Can't believe I waited so long to build a workbench!

  • Advertise with us
Project by Darryl Jones posted 10-27-2014 03:27 AM 12146 views 21 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This workbench is based on the bench that Jordan Crawford of Jord’s Woodshop built in his series on you tube. I didn’t build it as a direct copy of Jord’s workbench, I made some changes that I felt were necessary including some that were cosmetic. I used through mortise and tenon joinery instead of dominos for the base assembly. I was going to wedge the tenons but I didn’t plan it out right and I wasn’t able to do that joint so I ended up using dowels to reinforce the joints on the end assemblies. The strechers are also mortise and tenon with a bed bolt like connection running through them. I chose to mortise in the threaded assemblies for both the tail vise and leg vise. This was just a cosmetic choice, I didnt like the look of the castings showing. I also used wood for the track of the tail vise, ash for the rails and cherry for the piece attached to the dog hole block. The screw for the leg vice has been in my shop for a few years and the veneer press that I used for my tail vice was purchased at a discount on ebay so this build actually cost me very little money. The materials that I used were given to me for free, there are approximately 16-17 2×4s in the top and the legs are laminations of 2 2×4s and 1 1×4 that were glued and squared up a few years ago. My bench is not perfect, some of the laminations were not as tight as I would have liked but these were not hand picked 2×4s but they were free. There was a fair amount of twist in the top which necessitated the aquisition of a few new tools, a pinnacle 40 1/2 scrub plane and a wood river no. 7 jointer plane. There was a short learning curve to using the scrub plane but it was a tremendous help in flattening the top and bottom of the workbench. I have been woodworking for a long time, but I never had a workbench before now and looking back, I don’t know how I got along so long without it (I know it sounds cliche). I was able to use the bench to work on a couple of other ongoing projects and it was awesome. I think this may help me complete some projects much more efficiently. If you have not made a workbench for yourself, you definately should. Although it is a rewarding experience, don’t let anyone tell you that is a simple undertaking particularly using 2x materials. The glue up of the top is definately easier in batches, I did mine in groups of 3-4 boards at a time. The use of dominos, biscuits, dowels, or splines, to assist in lining up the boards to make your top as level as possible is definately recommended. I used a drill guide and boring bit for the dog holes, definately recommend that. Taking the time to make things look nice cosmetically is worthwhile if you have the time. I hope you enjoyed this wordy post. Please feel free to leave comments. I am also planning to start a blog about the build with more pics, so stay tuned.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

28 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118240 posts in 4815 days

#1 posted 10-27-2014 03:36 AM

A very grand bench,great job.


View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1171 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 10-27-2014 04:52 AM

I see you’re one of those sinister people :-)

I like the through dovetail on the wagon vise corner. Most do a half-blind DT, yours is an interesting look.

What is the wood you used on the end cap? Looks like some kind of mahogany…

And what happened with the cut off piece of your lower guide?

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View drewpy's profile


1074 posts in 2595 days

#3 posted 10-27-2014 05:05 AM

Very nice bench. You should be proud. Thanks for sharing.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View John1410's profile


10 posts in 2700 days

#4 posted 10-27-2014 05:17 AM

Looks well designed and well constructed. I hope it serves its intended purpose. Thanks for sharing!

-- John1410

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

203 posts in 4407 days

#5 posted 10-27-2014 10:49 AM

I made it longer than necessary trimming it down after I fitted the vice chop. I didn’t want to wait until the glue dried so I was using the cutoff to help clamp the lower guide in place due to the fact that the end had an angle cut. I had not started cleaning up before I took the picture and there it sat.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View Bigromo's profile


14 posts in 2909 days

#6 posted 10-27-2014 12:20 PM

Very nice guy-! Looks sturdy and as nice as a piece of furniture. I like the long work surface. Hope you get many years of enjoyment with it. Take care, see you when i get back in town-

-- Bigromo

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4217 days

#7 posted 10-27-2014 01:49 PM

Great looking bench. i wouldn’t worry too much about perfection, little or anything is ever going to be perfect. Just remember it is a workbench and needs to be used. Enjoy it and I’m sure it will provide you with years of useful service.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 3408 days

#8 posted 10-27-2014 02:18 PM

I am really interested in this because I am considering building one too. Did you take the dimensions directly from Crawford’s design or modify that? I am curious what you decided because I am not sure what ultimate dimension I want mine to be. Thanks for sharing. Nice job.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

203 posts in 4407 days

#9 posted 10-27-2014 02:49 PM

danoaz: I did not take the dimensions directly from Crawford’s design, his was longer and I believe it may have been wider. I also did not buy the plan or build to the video, I just used the videos as inspiration and encouragement. I made mine around 5.5 ft long and around 20” deep because I don’t have a lot of space in my 2 car garage shop. With the leg vise and a dead man (which I intend to add soon) I can clamp pieces longer than the length of the bench anyway. I think that using 2x materials is a great way to decide what your ultimate bench should be because it isn’t terribly expensive and you can work out construction and usage problems without investing a large sum of money. I have built so many items for the shop thinking that I had it all figured out, only to learn that it didn’t really fit my work flow after some time using it. I had been trolling blogs and videos all over the web before I started building this bench and I could never really arrive at a definitive bench so I just picked one I kinda liked and ran with it. Undoubtedly this one will have some aspects that I am not fond of but I would never know without building and using this one. Basically what I am saying is you will just have to jump in and build your first one with the understanding that it may not be the last.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3723 days

#10 posted 10-27-2014 03:14 PM

Great job. Looks like it should last a good long while.

-- Brian Timmons -

View CharlesA's profile


3468 posts in 3035 days

#11 posted 10-27-2014 03:22 PM

Basically what I am saying is you will just have to jump in and build your first one with the understanding that it may not be the last.

- emetric

Exactly—a not quite perfect bench is way better than no bench. I keep a mental list of what I’ll do different next time.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

203 posts in 4407 days

#12 posted 10-27-2014 03:25 PM

By the way for anyone else planning to take on a project like this Jords Woodshop, Paul Sellers, Stumpynubs, and Alen Holtham all have excellent tutorials on youtube. They all have a slightly different take on styles and techniques but all are very good. The workbench that I built here is most like Jord’s but I did take ques from all of the above to build what i feel is the best compromise for me at this time.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

203 posts in 4407 days

#13 posted 10-27-2014 03:27 PM

CharlesA no truer words have ever been spoken (err…..written???)

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 3132 days

#14 posted 10-27-2014 03:31 PM

Congrats. I’ve watched Jordan’s build several times, it’s a great series.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9983 posts in 3566 days

#15 posted 10-27-2014 03:33 PM

Looks great… congrats on completing it.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

showing 1 through 15 of 28 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics