Workbench – First Sketches (sketchup)

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Forum topic by AZZO posted 05-10-2011 06:23 PM 5634 views 2 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2599 days

05-10-2011 06:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question woodburning shaker traditional

I’m posting this forum because i need advises and coments about my workbench before i start working the wood. I am sort of a handy man and a sculptor/painter, i’ve already made some furniture for me and restoration of some old furniture.

It’s been a while since i was thinking of making my own workbench. For now i get to manage the ideal wood to start on my project.
The wood is some nice pieces of chestnut wood (more than 100 years old-old bakery roof) that i get to a neighbour who was dismantle the roof structure and he was throwing all way, my luck to get there just when they are carring to a truck.

So after i get the wood i was able to start thinking seriously in making my workbench, since i did in the past some carving and i am a sculptor/painter i was researching about some workbench design and i get to a conclusion i need a tall workbench since i will not use a hand planer to often, it good to have the work more closer to my eyes.

The dimensions of the workbench is 234cm long, 77cm deep and 90cm high, the top will be 7cm thick and the borders 14cm, i think i will get the estability i need. The workbench will be like some Shaker bench’s i saw but designed my way and according to my needs. The workench will have two vises and a removable cabinet that i will make later.

Don’t be shy and leave your opinions and advises, since i am a newbie in this subject.


Here’s some pictures:

The workbench with open drawers and vises:

The workbench without the cabinet:

The Cabinet:

12 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#1 posted 05-10-2011 07:02 PM

Great drawings. I have a hard time making a square in Sketchup so I’m

I would love to see a tutorial on how you drew that.

The design is overkill of course – but if you want a fine bench that will
please you for your entire life and be a showpiece too, go for it. I think
my bench is 34” which is a little high for planing and a little low for
handwork, but a good compromise for a person of my height.

View AZZO's profile


12 posts in 2599 days

#2 posted 05-10-2011 07:18 PM

Thank’s for the message, i did the workench about 36” hight because i’m 6’ ft high and i will not use to much the workbench for planing. Regarding to the Sketchup drawings, i am a bit relax in this matter since my profession graphic designer, but if you want to learn more about this software there are excellent tuttorials in youtube, time to time i go there since i don’t work with Sketchup in my day’s work.

There is some good tutorials for begginers, i learn to work alone with some help of this tutorials, for some sittuacions it becames very handy tool…

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 05-10-2011 07:32 PM

You need to realize the center panel will move and plan for where the
gap will be. This is one reason for tool trays in skirted benches. The
tray bottom conceals the movement of the top within the skirts.

I am not saying you should or shouldn’t have a tool tray, just that
you have to plan for the top to move.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2719 days

#4 posted 05-10-2011 08:02 PM

Chestnut?! You scoundrel! Excellent plans and fine SU skills. I’m not a big fan of benches with storage cabinets but I understand the use of space. I’m in the early stages of planning my bench and I prefer a leg vise, hook, and wagon and/or shoulder. I guess everyone’s got there own dream configuration. I really enjoyed looking at these plans and that bench in chestnut will be out of this World!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View darinS's profile


709 posts in 2893 days

#5 posted 05-10-2011 08:58 PM


If you would like more info on SketchUp, try this:
There are a bunch of tutorials for SketchUp here.


Great looking bench.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View AZZO's profile


12 posts in 2599 days

#6 posted 05-10-2011 10:32 PM

Thanks very much for the coments.

I’m just making the cabinet because i dont have lot of space to storage the wood tools and all sort of small acessories.
I know i may seem a bit crazy to use Chestnut, but it’s the only wood i have and i have lot of them and i don’t have the possibility to buy other wood. The positive side of this, is that i will have a nice bench, with hard wood and very durable in time.

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12 posts in 2599 days

#7 posted 05-10-2011 10:36 PM

Hi Loren, What center panel you refer?

View AZZO's profile


12 posts in 2599 days

#8 posted 05-11-2011 01:07 AM

You’re perfectly right, that was one thing i didn’t realize when i draw it, i will review somehow the top, thanks very much Loren.

View AZZO's profile


12 posts in 2599 days

#9 posted 05-11-2011 12:47 PM

Here’s one solution i manage to solve the possible movement of the top, i invert and put the dovetail in the back skirt and long a bit more the hole of the side bolt, i think will be a good solution, please tell me what you


View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4050 days

#10 posted 05-24-2011 01:28 PM

My one suggestion would be to consider a different sort of tail vise. As you have seen, I used the same setup, and my tail vise gives me trouble.

A lot of tail vise surface clamping will be on stock too narrow to use both rows of dog holes. As a result, the vise racks quite a bit in use. I am constantly having to use a stepped block on the opposite side of the vise to prevent this. I would recommend using a vise that has parallel drive, such as:,41659

For a less expensive solution, you might consider a wagon vise with an inexpensive bench screw, or this new vise from Lee Valley:,41659

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View AZZO's profile


12 posts in 2599 days

#11 posted 05-24-2011 02:44 PM

Thanks very much for the tip, i’m gonna consider that, that is one thing i have dougts about it.

Thanks for the message.

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 2650 days

#12 posted 05-30-2011 09:22 AM

Great looking bench. I especially like the way it floats.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

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