Bench top - used?

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Forum topic by Ben posted 12-29-2015 09:51 PM 767 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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372 posts in 2826 days

12-29-2015 09:51 PM

Hi Gang,

I’d like to build myself a woodworking bench soon. I plan on building a shaker style (cabinet) with drawers and doors underneath, and a leg vise and tail vise, with sliding dead man..

I think it would be nice to avoid milling lots of large, heavy maple for the top. I see many places online sell the tops at a reasonable cost. Although they seem to be finger jointed and shipping must be a lot.

I’ve found an “antique” bench near me – it’s 4” thick maple. 32” deep, 96” long, with a tool tray. It comes with a basic metal jaw vise. I don’t think it’s super old. Looks to have a few round dog holes in it. And it appears to be through-bolted across its width.

Do you think this would be a sensible thing to buy and design the rest of the bench around?
I was thinking for vises I would do the Benchcrafted system with the big wood leg vise.

I suppose I’d need to make sure the glue joints are good and it’s reasonable flat? Or, were benchtops typically not glued but bolted together? Or both?

Thanks for any insight.

8 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1976 days

#1 posted 12-29-2015 09:57 PM

If the price is reasonable, you should be able to start with it and build from there. Will probably save you time and money.

And I’d bet the top is both glued AND bolted thru.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Ben's profile


372 posts in 2826 days

#2 posted 12-29-2015 10:09 PM

Seller wants $300 which seems a bit much considering a brand new one is around that. But the new ones are 1 3/4” and this is 4”.
I reckon I can resell the vise for $50 or something.

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1056 days

#3 posted 12-30-2015 12:45 AM

Yes, I would jump on that in a heartbeat! That’s really a good deal. That’s 85.33 board feet of maple, at $300, that’s just a smidge over $3.50/bf, it’s already assembled into a bench top and comes with a vise to boot!

Where do I find such a deal?


-- Learn Relentlessly

View dhazelton's profile


2756 posts in 2266 days

#4 posted 12-30-2015 01:16 AM

Four inches thick is pretty massive. And 8 ft long is huge. $300 doesn’t sound bad at all. Take help to lift it.

View John's profile (online now)


244 posts in 1551 days

#5 posted 12-30-2015 01:18 AM

That’s a nice price. Go for it.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2045 days

#6 posted 12-30-2015 02:21 AM

It’s a great price, but then you’ll be building your bench to suit the top. Something to consider.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View bondogaposis's profile


4690 posts in 2321 days

#7 posted 12-30-2015 04:54 AM

That comes out to 85 bf and at $300 that is $3.53/ bf. Not bad at all, I would take it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1422 days

#8 posted 12-30-2015 05:17 AM

Meself, my bench is my table saw. The fence makes a stable clamp for assembly squares and the like. I can’t do a full kitchen at once but it works well for me. I’m disabled and can’t walk much so my workspace is almost entirely within my reach.


-- Madmark -

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