Work bench - then and now

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 12-30-2011 05:33 PM 2872 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 2978 days

12-30-2011 05:33 PM

Below are two pictures of my workbench. The first is shortly after I built it, about 3 years ago. The second is today.

You can tell that it has been used. That is fine with me. I didn’t build it to look at it and keep it pretty. I built it to use it. As an FYI, my bench has a top made of leftover bamboo flooring with an 8/4 oak perimeter. It may not look as pretty as it used to, but it is holding up well. I’m certain I’ll never replace it (or even move it).

You can see 2 plates for the Kreg hold down clamps. I recommend them. They are very handy.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

20 replies so far

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2340 days

#1 posted 12-30-2011 05:41 PM

Picture #1 is a nice, heavy duty table. Picture #2 is a work bench.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4150 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 12-30-2011 06:45 PM

It’s fun to see pictures like these, rather than just a beautifully built bench. I don’t have a comparable bench. My 40 year old bench has mutated, and has a 3/4” ply top, layered over some 2×10’s. It has both a machinist’s vice and a woodworking vise, reflecting the do-it-your-selfer character of its use over the years. It has considerable storage space and is basically immovable.

It has only been the last couple of years that I really started to focus on woodworking. My multi-purpose bench has now become the focus of most of my work, and now has a woodworker’s vise as well.

Have a good New Year’s Rich. I am on call, but will probably get some woodworking done, although my productivity will be marginal probably due to interruptions.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2466 days

#3 posted 12-30-2011 06:50 PM

I like the now picture best – a well used durable workbench

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View sras's profile


4744 posts in 3033 days

#4 posted 12-30-2011 06:52 PM

The second shot shows a real work bench! It is getting a really nice look – good to go for generations to come.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View stefang's profile


15784 posts in 3238 days

#5 posted 12-30-2011 07:00 PM

Looks like a great bench (envy) in both pics. Everyone works different. I have found that a very tidy well organized workshop is inspiring, but I’ve never been able to keep mine that way very long and my work bench is no exception.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2978 days

#6 posted 12-30-2011 07:08 PM

I need to confess that there is usually some clutter at the far end of the bench (but not the near end). I always work at the near end. Because we are hosting a party and people like to see my shop, I cleaned up everything. So that is why I took a picture today.

I’m being a little misrepresentative in that my bench is seldom this clutter free.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ShaneA's profile


6889 posts in 2502 days

#7 posted 12-30-2011 07:40 PM

Looks like you about got it broke in.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2914 days

#8 posted 12-30-2011 08:50 PM

Hey Rich, I got the Kreg klamp system based on your recommendation a while back in another thread and I must say, it is quite nifty! I have plates in my workbench and assembly table. Use them all the time!

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 3016 days

#9 posted 12-30-2011 11:29 PM

Pure LOVE Rich!

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2741 days

#10 posted 12-31-2011 06:02 AM

Yes Rich – I also like the “used” picture the most for reasons already stated. I was thinking about covering my bench with flooring. My bench is built into the flooring of my shop so it’s not moving. The top is simply a solid door (extremely flat) but after 10 years, it has a few gouges in it.

Question… Did you have to do serious planing and sanding to the flooring top?

A simple suggestion to all – I bought a roll of brown paper at Home Depot and I now cover my bench when staining or gluing. I use this paper for plan drawings and then cover my bench to finish the projects. The roll I bought will last at least 10 years. If I glue face frames that need to be flat, I use wax paper under the joints to avoid having my projects sticking to my work bench.

Thanks for the post Rich – whether you respond to my question or not, now I know flooring can solve my problem.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View bandit571's profile (online now)


19176 posts in 2587 days

#11 posted 12-31-2011 06:49 AM

Boy, I have a lot of work to do. I think i win the “Messiest Bench Award”. Yours look real nice.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View wingate_52's profile


224 posts in 2473 days

#12 posted 12-31-2011 01:09 PM

I have a sheet of hardboard running the full length of the bench between the bench dogs. This keeps it looking like a piece of furniture. My big bench is all pitch pine, the large bench is all mahogany, and the supplimentary portable top is all beech.

View HamS's profile


1812 posts in 2293 days

#13 posted 12-31-2011 01:23 PM

bandit, I am not too far behind you, I know, no picture it didn’t happen.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2391 days

#14 posted 12-31-2011 01:48 PM

That’s the way a bench should age Rich, it shows that it’s not just a ‘trophy’ build.

Jeez, Bandit….. I thought you had snuck into my shop a snapped pictures!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2978 days

#15 posted 12-31-2011 03:23 PM

Bernie -

I didn’t do any planing or sanding when I first built the top except for a little sanding on the oak perimeter. The perimeter is attached with dowels and I sanded the dowel ends flush with the oak. Now, every once in a while, I sand the top down with a belt sander to minimize any buildup. You might note that I have sanded some paint off the Kregg plate.

FYI – I am using wax paper more to catch glue drippings. I guess that is my version of “brown paper”. I was not doing that earlier.

Sometimes, when I need a really clean, flat surface, I put a piece of MDF on the table. I keep a piece on hand just for that purpose.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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