Solid Beech Workbench.

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Project by ByronBlack posted 10-02-2007 08:15 PM 6019 views 3 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hola Lumberjocks!

I’m a newbie around here, I’m a brit (don’t hold that against me) and live in england but have been reading and viewings this site for a while, and thought I’d get involved and share some of my limited projects.

Here I present my workbench. This project came about after I built a cheapy one out of pine and it barely lasted a year and started to rack all over the floor, so it was out with the old and in with the new. This time I intended to build it properly!

I used 3” thick beech for the legs, and 7” x 2” for the lower rails. The top once planed flat came in at just over 2.5” and was created by laminted the beech boards edge to edge (using a couple of biscuits to aid in alignment).

I decided to make my own bench as I couldn’t justify the cost of buying one. Besides I could never find a bench that suited my needs.

Unlike most benches, this one is a little smaller, being only 50” long, and 23” deep. It stands 36” tall (Although i’m under 6ft I still prefer a high workbench – it saves my back!). I only have a single vice as I’ve never felt the need for a shoulder vice, and it only has a couple rows of bench dogs. I wanted this bench to be simple, strong and very long lasting!

Despite my aims to use pegged mortice and tenons for this job, I decided to bolt it together, for two reasons mainly; ease of ‘knocking’ it down if and when I move, and secondly; it was better for me this way as I didn’t have the tooling/expertise to cut the joints accurately enough.

Here’s a link to the complete flickr set of the build:

Thanks for reading!

21 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4825 days

#1 posted 10-02-2007 08:33 PM

You did a great job! What’s wrong with Brit’s?

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4477 days

#2 posted 10-02-2007 09:18 PM

Looks like a heavy duty bench. I sometimes wish I could get a hold of some beech. Not sure why I can’t since I have access to everything else. Well, good job even for Brit. LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View TomFran's profile


2961 posts in 4509 days

#3 posted 10-02-2007 09:20 PM

Nice bench! You can’t beat beech for benches – that is some dense stuff. I like your idea of the bolts too. It makes sense to me. I had a German made bench (Ulmia) that was made out of beech and bolted just like yours.

Super job on the bench.

Welcome to the site!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4505 days

#4 posted 10-02-2007 09:32 PM

It’s the bench that really completes the shop and you were right to build your own. The pro ones really can set you back financially. I built mine from plans as well, but added a twist to serve my needs better. My plan suggested a bottom shelf filled with sand for weight and increased stability, but I built a tool storage area under it which added about 200 more pounds! Plus putting it on casters makes it mobile!

Lumberjacks…Brits are always welcome!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4503 days

#5 posted 10-03-2007 12:17 AM

I love European Beech. Nice hard and stable. I never pass up on the chance of buying some when it comes around.

That’s a nice heavy duty bench that should last you a lifetime and then some.

Say hello to your fellow Chippies over there for me.


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 4410 days

#6 posted 10-03-2007 12:49 AM

You had better build another one Byron, cuz that one is too pretty to use! What finish did you use?

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View RickL's profile


253 posts in 4455 days

#7 posted 10-03-2007 12:54 AM

Great job on the bench Byron and welcome to the site. This is without a doubt the most friendly and helpful wood site I have found, no matter what part of the globe you live in.

-- Rick, Union,KY

View Dan Pleska's profile

Dan Pleska

142 posts in 4475 days

#8 posted 10-03-2007 01:59 AM

Great bench! I’ve been looking around for some beech myself to build a bench. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Dan, West Virginia,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4733 days

#9 posted 10-03-2007 02:07 AM

That looks way too pretty to actually work on, Byron. Great job!

Don’t worry about being a brit…..we’ve forgaotten all about that nasty tea tax. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4608 days

#10 posted 10-03-2007 02:23 AM

Having just built a bench myself, I can relate to your position. There is definitely something very rewarding about the process and then the use of “the bench that I built”. I also respect the decision to use bolts. I’m anticipating a move and it does allow for the eventual adjustments necessary after a colder, dryer season. Thanks for diving in with your post!

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View 's profile

593 posts in 4486 days

#11 posted 10-03-2007 03:10 AM

Byron said: “I’m a brit (don’t hold that against me) and live in england”

Hey, it’s not your fault after all! < BIG GRIN > :oD

Don’t worry Byron, we are people from/and living all over the world here and I’m afraid to communicate you that you are a former Brit… from now on you are not so anymore but a Lumberjock! (or I should say a LumberJack?) ;o)

Anyway, it’s a very nice looking workbench that of yours! In any case, much better than my current (nonexistent) one…

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4691 days

#12 posted 10-03-2007 04:20 AM

Welcome to LJ’s, Bryon. This is a beautiful bench.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4580 days

#13 posted 10-03-2007 07:43 AM

Welcome Byron, very attractive and sturdy looking bench.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4675 days

#14 posted 10-03-2007 01:18 PM

uh oh, Jojo… Tom was working on getting that song out of his head.. and now he has to start over—again !!!!

I’m a LumberJock and I’m OK. :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View ByronBlack's profile


22 posts in 4404 days

#15 posted 10-03-2007 02:03 PM

HI all, Thanks for the complimentry comments and the warm welcome, it’s all very nice of you! I can’t comment to everyone individually, but to answer a few of the questions:

Finish – 4 coats of danish oil, I had considered adding some wax to the top, but it seems fine to work on at the moment.

With regards to working on it, I always knew during the build that this sucker was for working so i’m not worried about damaging the top, after a couple of weeks you should see it now – dings, scratches etc. But, when I was planing the top, I flattened both sides, so when one side gets too damaged, I can turn it over and start on that one, when both are damaged, i’ll simply plane it again and start over, that should last at least 20+ years :)

Being in England means that Beech is very easy to get hold of and is quite affordable so is a good choice for these kinds of projects. However the kiln dried stuff is really very hard and difficult to work without power tools, but it’s worth it in the end. The only other issue with it is that it tends to move a fair bit during milling. I milled the main pieces three times allowing time between each milling for the timber to stabilise, however, once it’s laminated it’s very strong and stable.

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