My Second Workbench

  • Advertise with us
Project by JoshLawson posted 03-06-2010 03:51 PM 4506 views 14 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my second workbench I built for my shop. I’ve found that making something and living with it for a year really helps you understand what you did wrong. My first workbench was the $50 quick bench, which works fine for a lot of things, but once I started using hand planes and chisels more the bench was not very effective. So I decided I should spoil myself and build a nice bench that will meet all my needs for the rest of my life.

This bench is made mostly all 8/4 hard maple with some 4/4 Hard Maple and 6/4 Walnut in the end vise. One of the shortcomings of being a relatively new wood worker is that I don’t have a Planer or Jointer. So I had all the stock pre-surfaced from my hardwood supplier. Each component in the base is made with square 3.5” x 3.5” laminated hard maple pieces. The trestle ends are all joined with 2” x 2” pegged mortise and tenon joinery. The trestle ends were joined using large bench bolts. The base is extremely rigid.

I made the 3” thick top using the base as my flat surface to work on. I glued up the entire top (minus the aprons) in one shot using slow set epoxy. The epoxy gave me a work time around 45 minutes so I didn’t have any panics during the glue up. I then leveled the 28” wide top using my trusty #6 Woodriver bench plane. The following day I took off because I was too sore to move.

The rest was pretty easy, making the aprons, drilling the bench dog holes, and mounting the vises.

The bench weighs around 450 to 500 lbs and is perfect for hand tool or power tool work.

-- Josh Lawson - Ankeny, Iowa

23 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 3897 days

#1 posted 03-06-2010 03:52 PM

saweeeeeeeeet bench!

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

View Gary's profile


9413 posts in 4042 days

#2 posted 03-06-2010 04:09 PM

Great job. Super bench!!

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Lupo's profile


206 posts in 3631 days

#3 posted 03-06-2010 04:13 PM

What a great bench. That has some serious weight to it for sure…..

I am planning mine. I just don’t have my own shop at the moment and if I build what I want I might be able to get it out!!!

View kimball's profile


323 posts in 3906 days

#4 posted 03-06-2010 04:15 PM

Nice one Josh. Wish I had the room for a dedicated work bench.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4282 days

#5 posted 03-06-2010 04:21 PM

Nice looking bench.

View WWilson's profile


106 posts in 3672 days

#6 posted 03-06-2010 04:52 PM

Two words: Tre Mendous! Aswome bench. Did you design it yourself? If yes had you given any consideration to a tool trough along the back? I am just not sure if that is a feature I would use in my bench when I finally get a chance to build it. Kudos to you for surfacing that thing by hand. You probally have a whole new appreciation for a sharp plane iron after that! Thanks for sharing.

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4186 days

#7 posted 03-06-2010 05:31 PM

That’s a winner cool bench.


View bobdurnell's profile


317 posts in 4506 days

#8 posted 03-06-2010 05:42 PM

Killer bench!

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View kernalkorn's profile


9 posts in 3641 days

#9 posted 03-06-2010 05:42 PM

That is a bench any master craftsman would be proud to own. What a awsome bench

-- If it dont fit, get a bigger hammer!!!!!

View SouthpawCA's profile


273 posts in 3842 days

#10 posted 03-06-2010 07:19 PM

As a future workbench builder your bench is awesome. However, wouldn’t the cost of having someone else surface the wood at least been a good down payment on a jointer and planer. How do you make the furniture shown on your website without those tools?

-- Don

View RKW's profile


328 posts in 4056 days

#11 posted 03-06-2010 07:42 PM

Josh, very nice. This is similar to what i have churning in my head right now. I have even been thinking about buying that very vice. If i remember right i think i saw that vice for around $250. Im guessing your happy with it. Once again, excellent job.

-- RKWoods

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4432 days

#12 posted 03-06-2010 07:53 PM

You’ll find that you just step into a new portal of woodworking now. It amazing what a stout and large bench will do for one skill level. Enjoy your new beastly workmate…BC

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3783 days

#13 posted 03-06-2010 08:22 PM

It happened again.

All I can come up with is …. Wow.

Wow. What an awesome bench!!

-- -- Neil

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 3624 days

#14 posted 03-06-2010 09:32 PM

i like it. the veritas twin screw is a treat.

-- Daniel -

View JoshLawson's profile


64 posts in 3613 days

#15 posted 03-07-2010 12:19 AM

A couple responses to some of the comments:

First, The hardwood supplier I use rough planes and straight line rips one edge for no additional cost – so I would have a hard time justifying a planer and jointer for that reason. I also work in the basement of my house and some of those large stationary tools would be nice to have, but a killer to get down the basement.

It certainly takes longer and a lot more patience to work with hand tools in place of some power tools, but I find it so much more relaxing to sit in a quiet shop without a respirator on (I have no dust collection… so safety first!)

As to the design, I definitely took some cues from “Matt’s Monster Workbench” from Fine Woodworking, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” by Chris Schwarz, and “Shannon’s Workbench” on the Wood Whisperer. You’ll be able to see some pieces or thoughts from each source in my bench. I really took my time deciding what’s most important to me in a good workbench, threw out the budget, and went to town.

Third, I looked at adding a tool tray, but I would have to give up valuable workspace. Also, I always leave my tools around anyway, so I decided not to encourage that behavior any more. I plan to add a cabinet that will sit between the lower stretchers with drawers for all my favorite tools eventually.

-- Josh Lawson - Ankeny, Iowa

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics