Shop #3: Workbench

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Blog entry by Big Ben posted 01-14-2011 03:55 PM 2032 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Drill Press Table and other shop upgrades Part 3 of Shop series Part 4: Bench Legs, Stretcher Questions and Lumber Rack »

My old bench was just not cutting it. Not sturdy enough for using hand planes, could not store other large tools, it was too low (I am 6’7”) and it was just not cool.

From Woodworking

For my new bench I choose to use Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) for the top and Douglas Fir for the legs. Here are some of the other choices I made for the bench:

From Woodworking

Legs – Co planer with top, 5.25” x 5” x 39” with Mortise and Tenon joints that will be pegged

From Woodworking

From Woodworking

From Woodworking

Thick top – 3.8”

Split top – The top will be friction fit and bolted to the legs. This was need for clamping, sawing and other needs, but also because I am not yet skilled enough to plane a whole bench top and it will along me to remove the top and run through the planer with I need to reflatten it.

From Woodworking

This was my first major glrfue up and realized there is such a thing as too much glue. Dam squeeze out!!

From Woodworking

From Woodworking

From Woodworking

Here is the work bench currently, dry fit to get the size for the stretchers.

From Woodworking

25 comments so far

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 4020 days

#1 posted 01-14-2011 04:13 PM

I feel your pain on bench height…even at 6’4”. Looks nice.


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

267 posts in 3699 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 04:27 PM

Looking good so far!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4183 days

#3 posted 01-14-2011 04:31 PM

Thats going to be a nice workbench.

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 3614 days

#4 posted 01-14-2011 04:47 PM


-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 3884 days

#5 posted 01-14-2011 04:54 PM

Looks like it is going to be nice and solid – post an update when you get it done.

-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

View JayHawk75's profile


8 posts in 3203 days

#6 posted 01-14-2011 04:56 PM

Looks good. I am having the same problem with my workbench as well, just not solid enough.

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4159 days

#7 posted 01-14-2011 04:59 PM

looks nice and beefy. it’ll come in very handy during work.

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

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4333 days

#8 posted 01-14-2011 05:19 PM

enjoy your new work mate…bc

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3204 days

#9 posted 01-14-2011 05:58 PM

Stout bench that will serve you well. I laughed at the sqeezout comment. In my earliest of days, I slathered a piece with gorilla glue. When I returned to the shop, I was surprised by a volcano of dense foam. Thanks for sharing!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View ugoboy's profile


118 posts in 3544 days

#10 posted 01-14-2011 06:13 PM

I’m not laughing at you….I’m laughing with you….The bench is coming along nicely. I think everyone on LJ has experienced over gluing. I always say you could never have enough glue.

-- ~ Guy Woodward, Pflugerville Texas

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3547 days

#11 posted 01-14-2011 09:07 PM

Good looking bench, Ben. Height is important. I’m only 5’10” and I work off a relatively high bench. Bench height should be bespoke. Well done

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3945 days

#12 posted 01-14-2011 10:33 PM

Ben, that bench looks as solid as a rock. Love to see it all finished. God job

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6662 posts in 3705 days

#13 posted 01-15-2011 08:40 AM

Greetings Big Ben,
A good solid workbench is a “must have” tool in the shop. It needs to be stout enough that it won’t rack or shake from side to side. Besides your tablesaw, you’ll spend more time at your workbench than any other tool in your shop. I think this holds true with us all…I know I do. I’ve built 5 benches, and all have a different use. My main bench is 40” high, 42” wide, and 102” long, and is 3.5” thick. It is rock solid. A year or so ago I built a cabinet full of drawers to go underneith it for plenty of storage of handtools, drafting tools, measuring tools, etc. It really fills my bill for a bench…..Your bench is coming along really good. Should be solid and beefy.

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18672 posts in 4186 days

#14 posted 01-15-2011 10:23 AM

Ha Ha Ha, I can stand up and run in places you can’t even crawl!! :-)) ;-)) Told that to a big guy who bet I couldn’t even pick his tool box off the ground.

Bench looks good!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View JimDaddyO's profile


620 posts in 3589 days

#15 posted 01-15-2011 03:28 PM

it is coming along nice Ben…..keep up the good work.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

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