New Yankee Workbench $40 rework

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Blog entry by oldguy2 posted 06-12-2018 11:08 AM 1208 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch


Like most woodworkers I would raise my hand if I saw Norm build that workbench and if I saw a yard sale that said “tools” I would stop. It seems my good fortune has been on a streak lately. Friday I stopped and after talking about their tools to price them. I looked and there was the New Yankee workbench that the Dad had made. I complimented the work. He had even added a quick release vise on the end. Without much addoo I offered $40 and it was into my trail blazer. Once home I did some cleaning and then knew it needed more care. The basement moisture had gotten into the hardboard top and a waferboard shelf. The bench was 34 inch high and about 2 inches above what I like. I am 5 ft. 6in. First take the base off and cut 1.5 inch off the legs and base back on. El Cheapo me was not about to buy a large sheet of hardboard for the top since it is 5 ft 3 in long x 18 and 25 wide with tool tray that’s good work space. I like the dog hole and have maple or oak to make bench dogs, I even have the book with Norm’s plans. Good fortune again at Lowes was a half sheet of melamine at the cut offs priced at $4. Got it..And with care, I used the original as a template, I raised it up with some poster board for the 1/16 difference and screwed it down slowly. I painted white a new waferboard shelf. and raised the bench with no shelf to stain the legs. Last year I bought some close out stain as ” Cypress” by Varathane…my test showed a rich brown and on the 2×4 legs it has a nice brown. I had to make the handle for the end vise and I made several bench dogs. I found the plastic bench holders work well also. Maybe this will be the last workbench article for awhile and stop my cravings, but I could not pass it up. If you buy the book, many used book stores or friends have it, and watch on utube you can get most of the numbers it is a good bench and could do the build for about $120 or less, depending on how you can do the tail stock threads for the end vise. I am working on flip up casters for one leg frame for portability old bench pictures last

5 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


4015 posts in 3234 days

#1 posted 06-12-2018 11:57 AM

That is a solid bench for a great price with a bit of renovation thrown in for good measure.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16947 posts in 3505 days

#2 posted 06-12-2018 12:19 PM

Congrats on the find and rehab, hope you enjoy your new bench. Having a quick release on the left end is certainly different, haven’t seen that before.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View htl's profile


5266 posts in 2045 days

#3 posted 06-12-2018 11:56 PM

Nice find!!!
I built one from the books I still have and loved it back 1985 or so, got away from having a shop way back and made the mistake of letting some one use it for get together’s and the like and was left out in the weather so it died, but I guess that’s fine it got used up.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View 489tad's profile


3901 posts in 3898 days

#4 posted 06-14-2018 09:11 PM

40US and able to find cut offs. Can’t beat that. You did a nice job on the restore. I have been using a version of that bench for about twenty years. Quick release vice and everything.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3753 days

#5 posted 06-21-2018 03:26 PM

Congratulations! That bench is going to really pay off for your shop.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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