Why buy it when you can make it! #33: Workbench Time [Part 1]

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Blog entry by paxorion posted 05-17-2015 07:50 PM 9142 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 32: Ribba must be short for Ribbaff Part 33 of Why buy it when you can make it! series Part 34: Basement Wall Cabinets [Part 1] »

For a while, I had been working on saw horses with a melamine coated piece of MDF I picked up from the Ikea as-is section. After abusing that thing for 2 years, I figured it was time to embark on a build.

My goal for the workbench was to make it as inexpensive as possible. I first thought of going the 2×12 douglas fir route, but opted to liquidate my stash of MDF. The MDF was laminated with Titebond and wood screws across 2 sessions. After finishing the lamination, I double sticked tape hardboard to the top, squared the sucker up, and attached 2 layers of 4/4 white oak edging with wood screws. Dog holes were drilled 3” on center. Overall the top measures 2.5” x 26” x 50”. The Kreg bench dogs and holdfasts work great.

The workbench top weights in just north of 100 lbs and has been quite the workout to move. It is currently sitting on my sawhorses with 2×4’s propping it up. I figure I’ll try out a few different heights to see if it works. The current height is right to my wrist and can withstand some planing operations. Once I build a base for it, I will settle on a front vise. I like the idea of flush legs for additional clamping options, and am leaning towards a french Roubo style base. I will probably gravitate towards a traditional front vise with hardwood jaws. For the end-vise, I didn’t want to take up any more of a footprint in my basement. I decided to go with a Armor Tool Dog Clamp. Looking forward to it’s arrival next Wednesday.

-- paxorion

3 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 3417 days

#1 posted 05-18-2015 10:20 AM

Great less expensive start to a real user.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View Rob263's profile


5 posts in 1773 days

#2 posted 01-26-2017 04:30 AM

Nice looking piece!

The hardboard is only stuck to the MDF using double-sided tape? Will that hold up? What kind of tape are you using?

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 3330 days

#3 posted 01-31-2017 03:54 PM

Nice looking piece!

The hardboard is only stuck to the MDF using double-sided tape? Will that hold up? What kind of tape are you using?

- Rob263

Almost 2 years later it’s holding up quite well. Using the stuff I got from Woodcraft

-- paxorion

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