FWW workbench

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Project by sry posted 10-27-2008 03:38 AM 4207 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
FWW workbench
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At long last, I’m posting my first project. This is a slightly modified version of the workbench from the Fine Woodworking Getting Started in Woodworking video series.

The top is doubled up 3/4” MDF wrapped in poplar, which is also what I used in the jaws of the 7” Rockler quick-release vise. This was the primary modification I made to the FWW design, and although I don’t think it was really necessary, I definitely became more comfortable with the router by adding this detail. Top is secured to the base with metal clips. It’s hard to see with my fuzzy photography, but here are bench dog holes spanning the width of the top up by the vise.
Legs are 4×4 douglas fir with screw in leveling feet, and the other pieces are 2×4 pine. Threaded rod through all the rails hold it together. There are some 1×2 cleats that support the shelf, which I thought would be nicer than just resting it on top of the 2×4s. The shelf is also 3/4” MDF.

The whole thing is finished with several (5) coats of thinned polyurethane, and the top and shelf got a coat of paste wax as well. I’m not sure yet if I overdid it on the top and made it too slippery, time will tell I guess. I was really happy with how the grain on the poplar came out after all the coats of poly, but was unable to get a good picture of it with my camera. I didn’t think poplar had much grain to speak of, but I was surprised with how nice and shimmery it looks.

The top is 62”x25” and the whole thing stands 38” tall.

Now that I have a proper workbench, I guess I can get going on some “real” projects for around the house!

9 comments so far

View lew's profile


13273 posts in 4729 days

#1 posted 10-27-2008 04:06 AM

Great looking work bench.

I’d be afraid to use it and get it scratched!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4964 days

#2 posted 10-27-2008 10:26 AM

Great job Steve. I’ve been pondering this bench too. How long did it take to make it?

-- Jim

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4677 days

#3 posted 10-27-2008 10:36 AM

Nice work!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View sry's profile


147 posts in 4582 days

#4 posted 10-27-2008 02:35 PM

I’ve spread this project out over about 2 months so it’s a little hard to calculate, but all said and told it’s probably about 35 hours of real work getting it done (and finished). A little more if you include the set of legs that I mangled when I discovered that I can’t drill perfectly vertical holes without a drill press. A little less if you don’t wrap the top in wood and make the rear vise jaw flush with the edge.
The most complicated part (for me) was getting the holes to go straight through the 4×4s, but I built a little template that helps locate the starting holes, and by starting the holes from both sides I was able to get by just fine without a drill press.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5192 days

#5 posted 10-27-2008 04:27 PM

Nice job!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 4672 days

#6 posted 10-27-2008 10:47 PM

Very nice. I love workbenches and just finished making myself a new one. Look forward to future projects.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Grumpy's profile


26793 posts in 4825 days

#7 posted 10-29-2008 01:09 AM

That bench should serve you well Steve.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4206 days

#8 posted 07-21-2009 04:14 AM

I am working on my own version of this workbench with a little bit of a change up. My top is a lamination of 2 3/4” MDF panels 24” W x 72” L Topped with 1/4” hardboard, and edged with 1.75” x 1” SYP edge banding. Most of the material is from Ike damaged structures.

The intent is to have a vise on each long side, and in that vein, I have 2 Central Forge Record clone 9” quick release vises waiting to go on…

The overall height is sized to act as TS outfeed.

I can only hope and pray mine comes out half as nice as yours.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4551 days

#9 posted 07-21-2009 07:00 AM

super job that should last a long time.


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