Workbench types and styles

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Forum topic by akdale posted 08-19-2009 07:28 AM 5982 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View akdale's profile


54 posts in 2628 days

08-19-2009 07:28 AM

Hi everyone. Hey how about some sharing on the types of work benches out there. Vice/no vice, dogs/no dogs etc etc (yada, yada) I made mine from scrap maple flooring. All I had at the time. I ended up counter sinking screws in each piece to make it as flat as possible and am about ready to spring for a vice and make holes for bench dogs. So anyway what is everyone using?

-- Phil 4:13------Our family motto

8 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 08-19-2009 07:50 AM

my previous bench

Click for details

my current bench

Click for details

if you’ll notice, both my benches share a similar design that I find to be useful for clamping work to the bench for sawing/planing/routing them.

as long as you can hold your workpiece securely to your bench, and it being stable- it’s a good one.

my first bench, I had dog holes aligned with the front vise (I only had a front vise) which I found to be useless… the way I see it now, bench dogs are better used for tail vise applications. If you only plan on having 1 vise – I think a front vise is more versatile and useful, and you can use a planing stop for planing long boards (as opposed to using an end vise with dogs)

a good book id “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis, and also Workbenches by Christopher Schwarz. you can get them at the local library, or your local barnes/borders.

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

View Tomw's profile


100 posts in 2648 days

#2 posted 08-19-2009 08:13 AM


My bench is an old lab table my wife bought at an auction. It has a metal frame and a 1 3/4” thick maple top. I added the vise, an ancient one inherited from my father-in-law, and the holes for bench dogs, which are 3/4” dowels with a piece of plastic tubing on top. The wood shelf below and the sander stand have not been built yet.

vise detail

-- Tom

View Shan's profile


32 posts in 2625 days

#3 posted 08-19-2009 08:45 AM

I just built a bench. you can check it out in my projects. I love having 2 vises. I have lots of dog holes. I can clamp just about anything in any position. Think about what you will be using the bench for, and design it for your own use. This way, you get exactly what you want. Good luck.

-- SeeWhatISaw

View grizzman's profile


7781 posts in 2724 days

#4 posted 08-19-2009 03:53 PM

hey there ak dale…...i would start with looking at all the benches
that are posted in the projects tab…...there are some real beautys
out there…..viice’s on the end as well as the side..wood used is
maple….birch….oak…all kinds…read the discription that is with
each one…it will give you a good idea of what everyone has done….i
dont have the usual bench…i have a 4×8 bench right behind my
ts…..made of 2×4’s screwed togeather..and a 3/4 sheet of ply on
top….ive been toying with the idea of making a proper bench…..when
i think of useing all that beautiful wood to work on…i shy away and
seem to be happy with what i have…..but to each his own…..enjoy
that trip to the islands…its a rough job but someone has to do

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View TheDane's profile


4935 posts in 3083 days

#5 posted 08-19-2009 08:29 PM

akdale—The answer would be YES on both the vise(s) and dogs. I had a bench that did not have either a proper wood vise (it had a metal-working vise) or dog holes. I didn’t realize how much of a pain it was until I visited the shop of friend down the road and did a little work on his Euro-bench.

There are some terrific examples posted in the projects here on LJ’s … kind of a smorgasbord of design ideas and feature implementations. And many of them are detailed in blogs (check out PurpLev’s) so you can get pretty detailed info.

I built mine ( out of Douglas Fir, and incorporated 3/4” round dogs and vises on both the face and end. I added a tool cabinet underneath, an adjustable planing stop on one end, and 3’ of T-track on the back edge to mount tool holders, fixtures, etc. My bench is neither the best nor the worst … but it is perfect my needs and means.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View akdale's profile


54 posts in 2628 days

#6 posted 08-20-2009 06:43 AM

go figure. Projects>Workbench. guess I should have looked harder :) Oh well, small screen on laptop.

-- Phil 4:13------Our family motto

View akdale's profile


54 posts in 2628 days

#7 posted 08-20-2009 07:03 AM

Ok so I have looked at numerous benches that folks have built. So now the quesiton I have is what kind of vice do you folks like? Why? I have read reviews in FWW and Woodsmith. Suggesitons welcome. Anything I buy will be mail order. Lee Valley/Veritas has what appears to be quality vices. Thanks in advance

-- Phil 4:13------Our family motto

View Shan's profile


32 posts in 2625 days

#8 posted 08-21-2009 08:07 AM

Veritas twin screw vise is awesome . No racking, and one of the best built vises out there. Spendy, but worth it!! For the other vise, I recommend a quick release vise. You can pick one up at wood craft for a hundred bucks.

-- SeeWhatISaw

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