Mongo: my first real workbench #1: Planning and Laminating

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Blog entry by TheRiflesSpiral posted 03-22-2017 07:35 PM 1155 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Mongo: my first real workbench series Part 2: Materials and Method »

All my work surfaces are specific to a tool… outfeed table on a table saw, infeed and outfeed tables on a router table, long benches on either side of a radial arm saw and power miter saw station, etc. I’ve been without a general work surface ever since I started working wood in my own shop.

A such, my projects tend to move from whatever tool I’m not using to whatever tool I just used and none are really suitable for any handwork which is where my focus has started to turn as of late. Holding materials while working them is a weakness in my shop and with this bench I hope to remedy that.

So here’s the concept: (well, a little farther along than a concept, actually but whatever)


I have a few goals:

1) Inexpensive. I’m not a “fine woodworker” and I have no desire to build an heirloom-quality piece of furniture. It’s a bench… the materials used to make it will reflect its intended use, not seek to impress someone.

2) Stable. I’m 230lbs, 6’1” and I tend to treat wood as though it’s offended me in some way. That means a fair bit of shoving, beating and wrenching to coax a design out of an unwilling material. The bench needs to be able to handle anything I throw at it in this regard.

3) Long lasting. I may build more benches in the future but I don’t want to have to build a bench because this one didn’t hold up. Ideally, My grandson will pass it on to his first born. (my youngest kid is 2)

4) No fasteners. With the exception of any hardware required for the vices, I want the bench to be fastener-free which means I’ll need to employ some clever joinery. I’ll probably spend a fair bit of time describing my joining techniques because I find it fascinating.

So anyway, that’s all for now.

What I’ve done so far (besides the design work) is basic stock preparation with the exception of the lamination of the leg pieces. Tonight I’ll be finishing up stock prep and maybe laminating a top section or two.

-- Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

2 comments so far

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

318 posts in 2262 days

#1 posted 03-28-2017 10:51 PM

Following this blog… I think I finally built my bench because the workmate jaws split!

-- -Tim Royal -"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

View TheRiflesSpiral's profile


18 posts in 1208 days

#2 posted 03-29-2017 05:03 PM

I have not-so-fond memories of pinching my fingers more than once in my Dad’s old B&D Workmate… He loved it though!

-- Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

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