Work bench build -1 - lumber

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Blog entry by Brodan posted 05-02-2021 01:28 AM 1336 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally getting started on a work bench that will be right sized for my small shop and be better suited for hand tool work. A co worker gave me (13) pine 5’ long 4×4s which I’ve mulled up for the base.

Was thinking about buying some big box lumber to make a laminated top but happened into an architectural salvage today. With thoughts of building a laminated top, I initially was looking at old pine planks that I could mill and laminate. My wife happened upon some 3”x10”x about 12 feet. The weight told me it was oak which they were selling for the same as the salvage pine, $1.25 a board foot. They told us the beams were from a remodel off a local house built in the 1800s . One edge was loaded with square nails which I couldn’t remove with certainty so after getting it home I ripped a 2-3” strip from the edge containing the nails with my skill saw. (Rather have to replace a circular saw blade than damage shop equipment.) ended up with a 3×6-1/2” by 12 feet long and a 2-1/2×6 by 12 foot long old growth oak boards.

Some other wood I picked up, for the $1.25 .

All of it except the 17” wide pine board was very dense hard wood (by the weight) even though I don’t know what some of it is.

So I’m sure of which of these I will make the top of, I’m sure it will be solid.

After removing the nails and putting my haul in the garage, I started working on the mortises.

-- Dan, TN

5 comments so far

View controlfreak's profile (online now)


2130 posts in 685 days

#1 posted 05-02-2021 11:10 AM

What kind of bench are you building? Also curious what size your shop is, mine is 16’ x 10’ and settled on a Moravian build. That reclaimed wood looks great and I am impressed you can get your wife to assist in picking out wood, mine wants no part in woodworking. If you are going to be running a lot through a planer you may want to invest in a metal detector wand to prescreen the wood for nails.

View Brodan's profile


268 posts in 2386 days

#2 posted 05-02-2021 12:30 PM

control freak, my shop is 13’ x 18’ with a walk in door on the side and a roll up on the end. Barn style portable building with a loft where I store long lumber.

The build is a small joiners bench similar to Diego Cassells

Mine will be 5’ x 2-1/2’ with a leg vise front left and a small face vise on the right end . It will replace the 8×3 cabinet with llaminated 2×4 top that I use today.

-- Dan, TN

View pottz's profile


16899 posts in 2068 days

#3 posted 05-03-2021 03:25 AM

hey if it works for you it’s curious,are those bread board ends.and how did you attach? bench seems very small but i understand your shop is very small also.looks good .

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View TEK73's profile


334 posts in 791 days

#4 posted 05-03-2021 06:08 AM

Very cool project.
Low how you get the wood – as it is a workbench going out and buy expensive premium wood is of nonpoint – amd still, it seems like premium wood is just what you have got.
Great work man, looking forward to see the result!

-- It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. - Ursula K. LeGuin

View Brodan's profile


268 posts in 2386 days

#5 posted 05-03-2021 09:47 PM

Pottz, the pic is a bench from a blog of another LJ that I’m using for general base construction style so I’m not sure about the ends. The one pictured is about 36” wide. Mine will be 60”.

TEK73, my wife and I like to reuse, upcycle old stuff. As far as the wood, for a lot of what I build I like the character of used. And it’s less expensive

-- Dan, TN

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