workbench design placement of top rails?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 11-03-2012 04:43 PM 1177 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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854 posts in 2312 days

11-03-2012 04:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question workbench design

I am sure this will be the first of many questions as I work on designing and building my new workbench.

I was given a 24” x 60” solid oak table top. It is made up of laminated strips of oak and finished with a poly(?).

I am working on the placement of the legs, in particular the top set of horizontal rails. My first plan was to use bridal joints and have the rails at the top of the legs and tight against the bottom side of the top.

Advantages: 1. help support the top to prevent sagging and help absorb an shock from hammering. 2. easier for me to make the bridal joint than a mortise.
Disadvantages: 1. legs have to farther in to allow for the front vice and end vice (full width of end) 2. I don’t own the end vice yet and would have to guess at how close to the end I can put the legs.

Would it be better to lower the top rails, both the front to back and side to side rails say 6” to allow for whatever vices I end up with? With this choice I would have to cut the mortise (instead of a bridal joint) but could move the legs closer to the left and right ends of the top.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

2 replies so far

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1075 posts in 2995 days

#1 posted 11-03-2012 09:23 PM

I prefer not to have rails on the top. It makes it difficult to use clamps if you need to clamp wood to the bench top.

Good luck. Lots of help here on LJ’s.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2312 days

#2 posted 11-04-2012 12:41 AM

Cutworm would you be willing to share how far down the rails are? Also, how far in did you place the legs with respect to the top? I was going to use the top rails to screw through to attach the top, if the rails are not there what is the best way to attach the top?

“Lots of help here on LJ’s.” – Maybe everyone is busy this weekend, I was wondering if this question was persona non grata.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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