Workbench advice needed

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Forum topic by channeleaton posted 12-16-2012 06:37 PM 1160 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 1996 days

12-16-2012 06:37 PM

Hello everyone!

I’m gearing up to create my garage workshop and would like some input on my workbench(s).

The plan I am looking at is this one from Fine Woodworking. I know many of you have seen it before.

My question is, will this bench still be steady if I forego the front stretcher to accommodate a chair or rolling cabinets?

8 replies so far

View Ben's profile


372 posts in 2854 days

#1 posted 12-16-2012 07:06 PM


Could you perhaps replace the stretcher with some stout diagonal braces, as long as possible while still leaving room for chair/cabinet? You’re going to want something there. Otherwise there isn’t much to keep the legs stable.

Or, what about built in cabinets, leaving the stretcher, and maybe make the top overhang on one end for a stool?

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2144 days

#2 posted 12-16-2012 07:33 PM

It would rack and wobble pretty badly. I built that same plan for my first workbench. The stretchers are integral to the design. You’ll be tightening the bolts fairly regularly if you live somewhere the humidity varies a lot like I do.


View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2949 days

#3 posted 12-16-2012 08:38 PM

channeleaton, this bench is a very nice one. I built this very bench from the same source for my first and it served me well. I upgraded to an Ulmia but I still have that one in my shop. I think it would probably be a bad idea to remove that front stretcher if you plan on using tools that will wrack the bench (hand planes!). If you do not do work that will cause the bench to wrack, 45 degree braces would be a good substitute to get a cabinet or chair underneath.

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2574 days

#4 posted 12-16-2012 08:54 PM

That’s a great bench design as is. I’d not mess with it.

You could always have your chair at the vise end.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View channeleaton's profile


13 posts in 1996 days

#5 posted 12-17-2012 04:28 PM

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I think I’ll build this bench as is with some built in drawers and another one of a different design for craft/electronics work.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#6 posted 12-17-2012 04:38 PM

I’ve had that bench, and it’s a great one, but really relies on those stretchers to keep it from rocking for handtool type work.

If you only plan on using this for powertool type work, and/or light electical/crafts than you could potentially forgo the front lower stretcher to accommodate a chair/rolling cabinets.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2108 days

#7 posted 12-17-2012 04:52 PM

You could always try it without the front stretcher and see how it works. I would defiantly keep the top front stretcher. If it was not sturdy enough you could try adding a stretcher in the center (half way from front to back).

Do you need the workbench portable? If not, could you screw all four legs to the floor?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View MrRon's profile (online now)


4767 posts in 3241 days

#8 posted 12-17-2012 08:02 PM

Relocate the front stretcher back 1/2 the distance. The bench will still be rigid enough and you will have enough room for a chair.

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