Newly built and almost finished work bench

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Forum topic by Vance posted 08-07-2015 03:19 AM 3060 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Vance's profile


37 posts in 1938 days

08-07-2015 03:19 AM

Here are some photos of my newly built and almost finished wood workers bench. It’s built from pressure-treated lumber that was left over from my brother-in-law’s over calculated fence project. It only took 10 8 foot long 4×4s and a couple or 1×4s to build this and my total cash output is about $34 and that’s all for the hardware; bolts, washers, all thread rod and that sort of stuff. I primarily build electric guitar so I didn’t need a huge table so this one measuring only 24×48 works out perfect; it’s enough to hold a body or neck or a combination.

Currently I only have the one vice on the end of it and I’m looking to add a second vice; maybe somebody can give me some tips as to the best placement for the other vice. I’m thinking on the side of the same side of the table that the first devices on but on the opposite end.

At this point all I have left to do is final planing on the top and sealing it. And it’s looking like it’s going to get its first major project this weekend as I am going to make a box that will serve as an urn for my father-in-law’s ashes. Joe was also a big woodworker so his box is going to be made out of oak with some Purple Heart accents along with some birdseye maple inlays on top. We think this is a rather appropriate resting place for his ashes.

While I know it’s not perfect it will work for what I needed to do until I can afford to build something better with better lumber.

13 replies so far

View Vance's profile


37 posts in 1938 days

#1 posted 08-07-2015 07:17 PM

Like I said, I build electric guitars and the last thing I want is to have to chase the bench around the shop while shaping a neck… This beast will go NO WHERE!!

View Tony Slattery's profile

Tony Slattery

83 posts in 1060 days

#2 posted 08-07-2015 09:54 PM

Great looking workbench, it sure is going nowhere. Did you have plans for it or did you just build it? As for a second vice, in my opinion, a leg vice on the left hand corner would be quite useful, knowing that you only build guitars, but you never know…

-- Tony, Australia,

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4903 posts in 3926 days

#3 posted 08-07-2015 10:09 PM

Looks great, but I hope that the PT wood is dry, and that you’re using fasteners that won’t be effected by the treatment. That stuff is really corrosive on standard metal. Stainless is best.
I suggest that you wait a while before adding any finish. Let the wood do what it might.


View johnstoneb's profile


2868 posts in 2138 days

#4 posted 08-07-2015 10:52 PM

Great looking bench. good use of lumber. Post this on the workbench smackdown thread you’ll probably get all sorts of ideas on where and why to mount another vice.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View rwe2156's profile


2881 posts in 1446 days

#5 posted 08-08-2015 12:16 AM

I think you’re going to experience a lot OD wood movement because wood like that has a high moisture content.

As it dries you can keep touching it up with a hand plane.

If it were me, I would cover it with either plywood or MDF.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Vance's profile


37 posts in 1938 days

#6 posted 08-08-2015 01:27 AM

Wow! Where do I begin with replies?!

This was actually based on a pretty simple design I found online and tweaked to fit my shop. I do have the drawing in AutoCAD and as a PDF if anyone is interested.

The PT wood had been stacked with furring strips between each layer for a couple months in my garage so I could get it dry enough to cut and work with. I don’t have a moisture meter, but most of it seemed pretty dry.

All the hardware is either galvanized or stainless.

I think if I post this on the smack down forum, I’m like to get more criticism about the wood choice. Look, I know it’s not the best choice but it’s all I had on hand and financially I couldn’t swing the best wood choice. I figure this will hold me over until I can afford the wood I want. My local wood store has a TON of Purple Heart – maybe I’ll blow some serious cash on that and build the best looking bench on the interwebs…..

As for the top… I have four evenly spaced all-thread rods running through the top so as the wood continues to dry and shrink, I can tighten things down and maintain a decent top. And even still, I do like planing so that’s no big deal. If thing get out of hand, I’ll change out the top with something even more durable like oak.

View Clarkie's profile


453 posts in 1806 days

#7 posted 08-08-2015 01:30 AM

If nothing else you gained experience on how to build a bench. The smell of the PT may get a little overwhelming though. The bench looks fine, just may make a nice outside bench rather than an enclosed area bench. The first bench I made, I used an old bowling alley section of hard rock maple. After I got it finished I found a guy selling a bench I had wanted for years, sold the bowling alley one and still have the other bench, now for over 30 years.

View rwe2156's profile


2881 posts in 1446 days

#8 posted 08-08-2015 05:59 PM

The nature of this thing is when you post you’re also looking for criticisms and helps so you can learn something.
Sorry if it offended.

I’m sure you’ll get good use of it.

They’ll appreciate more it on the common man bench thread.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2469 days

#9 posted 08-08-2015 06:47 PM

Vance, you need to post and comment on the common man’s workbench thread.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15280 posts in 2584 days

#10 posted 09-21-2015 08:51 PM

As long as you avoid licking the top every day, and use a plate rather than setting your sandwich on the top of your bench before eating, it should be fine to have a PTL bench. You did a nice job on it.

RE: adding a second vise, it wouldn’t be expensive to add a leg vise at the left-front. You’d have to shim out the surface of leg, to make it co-planer to the top’s front edge, but that’s not a problem. Then it’s just getting (LV has them) the vise rod.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View bearkatwood's profile


1542 posts in 977 days

#11 posted 09-21-2015 09:23 PM

What a beast. Bet that is going to make your shop sink down a bit.

-- Brian Noel

View BurlyBob's profile


5403 posts in 2231 days

#12 posted 09-22-2015 02:20 AM

That’s a really fine looking bench! You did right by that one!

View Vance's profile


37 posts in 1938 days

#13 posted 09-22-2015 04:12 PM

Thanks guys!!!

As for the smell, I’ve not noticed any issues with that. Keep in mind the wood was purchased easily 6-8 years ago, so it’s had that many summers of being outside to ‘outgas’. Also, I’ve not seen any movement per say. But time will tell.

I’ve actually started making a second one of these, so I may post updates of that build here as well.


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