Workbench #12: Adding the Shelf

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Blog entry by Dan Wolfgang posted 06-04-2017 01:05 AM 1349 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Assembling the Base Part 12 of Workbench series Part 13: The Gapstop »

With the base complete and the shelf ledgers in place, I wanted to get the shelf added. The shelf would be really useful in that it would allow me to set my planes nearby but out of the way. Ok, so the spot I’ve been storing my planes is only about four steps away, but still, having them within reach seems like a great advance. It’ll surely make me more productive, right?

I’ve been using 2×4s from Home Depot to build the majority of the bench. I intended to use the leftover 2×4s and cut-offs to make the shelf. But, a while back, I bought some birch to make the gap stop for the bench top. But, the birch looks really nice… maybe I should use it for the shelf? I shared this photo with friends and sought feedback:

Several people told me to use the 2×4s and save the birch for another “nicer” project. In my opinion, however, this workbench is a very nice project, and the birch isn’t being wasted in the least! I’ll get to see and enjoy this at least several times a week. So, I went with it.

Also, here’s the first photo of the base with the top slabs mortised into the legs!

I used the rabbet plane to make all of the shelves fit together. I cut a total of 20 rabbets to fit all of the shelf pieces together. I have only used the rabbet plane a few times before so was excited to do a lot with it, hoping that by the 20th I would have a good handle on it. Unfortunately, I don’t feel I’m there yet!

They all fit together well and from a normal distance they look fantastic, however.

So many rabbets let me cut a lot of thick and curly shavings that will be great for fire-starting!

Wood review—the bench now includes:

  • Burrill “white fir”
  • Cherry
  • Soft maple
  • Hard maple
  • Red oak
  • White oak
  • Birch

4 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1251 days

#1 posted 06-04-2017 01:18 AM

This is an awesome looking bench … Dan, is that photo reversed ; or, are you a lefty? I just now noticed that!

View builtinbkyn's profile


2999 posts in 1544 days

#2 posted 06-04-2017 01:31 AM

Yes really nice looking bench Dan. I used the same Burrel 2×4s for my bench, along with some leftover lumber from a yard project. They stayed nice and straight. They’re not that heavy or hard, but they made a nice surface. Love the leg vice too. You’re a south paw I guess?

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View BurlyBob's profile


6904 posts in 2869 days

#3 posted 06-04-2017 04:26 AM

Yeah Dan, that bench is looking mighty fine. One big project left for me and I get to start on my bench!

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

176 posts in 1411 days

#4 posted 06-04-2017 12:04 PM

Yep, I’m a lefty!

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