Tool Finds #2: A little blood and an awesome workbench.

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Blog entry by Chris P posted 08-22-2012 12:40 AM 2016 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: First Great Estate Sale Find! Part 2 of Tool Finds series no next part

Alright so here is the workbench that I bought at a estate sale on Friday but just picked up Yesterday. Its about 27”x68” with a quick release craftsman vise mounted on the end. So its friday morning and I’m scrambling to pull apart this workbench I just bought just to take the top with me; I’m scrambling because in about 2 hours I have to go to the rehearsal for my wedding and then host our rehearsal dinner. But while chiseling off some glue around a square headed bolt I slipped and punched the metal frame underneath, splitting my knuckle open and proceeding to pour blood all over this stranger’s basement…awesome. So instead of finishing up I drive myself to the hospital to get stitched up and then rush around to get my errands done for rehearsal, I made it just in time! I get married the next day, relax on sunday and on Monday, finally go back to pick it up.

So I come to find out while talking to the old man who owned and built the bench that it was made from a piece of bowling alley and that he “didn’t build things to be taken apart” and boy was he right. I ended up calling up a friend and having him meet me to help haul this thing out of there. Finally it is safe and sound at home. I still plan on dismantling the base from the top and building my own base that canbe taken apart if need be. It is an awesome piece, needs some work to the top surface but still great, see the pics!

Any pointers on refinishing the top? Its my first time on a job like this and I really want to make this into a solid, quality bench that will serve me for years to come. Thanks!

-- Chris, Long Island

10 comments so far

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1125 posts in 4507 days

#1 posted 08-22-2012 12:57 AM

Great score. Lots of potential.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3818 days

#2 posted 08-22-2012 01:41 AM

One sure fire way to prep the surface and re-flatten it is to use a router sled.

-- Brian Timmons -

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4023 days

#3 posted 08-22-2012 01:50 AM

I’ll bet that guy is still telling stories about that guy who bled all over his shop! Great story.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

93 posts in 3619 days

#4 posted 08-22-2012 02:47 AM

Yeah I might do the router sled, i’ve watched that video before but this time i might put it to use…the old finish might be too much too sand off…would it need a finish on it afterwards or would you leave it raw?

-- Chris, Long Island

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3818 days

#5 posted 08-22-2012 01:15 PM

Some protection is always better than nothing. As for the particular methods, I’ll let the collective wisdom of this site be your guide.

-- Brian Timmons -

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4221 days

#6 posted 08-22-2012 03:16 PM

Once you have it flat and smooth, all I’d use is a couple of coats of good old paste wax. Pretty much glue proof and easy to touch up when needed.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

93 posts in 3619 days

#7 posted 08-22-2012 03:53 PM

Awesome, thanks for your help everyone. I’ll post an update when it’s all finished.

-- Chris, Long Island

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 4899 days

#8 posted 08-22-2012 03:56 PM

In proper order :
Congrats on getting married… and nice find on the bench!

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4316 days

#9 posted 08-22-2012 05:22 PM

congrats one the new bench find. i’ve got that same vice i bought from sears in 1974.still have it
sand the top with a belt sander with 60 grit then 80 grit, just like a hardwood floor. then you can plane with a 7 or 8 plane. whole thing will take an hour or less.

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

93 posts in 3619 days

#10 posted 08-23-2012 01:49 AM

Yeah I think at this point the belt sander/No. 7 plane is what I’m going to go with, the router sled might be too much for what I need to do and too time consuming, as for the finish I’ll probably decide once the top is ready for it, thanks for everyone’s help!

-- Chris, Long Island

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