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Forum topic by SNB72 posted 02-05-2012 05:26 AM 1308 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 2580 days

02-05-2012 05:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bench design

This is a sketch up of the bench that I think I’m going to build. It is my design But I was wondering if anyone could advise me if they see any potential problems or short comings. I plan on adding at least a front vise, and maybe a tail vise or wagon vise, but so far I’m just dealing with the basic design

15 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3207 days

#1 posted 02-05-2012 05:43 AM

First let me say that it’s your bench and nobody else can tell you what you will like.

Now, with that out of the way, I see a possible structural problem and an ease of use problem.

Your long stretchers should be wider than your short stretchers. Thin stretchers will flex when the bench is subjected to racking forces, like hand planing.

I can’t tell how wide it is, but it looks wide. May just be the drawing.
Many people don’t like benches over 25” to 28” wide, 30” at most, due to difficulty reaching across it..

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3632 days

#2 posted 02-05-2012 05:57 AM

I agree with Crank. At the very least I would double up on the stretchers.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3205 days

#3 posted 02-05-2012 06:15 PM

I think the stretchers should be lower down, it would make it more stable.

You could make that rock solid if you made a simple plywood cabinet attached to the legs instead of stretchers.
If you kept the cabinet 4” from the top you’ll get a handy shelf for, keep the cabinet off the floor by 4-5 inches and it’s handy for storing stuff under.
Put some drawers in it as well to act as a dead man when you’re planing doors etc.

View jmpreiks's profile


11 posts in 2559 days

#4 posted 02-06-2012 04:28 AM

I built a bench based on one that is shown in a free getting started in woodworking video by fine woodworking. One excellent feature of it is having threaded rod running all through the stretchers so you can really stiffen up the bench. And if the wood shrinks you can just re tighten the nuts to make it solid again. I’d post a link but I’m on my phone right now. Hopefully you can find it easily.

View SNB72's profile


13 posts in 2580 days

#5 posted 02-06-2012 06:13 AM

Thanks everyone I had planed on putting a 3/4” ply shelf from front to back on those high strechers. Would it be better to add another lower strecher or just make the others wider. ths bench will be just under 32” wide, but I’m 6’3” so that isn’t to far of a strech for me.

View Woodknack's profile


12463 posts in 2616 days

#6 posted 02-06-2012 06:20 AM

Agree with the others, you don’t have enough shoulder on the front and back stretchers to prevent racking. I would just make them all the same width. The preference on that style of bench is usually to have the stretchers lower.

-- Rick M,

View jmpreiks's profile


11 posts in 2559 days

#7 posted 02-06-2012 06:49 AM

If you want to keep the high shelf, I’d definitely add some more near the bottom.

View jmpreiks's profile


11 posts in 2559 days

#8 posted 02-06-2012 06:52 AM

Another thing to consider if you are tall is maybe make the table height to be 42” or more, I regret making mine too short.

View SNB72's profile


13 posts in 2580 days

#9 posted 02-07-2012 06:36 AM

jmpeiks- Thanks I had thought of that too, as its drawn it is 36” tall, I didn’t want it to be too tall to hand plane.

View joey bealis's profile

joey bealis

177 posts in 2742 days

#10 posted 02-07-2012 06:43 AM

I am also 6’3” tall and I like my stuff up and around 42” tall. My back does not like to work on stuff built for average people. Also everyone has the stretcher issue right.


View jmpreiks's profile


11 posts in 2559 days

#11 posted 02-07-2012 01:39 PM

I believe you would be unsatisfied with only 36”. I know my back does not like it and I’m only 6’ 1”.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3102 days

#12 posted 02-07-2012 07:28 PM

I would widen the rails and move them closer to the floor. I would differ on the size but that is a matter of personal taste. Actually, I would have rails near the top and bottom.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#13 posted 02-07-2012 07:30 PM

Is there a reason why only one side is flush to the legs? Clamping versatility maybe? I think the guys have mentioned every mod I would make. I think it will be quite nice.

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

View SNB72's profile


13 posts in 2580 days

#14 posted 02-08-2012 05:13 AM

Bertha- Yes thia is going to be my adaptation of a Rubo and a classical bench.

joey bealis- Thanks I haven’t had a chance to use any other bench yet so I appreciate the input, as I am just starting out.

helluvawreck- I think I’ll widen the top streacher and add another near the bottom on both sides that sound good ot me too.

To ALL- THANK YOU soooo much for all the great input. I think this site and all you good people will make woodworking easier and more fun

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#15 posted 02-08-2012 05:20 AM

Stretchers lower and much wider. I prefer a trestle on the
bottom and the legs at the corner because when you are mortising
or whatever you want to work on the corner of the bench. If
there is a leg under the corner, your mortising goes faster
and is less tiring. Of course you can mortise over wherever
a leg is, but the corner has some versatility in terms of clamping
the work. A wide-legged stance for the bench resists racking
when planing as well.

I wrote about bench design here:

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