My first workbench

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Blog entry by sikrap posted 12-29-2009 12:57 AM 2302 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay folks, get ready to laugh yourselves silly. This is my first attempt at a workbench. It don’t get much more basic than this, although I did add a shelf on the bottom and I even went so far as to cut a recess in the MDF so that the vise will be flush. Still have to mount the vise and add the trim. I’ll add those pics later so you don’t hurt yourself laughing right now :)

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

14 comments so far

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3492 days

#1 posted 12-29-2009 01:12 AM

no way man, that looks better than mine! i use an old desk reinforced with framing lumber and MDF added to the top!

the lower shelf will be key. add some dog holes and you’ll be set!

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3350 days

#2 posted 12-29-2009 01:34 AM

Nothing to laugh about man. Mine was almost exactly the same, except I didn’t know about MDF back when I started, so I just used 3/4” ply for a top. We all have to start somewhere, and nowhere does it say we have to have an extravagant bench anyways!

Looks Good! And definitely agree on the lower shelf, it adds so much more storage with just a simple piece of ply!

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View dustyal's profile


1295 posts in 3503 days

#3 posted 12-29-2009 02:28 AM

Nice—well done. It’ll work fine. Have you considered adding a eighth or quarter inch hardboard top that you can replace from time to time? You could wax that up a little and glue wouldn’t stick. I’d run some hardwood around the edges too… that would dress it up if that is bothering you. Otherwise, nothing to complain about.

Your all thread bolts running along the stretchers should give it a good solid feel.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3222 days

#4 posted 12-29-2009 02:44 AM

Hey sikrap: Just seen you pixs you posted of the workbench. Looking good. Your on your way to a nice looking bench. Good job, so far. Keep on going. Be sure and post some more pixs. I hope my suggestions has helped you.
And it looks like your making good progress. Rick.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#5 posted 12-29-2009 02:50 AM

looks great! definitely better than my attempt at it:
Click for details

it’ll serve you for years to come.

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

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3376 days

#6 posted 12-29-2009 03:03 AM

If you tried to enter that bench in the Most Pathetic Workbench Contest you might get a few laughs, from people trying to figure out why you thought so poorly of your bench…

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View jcontract's profile


84 posts in 3115 days

#7 posted 12-29-2009 05:11 AM

Better than mine. All I have is a Workmate.

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#8 posted 12-29-2009 05:14 AM

Looks fine good job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3387 days

#9 posted 12-29-2009 05:19 AM

Thanks for the encouraging words. Special “THANK YOU” to Rick Dennington for his help and patience with my many questions. I will be adding the vise tomorrow (hopefully) and some hardwood edging to dress it up a little. The problem now is that I grossly underestimated what this thing was going to weigh. I used Douglas Fir for the legs and stretchers and its a beast!! Thanks again, I”ll post some more pics as I progress.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3701 days

#10 posted 12-29-2009 05:19 AM

The workbench looks good to be, my next workbench will be similar to that.

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3104 days

#11 posted 12-29-2009 05:28 AM

Looks almost identical to mine. Except I think yours looks better…lol

Great job!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3202 days

#12 posted 12-29-2009 05:58 PM

I’m with everybody else: a little disappointed that there was nothing to laugh about :-)

Nice job. Looks great!

May work off that design to create an assembly table. Finally figured out what people use those for ;-)

Agree about the 1/8” hardboard, by the way. That’s what I did—‘checked’ side up and tacked down with brads.

-- -- Neil

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3387 days

#13 posted 01-12-2010 08:16 PM

Well, I finally got it finished (almost :)). The vise is installed and I’ve applied 2 coats of natural danish oil. I’ll start brushing on some poly later today. If anyone can tell me why the mdf didn’t take the danish oil evenly, I’d appreciate the insight. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it since its a workbench and there will be a piece of 1/4” hardboard on top of the mdf. I also don’t understand the suggestion to put the hardboard on with the “rough” side up. Wouldn’t it be better to put the smooth side up? Thanks again for all the help, especially Rick who has been more helpful than I could have expected.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3222 days

#14 posted 01-14-2010 08:59 AM

Greetings Dave: Well I finally got caught up to your blog on the bench. Dave, it looks really ,really great! You did a bang-up job. It turned out beautifully. I know you’re awfully proud of it. Boy I would be. It should last you for years. A good quality bench is worth its weight in gold. As far as the danish oil looking kinda blotchy: It’s because the MDF is nothing more than compressed paper, and it soaks up the oil quickly, thereby it doesn’t get “distributed” evenly. Don’t worry about it, it ’s no big thing. Once you get the poly on, it’ll look a lot better.
Once again, great job. If I can ever help you again with anything, just ask. I’ll try my best… keep on keeping on. I appreciate the nice comments about my help. Thanks.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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