Workbench design question.

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Forum topic by groland posted 06-29-2010 05:50 AM 1077 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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210 posts in 3589 days

06-29-2010 05:50 AM


I am building a workbench for making furniture. I am getting close to finishing the base, but now, I’m having second thoughts about my design. I need to make a decision about this before I glue things up.

I decided to make a heavy bench of red oak. End trestles are ca. 3” square stock with through-mortise and tenon joints. I plan to draw-bore and glue these joints, so I expect that’ll be fine. I have a heavy top of laminated ash that’ll be over 2” thick when done. I have a set of stretchers between the trestles at the bottom ca. 2” x 6”.

I am wondering if this will be enough bracing—whether I ought to add two more stretchers at the top? I thought the workbench top, bolted into the trestles, would be adequate to stabilize the whole, would serve as stretchers, but now I am wondering if I bolt that top on solidly enough to serve that purpose, that expansion and contraction of the top may cause problems.

I believe I have seen designs that use a heavy laminated top and dispense with an upper set of stretchers.

What say you?


1 reply so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 06-29-2010 04:05 PM

I took the second set of stretchers path. For two more stretchers you add a huge amount of strength. A 2” thick top is not that thick if the bench is long.

You get 3 inch long oak tenons going through 3×3 beams, you are not going to really need to drawbore and glue. It’s not going anywhere. In fact, if I were getting fancy, I would do some tusk tenons and make it where it could possibly be disassembled.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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