Oak Workbench #5: Finishing the Base

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Blog entry by MattD posted 09-25-2007 02:55 AM 4796 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Starting the Base Part 5 of Oak Workbench series no next part

The base is completed. This is way beyond the weekend project I planned.

Now I’m thinking about a finish for the base. I originally planned on painting it a solid color with an exterior oil paint, but the douglass fir looks good to me (my wife thinks so too), so I might just do a BLO/turp finish on that also.

The base was made from two 2×12x12 douglass fir. For the legs, I face glued three 2”x5”x35” boards together leaving space in the middle section to create a mortise for the lower side rails to go through the legs like thru tenons. The long stretchers on the front and back are bolted through the leg posts and side rail tenons with 7” bolts. I cross bored 1” holes on the backs of the stretchers to get access to the threaded end of the bolts (inside the stretchers) that clamp the whole thing together. It’s rock solid.

After the finish, I need to figure out how to attach a fairly interesting leg vise I found on Ebay. Actually, I’m not really sure what I have here, so I added a forum topic about it.

Other things left to do:

Find an End Vise
Dog Holes
End Caps
Tool Tray?

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

11 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35274 posts in 5487 days

#1 posted 09-25-2007 03:00 AM

Great table.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5184 days

#2 posted 09-25-2007 04:55 AM

Very nice. Good luck on fitting the leg vice.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5049 days

#3 posted 09-25-2007 06:08 AM

From the looks of it , it shouldn’t bounce around much. Nice work.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5247 days

#4 posted 09-25-2007 01:14 PM

it’s beautiful!! Well done.. You must be feeling really good about this creation!!! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 5111 days

#5 posted 09-28-2007 10:22 PM

Looks strong and stable, which is the main thing. I agree about the finish. I used blo/turp/spar poly on mine, and it’s worked out just fine. Good job! Funny how those “weekend” projects keep growing and growing and…

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 4799 days

#6 posted 07-10-2009 06:43 PM

I bet you finished this off a while back, since it’s been a long time…perhaps a pic to update? I just ran across this project and like the looks of what you’ve done.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4735 days

#7 posted 07-10-2009 07:02 PM

looks great! those ‘weekend’ jobs should really be renamed to ‘weekendS’ jobs as we all experience them just the same.

how are you going to attache that leg vise? I notice from the pic here that the leg is not flush with the front of the top? are you going to add another wood chunk to flush the front leg with the front of the top? or will you move the top backwards so that it’ll sit flush with the front feet?

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

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4664 days

#8 posted 07-11-2009 06:52 AM

View Pairodocs's profile


6 posts in 4328 days

#9 posted 07-11-2009 07:56 AM

I built a bench almost identical to that one for my father a couple of years ago. I made the top from Southern Yellow Pine, glued up with biscuits and Titebond III, and plugged the screw holes with oak dowels. I also chamfered all of the edges. It’s beautiful, the contrast of the oak and SYP. I like to use Tung oil to finish the tops. It’s hard, resistant to moisture,, and easily repaired. That SYP top jumps with that penetrating oil finish. This is a very stable bench. I also put 1×6 slats in a rabbet to make a lower shelf.

-- Pairodocs, Florida, USA

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4908 days

#10 posted 07-11-2009 12:14 PM

Matt, this is one nice looking bench. It does look like it is solid and well built.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View TheOtherMrRogers's profile


42 posts in 3268 days

#11 posted 09-15-2014 12:28 AM

Its been years, how does it look today?

-- For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

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