. Based on the those I designed the new bench. It has more drawers for storage, a larger work surface and a similar sized cabinet underneath for powered hand tool storage. Since my old bench had no vises, they were an essential add to the new one. I put a Veritas quick release vise on the side and a large WoodRiver vise on the end of the new bench. I also added a tool tray that rolls out just under the top. It is designed to allow me to put what ever is in my hand out of the way and not clutter the work surface, but have it handy when I next need it. The frame is made of 4×4 douglas fir verticals for the legs and 2×4 douglas fir rails joining the legs – attached to the legs with mortise and tenon joints. The cabinet is ¾ plywood with the drawer fronts and doors out of southern white pine. The top came prefinished, and the rest of the workbench is finished with 3 coats of Watco Danish oil. I haven’t drilled the dog holes yet as I’ve not yet decided on their spacing. The build took 6 days.

I’m looking forward to my next project and using the new bench.

12 comments so far

View jeff's profile


1107 posts in 3608 days

#1 posted 12-27-2013 04:39 AM

I really like your new bench…the pull out tray is a nice touch…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View woodcox's profile


2111 posts in 2155 days

#2 posted 12-27-2013 05:07 AM

Nice work man. I like all of the storage you have made. Way better than hand me down kitchen cabinets.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1967 days

#3 posted 12-27-2013 10:53 AM

Very Nice bench and well built. You will get many years of work and enjoyment out of it…Excellent job.

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

View stefang's profile


15944 posts in 3477 days

#4 posted 12-27-2013 10:55 AM

Your bench looks really nice. I’m guessing you are planning to drill dog holes in your vise’s jaws. Should be a wonderful bench to work on.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1074 posts in 3574 days

#5 posted 12-27-2013 01:30 PM

Very nice looking bench. Practical and functional. Like it a lot.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Diwayne's profile


265 posts in 2833 days

#6 posted 12-27-2013 02:21 PM

good solid job.

-- What one man can do, another man can also do.

View WhiskeyChris's profile


14 posts in 1954 days

#7 posted 12-27-2013 04:35 PM

Hey nice bench! we must think alike because i just finished one as well.

-- This is all make believe just like Bernoulli and his stupid principal.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2333 days

#8 posted 12-27-2013 08:47 PM

sweet bench!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View hoss12992's profile


4068 posts in 2036 days

#9 posted 12-28-2013 12:04 AM

Wow, this is really cool. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 2525 days

#10 posted 12-28-2013 04:27 AM

Nice bench. Well done.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View johnstoneb's profile


3011 posts in 2315 days

#11 posted 12-28-2013 04:25 PM

Nice bench. I really like the roll out under the top. I use the underside of my bench for the same type of storage, I had never thaought of a roll out shelf.
You might post a picture on the workbench smackdown thread this is definitely a worthy bench.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Croakermea's profile


13 posts in 3943 days

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

Thanks for all the comments! Looks like my next project starts tomorrow – TV stand for my son.

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