My Version of the $175 Workbench

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Project by jonah posted 06-28-2014 02:27 AM 5275 views 13 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my version of the $175 Workbench, published about a decade ago in Popular Woodworking.

I have chronicled the ins and outs of the construction in a blog series. See there for more details, including a post-mortem in the last entry of mistakes I made.

14 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


3839 posts in 3784 days

#1 posted 06-28-2014 02:54 AM

A good looking bench that will provide many years of service. I saved that issue too.

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

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4107 days

#2 posted 06-28-2014 03:07 PM

Congratulations on completion of this very nice bench! I’m looking forward to seeing all the great projects you will eventually post.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.



197 posts in 3107 days

#3 posted 06-28-2014 05:30 PM

Nice work hard workbench. Thanks for sharing. wish you a long and fruitful use of it in your workship


View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2666 days

#4 posted 06-28-2014 06:59 PM

Well done, lefty! Interesting to see those vices on the other side in a world of righthanders.

View jonah's profile


2121 posts in 4071 days

#5 posted 06-28-2014 08:35 PM

The left handed man is king in a world full of… something.

View Lumberpunk's profile


334 posts in 3109 days

#6 posted 06-29-2014 01:53 AM

Nice bench… one day… sigh

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View Woodknack's profile


13391 posts in 3153 days

#7 posted 06-20-2017 04:50 AM

Good looking bench but the forum ate your pictures.

-- Rick M,

View jonah's profile


2121 posts in 4071 days

#8 posted 06-20-2017 11:42 AM

Ate them? I can see them perfectly fine.

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4870 days

#9 posted 06-20-2017 02:02 PM


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

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3639 days

#10 posted 06-20-2017 02:46 PM

This is a very nice workbench and will be a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View oldnovice's profile


7558 posts in 4140 days

#11 posted 06-20-2017 07:08 PM

I am with Rick, I cannot zoom in, only see the small photos.
Regardless, that is one nice bench and a beautiful project for any shop!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View jonah's profile


2121 posts in 4071 days

#12 posted 06-20-2017 08:17 PM

Strange, I can’t zoom them now either. If anyone wants to get higher resolution pictures for anything, PM me and I’ll email them to you.

View Woodknack's profile


13391 posts in 3153 days

#13 posted 06-21-2017 04:13 AM

The forum server lost a bunch of pictures a couple years back. The smaller thumbnail pictures are still there but the larger pictures are gone. I had to replace a bunch of mine too. How are you liking the bench long term?

-- Rick M,

View jonah's profile


2121 posts in 4071 days

#14 posted 06-21-2017 01:01 PM

I like it a lot. It survived a recent move just fine. I may end up cutting the legs down a couple inches so I can use it as a table saw outfeed table, since I have very limited real estate in my shop and I’m not sure I have room for all three of 1) a table saw 2) outfeed and 3) the workbench.

Right now it’s 36” high which I feel is about perfect for me (I’m 6’1), but most table saws are sadly 34” high. That was one good thing about my Ridgid 3650 – it’s 36” high so even though my bench wasn’t right behind the table saw, if I had a very long board I could use it like that.

On the whole the bench is doing just fine. I still haven’t flattened it but that hasn’t been an issue. I just got some workbench casters that I’ll be installing once I make a final decision about cutting the legs down. I also need to rebuild the cabinet under the bench. I tore it out and left it before the move because I was never happy with it. Right now there’s nothing under the bench.

So my to-do list is:

1) Cut the legs down
2) Install workbench casters
3) Rebuild a better cabinet for the base

Pretty much everything I mentioned in my blog post-mortem is right on. If I did it again, I’d be much, much more choosey about the 2×8s I used. I also might have gone with 2×10s so I could cut around knots. That’d mean more waste (and more money), but I’d end up with a knot-free top.

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