Ready-made Bench Question

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Forum topic by GeorgeAW posted 06-05-2012 01:34 AM 1237 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2179 days

06-05-2012 01:34 AM

Good evening, all.

New to the forum – thanks for the kind wishes extended so far.

Getting back into furniture after a long hiatus, having made Shaker oval boxes for the last many years.

I am in need of a bench in a relative hurry and am hopeful of something in the around $500-750 price range. Making my own is not an option at this time for cleanliness sake – as I am marrying in August and my shop space is in the basement. It needs to remain relatively unscathed.

So, that being said, what recommendations do you fine folks have for ready-made benches? What I have noticed so far is that the less expensive benches are quite a bit lighter and under-built. Perhaps I am asking too much.

I have looked at the benches from Woodcraft, Highland Woodworking, Grizzly, Rockler, etc. and notice some have not been reviewed. I see mixed (mostly bad) reviews for the lesser lines of Sjoberg.

Thanks for your recommendations.

6 replies so far

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5 posts in 2179 days

#1 posted 06-05-2012 09:45 PM


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#2 posted 06-05-2012 09:58 PM

Hi George, I am building workbenches now, if your intersted contact me at: maybe I can build one for you. Something heavy, with a leg vise. Thanks, Ernie

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827 posts in 2366 days

#3 posted 06-05-2012 11:12 PM

I think the lack of responses may indicate a relative lack of good options. I had a Sjoberg bench to start. It’s decently built, but light. If you’re primarily a power tool user, it would probably get you by. It’s a bit spendy for what you get, but it goes together quickly and is serviceable. As I started working more with hand planes and had to replace the bench; it was so light I ended up planing with one leg on the stretcher; not a good situation. These benches are also not large, which makes working on them a bit more of a challenge.

Realistically (although I understand what you said in your post), I think your best option is to build your own ‘down and dirty’ bench; 2×4 base with three or so 3/4” ply layers for the top, and a simple vise. It will be just about as good as what you’ll buy in your price range, and you won’t feel bad when you decide to replace it.

Good luck.

-- John

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5 posts in 2179 days

#4 posted 06-05-2012 11:55 PM

Thanks John – good suggestions.

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Raymond Thomas

189 posts in 2215 days

#5 posted 06-06-2012 12:35 AM

My uncle built his bench in his basement by attaching it to one wall with heavy duty hinges and hinged legs. He would fold up the bench when he didn’t need it and lower it when he did. The bottom of the two legs had locking adjustment screws so he could level it and he had four side mounted vises attached – one on each end and two on the front. He used the bench up until the day he passed away. The bench itself was a solid-core wood door laminted 1/4 inch plywood.
Just an idea if room/space is a consideration.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View GeorgeAW's profile


5 posts in 2179 days

#6 posted 06-06-2012 12:45 AM

Hi TorqNut,

Thanks – Room/space is not a major consideration. Time and to some extent $$$ is.

I’ve got some small furniture – two side tables and a hall table in the pipeline.

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