children's workbench / sawbench

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Project by AaronK posted 12-30-2016 04:23 PM 1778 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a split-top sawbench made from dimensional lumber (looks like spruce), which I’ve modified for use a children’s workbench – I made it as a holiday present for my daughter. The modifications consist of:

- adding a removable filler strip to close the split top
- adding a 6” irwin vise to the front

It’s about 36” long x 19” high x 12” across – perfect for both applications. When she has grown out of it, she (or I ;-)) can use it as a sawbench.

I did the majority of the work by hand, including milling and dimensioning – only used a table saw for the long rip cuts. This is the first time I used dovetails in a project, and while there are gaps here and there they came out pretty well and weren’t too hard. It was also my first time doing drawbored tenons – WOW those were totally awesome and satisfying to see come together. they were neither glued nor clamped, which feels great considering how rigid the joint is… I left the pegs proud on the inside as a reminder of how they were made.

Overall, most of the rough work by hand and all of the joinery by hand was quite time consuming, but felt most like what I wanted to be doing when I first started woodworking – which is actually working wood instead of messing around with machine setup. best of all, i didn’t use an electric router or sander, man i hate those things!

I credit a lot of the accuracy and cleanliness of the joints to using knives instead of pencils – I used scribed lines as the beginning of joinery either with a marking knife or cutting gauge… this was a first for me, although in retrospect it seems so obvious.

7 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1653 days

#1 posted 12-30-2016 05:11 PM

Good job. Does your daughter really have the bug or was this a gentle nudge. At any rate I’m sure she was elated … and yes, when she outgrows the bench, one of you will have a great little saw bench. I have this exact design and love it! Keep it up! Be sure to post any and all of her projects.

Great lookin’ dovetails … congrats!

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4470 days

#2 posted 12-30-2016 05:13 PM

she’s 2, so she likes doing whatever I’m doing :). She spent a little bit of time in the summer sitting at my workbench playing with some things, and I’m hoping to get started on some basic projects soon.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1653 days

#3 posted 12-30-2016 05:18 PM

WOW … nothing like starting early! Good luck and watch out for little fingers …

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4470 days

#4 posted 12-30-2016 05:27 PM

in the meantime all her tools are low density blunt objects :) in any event, i am relying on this being more of a gift that she grows to appreciate compared to the other ones she loves instantly.

View kocgolf's profile


408 posts in 3184 days

#5 posted 12-30-2016 07:09 PM

Nicer than my bench…. :)

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4002 days

#6 posted 12-31-2016 02:07 AM

I know the feeling.
My grandaughter was same way.
Proud of ya to !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View JimWestbrook's profile


2 posts in 1517 days

#7 posted 12-31-2016 11:24 AM

Workbench looks very nice! Good job!

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