Locally made workbench - please give me your 2cents worth

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Forum topic by Sandra posted 02-21-2013 12:53 AM 2677 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2103 days

02-21-2013 12:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench

In case you’re wondering – yes, I think I have more money than brains sometimes.

I presently have no fixed clamp set up or vice. I bought a nice second hand bench vice last year, but can’t set it up properly at my work desk. My desk is great for storage, but is too high for doing any kind of work with hand tools.

My Dura Bench is handy, but not a permanent solution. I don’t want to build a bench at this point, because I think my expectations would be much higher than my skill level. The Veritas benches are drool worthy, but way out of price range. I’ve been ogling the Lee Valley catalogue but even the price of the vices make me cringe.

Browsing Kijiji yesterday, I came upon this:

It’s listed as a “NEW European style workbench”. I thought it was something someone had bought and was trying to resell because I recall seeing one similar last year. I called the number tonight and ended up having a brief but very nice conversation with the older gentleman who built the bench. He’s built others and sold them. He told me the top is birch, 73” long, there are two vices, a row of bench dogs along the front but said “you gonna say what da h*lll did I do before I got dis bench – ya better ta come see it.” After I stopped laughing, I arranged to go see it tomorrow. If he’s stooped over and smells like pipe tobacco, I’m a goner. If this guy is as genuine as he sounds I’ll at the very least have made a new acquaintance.

So, any thoughts out there, good bad or otherwise? I know price varies widely depending on region, but I’m hoping for some opinions. His asking price is $900, but I consider that a starting point. I also happen to have some nice birch that I just planed that he might be interested in taking toward the price.

Also, is there anything I should look for? Obviously I’m hoping it’s not held together by nails.

Any comments would be appreciated. As always, thankful for your input.


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

50 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29401 posts in 2366 days

#1 posted 02-21-2013 01:01 AM

First of all, if you have space, buy it.
Second, if you can afford it, buy it
Third, it’s better to have than have not, buy it
See where I am going?

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2103 days

#2 posted 02-21-2013 01:05 AM

Dang, Monte I was half hoping someone would point out some crazy, obvious flaw that I missed and save me the money… But thanks :)

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2703 days

#3 posted 02-21-2013 01:14 AM

It looks like it is minus the vise hardware. You’ll need to look into the hardware cost, as part of the equation.

I need a bench, and feel the same as you. My expectations don’t match my talent.
I’m way more talented than my expectations….
In my dreams, at least!!! Lol.

Good luck on the bench hunting!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2503 days

#4 posted 02-21-2013 01:17 AM

Take $100 off because of the hideous green color….other than that, $900 for a bench like this is a good price.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View trippcasey's profile


72 posts in 1952 days

#5 posted 02-21-2013 01:30 AM

I am by no means a craftsman like many people on here, and like you Sandra I was in need of a solid place to work off of. On the other hand, I could think of many other things I wanted to do with $900 than spend it on a bench, and one that I didnt build at that. I found some plans for a cheap, but well built workbench on Fine Woodworking’s site. It doesnt take a master woodworker to build, doesnt break the bank, and still offers a nice flat stable work area to work off of. All in all with a vice and some upgrades, I have $200 in a bench that will last me a while, and that I can one day build the bench worth paying a grand for. Ill take some pictures when I am done and post them. I am in the process now of building a cabinet underneath it with some old recycled wood. (I like to practice on free stuff). Anyway, here is the basic plan.


-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2103 days

#6 posted 02-21-2013 01:32 AM

Yes, Jorge I agree it’s a shame that he painted it.

And DIY – I think the vise hardware is there, the picture is too big to see the one to the right, but it shows up in this picture:

Thanks gents.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2103 days

#7 posted 02-21-2013 01:41 AM

tripp – I just checked out those plans…. it seems very doable. Is your finished, and have you posted it??


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2997 days

#8 posted 02-21-2013 01:57 AM

You could buy a lot of timber with $900. Are you sure you wouldn’t have a go at making one? My first bench was what I thought I wanted at the time, but after using it for a while, it didn’t seem right. Last time that got used was to make bench no.2. So I would recommend making a cheapie bench for a start, pine and plywood, use it for a couple of years, then design a proper bench with everything the way you want it and make that.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2174 days

#9 posted 02-21-2013 02:06 AM

That is 900 varieties of fugly.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2595 days

#10 posted 02-21-2013 02:16 AM

There is something to be said for working on a bench you built yourself. If it was $4 or $500 I’d say jump on it, but a $900 its not a real steal. If you really don’t have a desire to build your own, its probably a fare price, but given the base, its not a “wow, that’s a great deal” bench.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View trippcasey's profile


72 posts in 1952 days

#11 posted 02-21-2013 02:18 AM

Im not finished with it yet. I have yet to mount the vise (UPS tracking says Friday delivery) and I decided to build a cabinet underneath. Ill take some pics of what I have done and post them tomorrow. I didnt follow the plans by dimensions, just in general idea of how to build a decent and fairly cheap bench. I made mine a little smaller and am using the rest of the MDF for a miter station instead of the shelf underneath.

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#12 posted 02-21-2013 02:20 AM

The paint is a strange thing, but that is a proven design.

I sold an antique 7’ bench from Holland with worm holes
in some of the wood for $1000. It was in that same
style and I thought it a very good bench.

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2626 days

#13 posted 02-21-2013 02:22 AM

I agree with Don. It may be a fair value, not in the steal category, if you don’t want to wrestle with building one. However, as mentioned for $900 you could buy a lot of wood, and the vises. Build it to your preferences, and enjoy the journey. However, if you could beat him down, and you don’t want to build one…here is a good chance to get one.

View kdc68's profile


2658 posts in 2304 days

#14 posted 02-21-2013 02:29 AM

Sandra -Idea – If you don’t want to make one for yourself, and others you looked at were out of your price range ….well you said he makes them. Perhaps he could make another bench for you, specific to your needs, price, and color scheme.


-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View trippcasey's profile


72 posts in 1952 days

#15 posted 02-21-2013 02:32 AM

Here it is so far…..dont laugh….I’m in the concrete business…lol.

Without it being finished though, I will have to say it has made life easier than working off the old OSB scrap bench I nailed together from what I could find laying around in the barn.

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

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