Building Myself a Workbench #1: Doing the initial leg work

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Blog entry by tsdahc posted 05-02-2012 11:55 PM 3826 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building Myself a Workbench series Part 2: I have Lumber!!! »

So I have decided that after I finish my current three projects, 2 boxes and a hutch, I need to build myself a workbench. I recently got some hand planes and have found that my current set up is very inadequate for that work. Matter of fact anything other than assembling projects is not well suited. I use a pair of plastic saw horses and one sheet of MDF cut lengthwise just resting on top. It moves shakes bowes you name it it probably does it. This was always was meant to be temporary, well 8 months later Im still using it and fed up.

So I went out and bought Chris Schwarz new workbench book, The Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Building Better Benches. I decided on this one leafing through both at a local bookseller. This one is larger and has a bunch of different bench ideas. In his books he says that he really wants people to just use the ideas and plans as a basic map with the woodworker making decisions on how to get to their final destination in a bench.

What I have decided on is to build a cross between a traditional workbench, his power tool bench and the bullet proof bench.

This is the bullet proof bench from the book, The Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Building Better Benches by Chris Schwarz

Unfortunately I have a one car garage with limited space and cant make a huge bench so I have settled on a bench that is a little smaller than some of the monsters in that book. My dimensions are going to be 72×27x34. It going to act as a sort of outfeed table for my table saw (well thats when I can get a real cast iron saw and stop using my bosch, saving for a sawstop.) For the material I will be using 5/4 soft curley maple. Im getting a great deal on it, Ill post the haul in this blog when I pick it all up, shooting for tomorrow or the day after. Im working on getting a rough idea of how much I will need and then adding about 40% to it for waste, screw ups etc. Figure I wont complain if I have a lot of lightly figure maple hanging around to work with.

This is going to be a long process I have a feeling with lots of “learning experience” to go along with it. Im hoping to have the build finished by the end of May with vises being installed later as the budget permits.

1 comment so far

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 2958 days

#1 posted 05-07-2012 01:05 AM

It would help to think weight. Please make the legs at least 3” square, and the table top 3” thick. The weight will help you do better work just because the bench will not move around.

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