Edges of New Workbench rounded over, square or chamfered

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Forum topic by TimH posted 03-28-2009 09:20 PM 3811 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TimH's profile


37 posts in 3770 days

03-28-2009 09:20 PM

Hi all,

I’m working on my first “real” workbench. It is made of 8/4 red oak with 5/4 pieces of walnut every so often for an accent stripe. Anyway, as far as the edges of the bech go…. is there a reason to keep the edges square? I kinda like the look of a small roundover but I didn’t want cut it until I asked b/c most I’ve seen have a aquare edge. Thanks.

6 replies so far

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3918 days

#1 posted 03-28-2009 09:29 PM

It’s your bench. Our preferences are not important, to be honest. I might like a chamfered edge the next person might like a square edge, and as you already said, you like the idea of a rounded over edge. There’s no reason as far as I know that a rounded edge wouldn’t work.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4325 days

#2 posted 03-28-2009 10:25 PM

FWIW I think the reason you have a square edge is for the support of whatever you are working on.
If you had a small piece and clamped it on a rounded edge it may rotate. Same with a chamfered edge.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3640 days

#3 posted 03-28-2009 11:33 PM

I agree with sawdust as far as a square edge for clamping, butI see no harm in a small chamfer or round over.

Good Luck.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3982 days

#4 posted 03-29-2009 12:35 AM

The clamping comment are valid, but the work benches that I’ve seen, with oak tops have a tendency to splinter the edges, so the small round over may save you some grief.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2845 posts in 3675 days

#5 posted 03-29-2009 12:39 AM

Make your bench any way you want. From a purely aesthetic point of view. Be it anything man makes, it is sometimes round, sometimes square, sometimes a combination of the two.. But the human eye never thinks of square, and right angles as out of style. All other styles move in and out of a human’s idea of what’s ‘in’. Then again.. it’s a bench, not a painting… wait.. maybe it is!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3631 days

#6 posted 03-29-2009 03:20 PM

I agree with sawdust2, clamping material at the edges is crucial.
A workbench top gets a lot of dings and hits, so any sharp edge is damaged badly when hited.
I used a 1/8” round bit in my bench, leaves a nice look, protect the corners and doesn’t affect any clamping.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

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