Great little Bench

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Project by Sawdustmaker115 posted 05-14-2014 05:31 PM 4523 views 12 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting to get into hand tool work for awhile now, and I’ve realized it’s sometimes very tricky to hold the pieces in place while working on them. So I set out to get a work bench, at first i thought i would just buy one, but woodcraft had some deals on their vises and cherry wood. So i ended up buying a tail vise, front vise, and a load of 2×2x13 cherry. A few days later and there’s 2 large boxes at my front door it’s from woodcraft yippee! time to start working. So i brought everything down to the shop and saw that not all the cherry was square, So the first thing i had to do was get two of the faces square, i had to do this by hand because i don’t have a jointer. After about 3 days i had all the cherry square to two faces, next i had to fix the other faces so instead of doing the whole thing with a hand plane and man power i thought i could just run them through the tablesaw to get everything else happy, this method worked great!! Now i had to glue everything up, i used titbond 2 and a lot of clamps, i did the glue up in parts like 3 rows each part so i had i think like 5 parts. once all that was dry i started to glue the parts together. Now that everything is glued i had to flatten the top, took about 3-4 hours. Now that i got the top done i set it aside and started to work on the legs, they are made with Doug fir 4×4, i did mortise and tenon but not like you think, i decided it would be a hell of a lot easier to do a round tenon and round mortise. I did this by mounting the leg on the lathe and made a 2-1/4’’ round tenon, to make the mortise i grabbed a forstner bit and bored the wood out, and presto!! a perfect easy to make mortise and tenon joint. It only took me a few hours to make the legs. After i glued the legs on i cut the top and installed the tail vise. A few days later i ran out tho the lumber yard and grabbed some really hard maple(this stuff was harder then all the other hard maple I’ve ever worked with) of course i bought it rough so i had to make it 4S by hand, It was a bitch to work with because it’s not all straight grain so i had tare out to deal with. Anyway this became the apron, i mitered the ends and then added cherry splines to spruce things up a bit. Sanded everything with 120 then went up to 320, applied 2 coast of shellac, sanded with 600, added a super thin coat of a mix of poly and linseed oil and mineral spirits. then i drilled a bunch of 3/4’’ dog holes.
All in all this bench came out really good and it’s one of my favorite builds by far. Looks great and the finish feels even better, this bench is nice and functional, even being that this thing is tiny only about 52’’ long and 26’’ wide. took me about 3 weeks to build this great little bench.

Thanks for looking, and reading :)

all comments are welcome good, bad, ugly, anything!

-- Anthony--

19 comments so far

View TechTeacher04's profile


459 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 05-14-2014 06:47 PM

Could you explain how you plan to use the tail vise? I have been looking to improve mine without having to buy a wagon vice.

View Sawdustmaker115's profile


306 posts in 2696 days

#2 posted 05-14-2014 07:29 PM

Yeah sure,
i plane to use it like as if i mounted another front vise, i would use the 2 dog holes that are currently drilled to do most of all my planing needs

Maybe a few more pics might help

You can see theirs two more holes here for large stuff and mainly to be used with the front vise but if i need more holes for the tail vise i can always add more, so i only did these for now

i don’t have any holes on the tail vise itself you know above the vise screw (if that makes sense) simply because i don’t think i need them because the 2 other holes on the face work out just fin for me(at least for now) if i need them i’ll drill them out then.
I basically plane to use this vise to do all planing stuff, and as a bonuse to the way i made the vise i can also clamp stuff between the vise jaw and the bench a few more pics:

hope that makes it a little clearer :)

-- Anthony--

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 2844 days

#3 posted 05-14-2014 07:35 PM

That is a good looking, and functional bench. Well done.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View TechTeacher04's profile


459 posts in 2506 days

#4 posted 05-14-2014 08:26 PM

Thank you for the added pictures. Did you reinforce the end grain joints on your top in any way? I was given a bunch of 8/4 material but it is all shorts. Trying to make larger panels like you did but am concerned about strength. Thanks

View Sawdustmaker115's profile


306 posts in 2696 days

#5 posted 05-14-2014 08:36 PM

nope i did not, i did think about it but it seems to be rock soild i stood on top of it and I’m like 230lb
I maid sure that there are not many gabs in each joint, make sure the pieces are exactly the same width as the next i did that on the tablesaw with a good blade, and use a good wood glue i used titebond 2

-- Anthony--

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3163 days

#6 posted 05-14-2014 10:16 PM

You call THAT a great little bench?! Agreed. I really like your layout.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 3979 days

#7 posted 05-15-2014 01:36 AM

Really nice bench, love the colors and the 2 vices

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Dakotajack's profile


63 posts in 2840 days

#8 posted 05-15-2014 02:01 AM

Nice looking bench, I’ve got just the spot for one this size, I’ll post picture when I get it made! Nice job!

-- John, South Dakota

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4164 days

#9 posted 05-15-2014 08:13 AM

Great job, Would love to have room for a great bench like this…. Enjoy!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 2549 days

#10 posted 05-15-2014 09:40 AM

You must be proud, and should be, to have produced such a little beauty using hand tools.
Well done on a great job.
May I suggest a smoker to use up all those shavings LOL.

View snowdog's profile


1167 posts in 4957 days

#11 posted 05-15-2014 11:33 AM

Wow, beautiful work.. makes my crappy pile of glued and screwed wood bench look like fire wood. :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Gary Scoville's profile

Gary Scoville

27 posts in 2499 days

#12 posted 05-15-2014 02:33 PM

Hay, real nice bench! Are the plans for this bench available to buy so place? This looks like something even I could make with my limited skills! :-)


-- Gary Torrington, CT

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 4348 days

#13 posted 05-15-2014 02:52 PM

Really nice – love that top and tail vise. You make it look easy.


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

View Sawdustmaker115's profile


306 posts in 2696 days

#14 posted 05-15-2014 03:05 PM

No plans are available, only in my head
If you want Gary, i can take measurements and pictures and i can tell you how i went about this build

Thank you guys so much for all the positive comments!
And i am very proud of my work although i have to givev thanks to one greater then i who has created me with this woodworking skill

-- Anthony--

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2868 days

#15 posted 05-15-2014 04:22 PM

That is awesome. Love it. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

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