Bolted Work bench on Garret Hack trestle & double bolt stretchers

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Project by exelectrician posted 07-02-2015 06:27 AM 7726 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This bench was years in the making, started with three free maple dining room tables from CL then bought 6 boxes of reclaimed maple flooring to get the top done. The top has 5/16” threaded rods every 8” jig drilled, stacked, slathered with yacht varnish and bolted. I put cover board all the way around a feather secures the end caps with DT’s at the corners.
The trestle is from Garret Hacks design in Fine Woodworking, double M&T’s with double wedges top and bottom.
Photo#6 shows the method I used to make the stretchers. The rods go through the legs and the nuts are hidden in counter bored maple end caps.
A Wilton and Record vices are used to complete the bench.
After agonizing for a couple of weeks I decided that no holes were to be drilled in the top because, I very often have tiny parts scattered all over the bench and did not want them falling through the holes. I came up with this method to use with my planes when I had projects to hold that I had to plane. I make lousy video’s but here is one attempt in explaining how it works.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

13 comments so far

View hunter71's profile


3559 posts in 4475 days

#1 posted 07-02-2015 09:54 AM

Very very nice.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Oldtool's profile


3354 posts in 3479 days

#2 posted 07-02-2015 11:55 AM

Very nice bench, very sturdy and great looking too.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View HokieKen's profile


19910 posts in 2426 days

#3 posted 07-02-2015 12:45 PM

Great looking bench! I’ve been watching CL for months looking for some maple or beech I can repurpose for a workbench top. No luck so far but hopefully I’ll hit on a couple of free tables too! I like your thinking on the dog holes too, I’ve been paying particular attention to all the little jobs in the shop and so far haven’t found anything that can’t be done with some sort of bench hook or clamping jig. On the other hand, storing all those jigs would eat up precious space so I’m still up in the air on whether or not to incorporate dogs in the next bench or not.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3955 days

#4 posted 07-02-2015 01:56 PM

Nice and sturdy bench !
Is the top glued or just held together with the rods ?


-- Kiefer

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1544 posts in 2922 days

#5 posted 07-02-2015 05:09 PM

good luck with your new bench.

-- Jeff NJ

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3715 days

#6 posted 07-02-2015 05:52 PM

Kiefer – I first jig drilled each board with all the holes 1/64” clearance over 5/16”
For the assembly I wet coated the first board with ‘Seafin’ then wet coated the face of the next board, wiggled it on through all the rods, wet coated the face of the second board, and so on until the whole stack was together. Then I tightened the bolts. Seafin is very slow drying varnish, so I had four hours to get it together.
The reason I am posting this project 3 years after completion is that I was not sure it would work.
It works! I could not be happier.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3715 days

#7 posted 07-02-2015 05:57 PM

HokieKen – I think I got lucky on CL because the depression had taken hold and there was less buying going on so people wanting to get rid of tables in a hurry had to give them away. Pretty sad when you come to think of it.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View PAchemist's profile


57 posts in 2362 days

#8 posted 07-02-2015 06:45 PM

Nice workbench! Beautiful and very sturdy looking. I’m especially fascinated with your method of assembling the top.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3478 days

#9 posted 07-03-2015 03:59 AM

Very nice bench.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Belg1960's profile


1157 posts in 4353 days

#10 posted 07-04-2015 11:51 AM

Beautiful build, great recycling. What’s the final thickness of the top? If I read it right the varnish and the threaded rod are what you used to assemble the top? Did you use cauls to keep everything nice and flat? OK questions are done. It looks great!!

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3715 days

#11 posted 07-04-2015 05:42 PM

Beig1960 –
I built the first 6” of width 3 1/2” where I had planned to put dog holes, then I drop the the thickness to 2 3/4” the rest of the way.
I assembled the top upside down on a MDF bench. I gently pounded each board down as the assembly went on, then gave them all a final pat down before tightening up the rods.
Thanks for the compliments guys….

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View DocSavage45's profile


9070 posts in 4130 days

#12 posted 07-14-2015 04:45 AM

This didn’t come up in my email. Nicely done. Gonna be like diving a new car. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Belg1960's profile


1157 posts in 4353 days

#13 posted 07-14-2015 11:19 AM

Thanks it looks great.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

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