My First Proper Workbench

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Project by CaptnJoe posted 07-24-2015 02:41 AM 6521 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just a simple design loosely based on what I’ve seen other do.

Picked up a bunch of oak from a local wood worker. Rough lumber, mostly red oak (some white in there too). The top was a 2×13 or so and 10’ long. Cut that in half and added the tool well to make it roughly 31” deep. The legs are basically 2×4 full dimension laminated to be roughly 4×4. The stretchers are mostly 2×5 or so. The sides are made mortise and tenon – used the jig shown to route the basic mortises. The tenons were cut on the table saw and finished by hand. Hand planed a bunch of it. Used power thickness planer for some.

The tool well was made from scrap oak and some birch ply. Based on Paul Sellers, I went with the Czech vise from Lee Valley – so far so good. It’s a beast – the 10” model. I used birch ply for the jaws.

The bottom shelf is from a solid core door – it was free – cut it to fit. At some point I’ll likely build a cabinet for that space.

Finish was just Danish oil natural color. I applied 2 coats. First coat was a flood on the top – applied a lot. The rest was applied with a rag. It soaked in. Wiped the excess. Next day, repeated. Third day pretty much done – added a little to the legs but the top was still wet. It took a few more days to fully dry.

Final thoughts after using it for a while – I will probably add some dog holes. Not sure if I’ll add a tail vise but I might. So far it’s been great. The vise is fantastic – quick release. It’s have and solid. Really nice to work on. The tool well is really handy.

Thanks for looking.

6 comments so far

View HokieKen's profile


16057 posts in 2113 days

#1 posted 07-24-2015 12:33 PM

Fine looking bench Captn. Good, well thought out design and I really like the look of the oak.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View cfrance's profile


21 posts in 2045 days

#2 posted 07-24-2015 01:52 PM


-- Life is 20% of what you make it and 80% of how you take it.

View xraydav's profile


218 posts in 2945 days

#3 posted 07-24-2015 02:35 PM

Very nice bench Captain looks rock solid! Like your modular tendencies with the router set up and such!

-- David, Norwood Mass, [email protected]

View CaptnJoe's profile


16 posts in 2446 days

#4 posted 07-24-2015 02:50 PM

Thanks guys. For that router jig I used the free plans and design from Gord Graff. I like it a lot. Works great. Very flexible. Search for ‘loose tenon joinery jig’ for his article.

View RustyHacksaw's profile


145 posts in 2238 days

#5 posted 07-25-2015 02:09 AM

Awesome bench. It looks great. It should serve you very well. I just finished one, and I know how much work they can be. Good choice on the vise.

I have made the decision to buy the veritas inset vise for my tail. I think it’s the easiest to install, and should serve what I need.

I love your tool well dividers, and will definitely steal that idea.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3841 days

#6 posted 07-25-2015 03:39 PM

That bench will definitely get the job done and will be a great addition to the shop. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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