Thoughts on my workbench design?

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Forum topic by deeznutz posted 07-22-2010 12:24 AM 1424 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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33 posts in 3195 days

07-22-2010 12:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench bench

It’s time I upgrade my bench (2×4 construction with a plywood top…not sturdy at all). Basically, I live in an apartment with my fiance so this will be a hand tools only workbench as it will reside in an extra study/bedroom in our place. I’ll mostly be teaching myself to hand cut dovetails and also work on other small furniture projects.

The idea is to use two Lee Valley vise screws to make a twin screw vise and then use Veritas Wonder Pups instead of a tail vise. My space is limited so the top is 36” (might change this to 48” if space allows) x 24” and 36” high. My plan is to buy a Grizzley Maple top, and build the base out of 4×4 Fir and 2×6 Fir for the stretchers. The current design has just 1” overhang from the top of the side legs all around.

Any suggestions on how to improve upon this? Any reason to think I should be leaning towards a different design all together? Do I need the upper set of stretchers at all?

Any general suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

4 replies so far

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33 posts in 3195 days

#1 posted 07-22-2010 12:25 AM

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33 posts in 3195 days

#2 posted 07-22-2010 12:29 AM

sorry…having trouble posting the Sketchup Picture…

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1642 posts in 3158 days

#3 posted 07-22-2010 05:19 PM

I agree

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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#4 posted 07-22-2010 10:15 PM

First off if you are using this for hand work, then I think you should cut the height down below 36” unless you are really really tall. I’m 6’4” and my bench is just under 35”. You want it low enough that you can use your legs for planing and not your upper body. However for purely joinery work like dovetails it is nice to have it higher. That is why my bench is about 35”. Secondly, you will probably want to have the top flush with the legs instead of overhanging. With this configuration you can use your legs to aid in clamping by running a board down the front and using clamps or holdfasts to secure it.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

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