Workbench #1: Getting Started $175 Workbench w/ inflation

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Blog entry by s2h posted 09-09-2012 10:25 AM 6801 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workbench series Part 2: Gheto Glueup »

I should note that I have built a workbench before, but had to give it up when I moved from Florida to Washington state. The old workbench never really had a proper top, and was constructed using doubled up 2×4 with lap joints and lots of bolts. You could have driven a dump truck on top of it.

Since moving to Wa, I haven’t had a shop. Recently, we moved into a house, with lots of room for everyone. I dusted off my old tools, and started tinkering. I realized I NEEDED a good workbench again, and started the search for some plans. After a good search, I found the $175 workbench (now with inflation) put out by Popular Woodworking back in 2001.

I selected this bench because I needed to start somewhere. With NO usable tables in my garage, I couldn’t build some of the fancier tables that I see everywhere (at least not at first). This table was just the right mix for me; within my budget, skill set, and had the right set of features.

The only real change from the original is a substitution of 4×6 for the legs instead of the laminated 2×8. I saw the 4×6’s at the store and thought they would add a nice strong look to the bench instead of the weak looking legs in the original. Judge for yourselves.

So far I have cut 12 mortise with a mallet and chisel ((4) 1”x6”x2”, (4) 1”x3”x2”, (4) 1”x5”x1”). Now my right arm is all beefed up from swinging the mallet, and my left hand can precisely place a chisel.

The next steps are to glue and pin the side joints and drill out a bed bolt sort of contraption for the front members. I will then add all the small things to the base before starting on the top. I know this is backwards of how it is usually done, but I felt like I could use the base and some loose boards to work on while making the top. I literally had no workspace before this.

Turning this small group of lumber into a workbench?

Useful even before its finished.

Standing up on its own.

More to come.


3 comments so far

View SirFatty's profile


540 posts in 2208 days

#1 posted 09-09-2012 12:03 PM

Looks good.. hopefully you never need to move that beast!

-- Visit my blog at

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2671 days

#2 posted 09-09-2012 12:46 PM

It’s good to see that you finally have a leg (4 actually) to stand on!!!

Lookin’ good, keep us posted! Get it, POSTED!!! LOL.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2794 days

#3 posted 09-09-2012 03:42 PM

Looking very sturdy.
Yes. I like the solid one piece legs.
You may want to check out the vices on this bench.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

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