Rev Jim's New Workbench Bench

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Project by Rev. Jim Paulson posted 12-09-2009 11:50 PM 5240 views 11 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A snowy day in Upstate New York seemed the perfect time to show you some of my projects at LJ. I built this several months ago so I could have a solid bench for steam bending Windsor chair parts. I used 3 layers of 3/4 inch plywood and then added two layers of 1/8” hardboard. All the layers were glued together using a liquid nails product and also yellow glue. Together I achieved a total thickness of 2 1/2 inches. The top is sufficiently solid and heavy. The weight and stability of the top and the 4×4’s for legs and stretchers makes for a sturdy bench. I used mortise and tenon joints to attach the legs and stretchers, and then ran bolts through the joints and embedded nuts in the stretchers. It makes a tight undercarriage. For a vise I went with a Record style rapid release model. To finish the bench I added 3/4” ash strips to the sides of the top to protect the edges of the plywood and then added ash wood faces to the inside of the vise.

I got this idea for a bench from seeing benches at the Windsor Institute and then I added my own spin on it. I have made several a few steam bending forms now and they store nicely on a shelf I made underneath.



14 comments so far

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4294 days

#1 posted 12-10-2009 12:07 AM

Nice bench

Thanks for sharing


View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4566 days

#2 posted 12-10-2009 12:23 AM

Great looking workbench and steambender as well. Great job on both.

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

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1624 posts in 4572 days

#3 posted 12-10-2009 12:28 AM

Nice Bench Jim, looks like it will last you a long time. I’ll bet you enjoy having a solid bench to work on with storage too.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4534 days

#4 posted 12-10-2009 12:46 AM

A really strong and nice looking work bench! Great job!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4585 days

#5 posted 12-10-2009 12:58 AM

Looks like a very practical bench good job Rev.


View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4296 days

#6 posted 12-10-2009 01:27 AM

not bad at all, i like it. very easy to get wood to build it makes it even better.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View botietruck's profile


25 posts in 4137 days

#7 posted 12-10-2009 02:11 AM

Looks great! I hope my bench turns out like that.

-- Bob from Virginia

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

120 posts in 4284 days

#8 posted 12-10-2009 02:20 AM

Thanks for the supportive words. The beauty of this kind of bench is that it is pretty simple to make the top. The mortise and tenon joints in the legs and stretchers aren’t too bad to make either. For the mortises I used brad point bits in a drill press and then cleaned them out with a chisel. What I found challenging was drilling with an auger bit down the center of the tenon and trying to get the hole in the middle of the stretcher where I needed to embed a nut. I kept having the bore follow some grain and the holes were offset at the place where the nut was positoned in the stretcher. My lesson learned here was I would use shorter bolts next time so it would be easier to keep the hole straighter.


View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4680 days

#9 posted 12-10-2009 05:29 AM

Nice workbench!

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4598 days

#10 posted 12-10-2009 05:46 AM

Great workbench.
Love to see the green from the windows too. Cool!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Ken90712's profile


17972 posts in 4196 days

#11 posted 12-10-2009 12:56 PM

Very nice Sir, this is something I would like to learn in the future. (bending)

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

120 posts in 4284 days

#12 posted 12-10-2009 10:55 PM

Thanks for the kind words folks.

Ken, I still have more to learn about bending. At least now I break fewer pieces.



View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4278 days

#13 posted 12-10-2009 11:31 PM

Very nice bench!

I made a similar one…and am happy I put the extra weight on it….really makes a difference when I do some hand planing…the bench does not move like my less sturdy predesessor.

I would love to see how you make those chairs… is one of those items I would love to learn how to do..

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View danoq's profile


23 posts in 3850 days

#14 posted 07-11-2012 06:03 AM

I love your projects…............I cannot visit your page without thinking of Reverend Jim from TAXI! Classic!

Ps 150:6

-- Q

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