New Workbench

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Project by BillG posted 05-04-2009 01:43 AM 5076 views 31 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I completed this bench last week (5/1/09). I have been using a very old and rather shakey workbench for the last 30 years. I finally managed to build myself a new and totally solid bench. The top measures 28” X 68” and is 35” high. I am over 6’ tall so I made it a bit taller that normal (34”).

The support end frame is 3 1/2” square maple, the stretchers are 1 3/4” X 7” maple. The leg sections have large, glued mortise and tenons (2” sq. X 1 3/4” long) with a 1/2” maple dowel drawbored into the mortise and tennon to keep them tight. The stretchers have tenons that are 3/4 wide X 5 1/2” high X 3/4” long that fit snugly into their mortise and use 1/2” X 6” long bench bolts to secure them to the end frames. They were not glued so that the bench could be tightened over time as needed. The top was manufactured from maple and is quarter sawn maple glued up to a 2 1/4” thickness. I got such a good deal on the top that I couldn’t make it for twice the price, so I used it. It is wrapped on three sides with 2” X 7” Sapele. The front vise jaw is 2” X 8” X 32”.

The twin screw vise is 24” on center. The tail vise is over 100 years old, is quite heavy and is a quick release. I tightens in one half turn. I have not added the wooden insert jaws to that vise as yet.

I cut a 3/4” X 3/4” rabbet on the inside of the lower stretchers to add a shelf. I used 3/4” X 7 1/4” poplar and rabbeted a 3/8” shiplap edge on the boards to create a good fit. The Gramercy Tools Inc. hold fasts work very well and the Veritas bench dogs are well made and fit nicely in the 3/4” holes.

I put a lot of holes in the top of the table (maybe too many), but figured they would add versatility to the bench. The front jaw also has four holes in it. I am really looking forward to working on this bench. Right now it looks too nice to use, but I will use it. There are two coats of oil based polyeurethane on it for protection.

Follow up: A friend of mine picked up a commercial bench top that was 65” square and 2 1/4” thick. It came in two halves with three long rods that went through pre-drilled holes in the top to hold it together. He only wanted one half, so I was able to buy the other half from him.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

24 comments so far

View colbynorwood's profile


45 posts in 3970 days

#1 posted 05-04-2009 01:57 AM

that looks really nice, now do me a favor and dont use it so it stays that way lol

hey your from springfield ma, i only 45 minutes away, im in montague, near turners falls and greenfield

-- Colby Norwood- learn how to measure, measure once, cut once

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4424 days

#2 posted 05-04-2009 02:16 AM

Bill, this is a gorgeous bench. It looks like it weighs a ton so it be able to take all the pounding you can give it. This should last you for years.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4179 days

#3 posted 05-04-2009 02:22 AM

This is a killer bench beautiful well done.


View woodworm's profile


14476 posts in 4193 days

#4 posted 05-04-2009 02:35 AM

Very nicely built workbench.
Sincerely, it would look very much nicer if you put same colour and finish on the foot and the base as you did to the apron. What do you think?

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 4375 days

#5 posted 05-04-2009 03:03 AM

Great bench Bill, very nice work.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3929 days

#6 posted 05-04-2009 03:07 AM

Beautiful….did you buy the top from a individual or from a manufacturer to get such a great deal ??

-- Don S.E. OK

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4051 days

#7 posted 05-04-2009 03:19 AM

great looking becnhch…very well done

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4160 days

#8 posted 05-04-2009 03:19 AM

Great looking bench. Now you want to build me one?...............................LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Tim Dorcas's profile

Tim Dorcas

188 posts in 4461 days

#9 posted 05-04-2009 03:23 AM

Absolutely gorgeous!

-- - A Woodworking & Renovation Blog & - I make. You buy.

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 4233 days

#10 posted 05-04-2009 03:32 AM

Great work bench BILL ! You did an excellent job .
Job Well Done!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4560 days

#11 posted 05-04-2009 04:18 AM

View IrishWoodworker's profile


159 posts in 4680 days

#12 posted 05-04-2009 07:57 AM

Dont worry about using it friend. Make some bench hooks for it, you can mess those up and not worry about your bench top.

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

View snowdog's profile


1167 posts in 4585 days

#13 posted 05-04-2009 02:14 PM

That sure is a pretty bench you got there

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

View lighthearted's profile


142 posts in 3916 days

#14 posted 05-04-2009 06:34 PM

View Dusty56's profile


11855 posts in 4290 days

#15 posted 05-05-2009 12:16 AM

Absolutely too nice to get a scratch in just yet : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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