Hem-Fir Workbench--My Second Woodworking Project

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Project by Vindex posted 03-05-2016 04:52 AM 4273 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my workbench. I completed it in August of 2015. It’s nothing too fancy. I made it out of Hem-Fir because I could not find suitable SYP 2×4s and I didn’t have a table saw to cut down wider stock. That, and it’s kind of fun to say that I have a hemlock workbench. Because I was new to woodworking and did not want to risk screwing up the joints, I used metal L-clips to reinforce out-of sight joints and to join the front of the base to the top. I also used recessed carriage bolts through a lap joint to attach the front stretchers to the legs (you can see that I messed up the bolt pattern on one side). It’s already earned some stains and dings in the line of duty. Not sure yet if I want to put a finish on it.

13 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


7633 posts in 3044 days

#1 posted 03-05-2016 05:03 AM

That’s a fine looking bench. I’m looking forward to building mine this skummer.

View waho6o9's profile


8909 posts in 3356 days

#2 posted 03-05-2016 01:28 PM

That’s a stout bench Vindex, good job!

View theoldfart's profile


11654 posts in 3230 days

#3 posted 03-05-2016 02:01 PM

Great bench, looks quite stout. It should serve you well.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View sawbach's profile


8 posts in 1594 days

#4 posted 03-05-2016 05:14 PM

Awesome bench! I did the vertical dog holes on my bench as well and they have proved to be very useful.

-- Shane - Spring, Texas

View pottz's profile


9928 posts in 1763 days

#5 posted 03-05-2016 09:06 PM

good job on that bench that will hopefully be the platform on which many more projects will come,looking forward to seeing more of your work,youve come to the best place possible for help or inspiration,welcome to lumber jocks.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3783 days

#6 posted 03-06-2016 05:40 AM

What a great skill builder, now you have to start using it to build more projects

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Vindex's profile


109 posts in 1601 days

#7 posted 03-06-2016 05:57 AM

Thanks for the compliments everybody!

Norman, I have already begun working on a new kitchen table, and the workbench has been an indispensable tool so far. I will be sure to post the table once I have it together.

View OnPointWW's profile


3 posts in 1599 days

#8 posted 03-06-2016 12:58 PM

I guess you can never have to many dog holes! Looks pretty solid. I may have to use Fir when I do a solid build as SYP is only available PT in my area. Now get to work and mark that bench up.

View Vindex's profile


109 posts in 1601 days

#9 posted 03-07-2016 01:24 AM

Yeah, I realize now that I went overboard with the dog holes. Lol

View Bill_Steele's profile


708 posts in 2510 days

#10 posted 03-09-2016 06:46 PM

That’s a really nice looking workbench. It looks well thought out and sturdy. I’m sure this workbench will serve you well for years to come.

Great job!

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2530 days

#11 posted 09-13-2016 11:22 PM

Great Beast of a Bench. how is it holding up? Does it move at all being hemlock fir?

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2265 days

#12 posted 09-13-2016 11:56 PM

Putting a finish on doesn’t stop movement but it’ll slow it down a bit.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Vindex's profile


109 posts in 1601 days

#13 posted 09-14-2016 08:12 PM

Thanks, Palaswood! The bench has held up wonderfully so far. It has nicks and dings from normal wear and tear, but it is every bit as good as the day I completed it.

I have not had any issues with wood movement. That is probably because the boards are face glued, so most of the movement within the top is vertical, not horizontal. I also alternated (usually) the grain direction so that the boards would cancel out the movement of their neighbors.

Finally, although most of the screws attaching the base to the top have elongated screw holes to allow for seasonal wood movement, I used two L-clips at the very front to anchor the front of the top so that it is always flush with the front of the base.

Fridge, I decided not to put a finish on the bench. In my opinion, it’s probably too much effort to finish something that was specifically built to take abuse.

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