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.