Kids' Workbench

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Project by Michael posted 02-08-2017 05:18 AM 2172 views 8 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this for my kids and to have a portable bench when I demonstrate hand tools at the elementary school. It’s based on Roy Underhill’s petite bench, JayT’s traveling bench and P. Sellers’ workbench. Top is laminated Doug fir 2×4’s, finished with BLO (which my wife complains makes me smell like fish…), and I’m using 3/4” dowels as planing stops. It has doe’s feet, a chop, and a bench hook hanging from dowels in back. The bottom stretchers are drawbored tennons glued in place.
They keep the bench ridgid for planing.

I think you can see the wedge in this photo:

Question #1: any ideas on how to get rid of the lags and carriage bolts? I want to be able to disassemble it for transport, but not have any metal on it.
Question #2: any reason I can’t use the doe’s feet as winding sticks?

-- "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." John Muir

6 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13445 posts in 3191 days

#1 posted 02-08-2017 07:48 AM

Nice petite bench, I like it.

-- Rick M,

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 2744 days

#2 posted 02-08-2017 07:35 PM

good looking bench!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3678 days

#3 posted 02-08-2017 10:05 PM

Michael, this is a great workbench for a kid. I have never seen anyone else who has gone to this much effort to build a workbench for their kids. They will love it and learn a lot. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 3022 days

#4 posted 02-10-2017 04:50 PM

Nice work. Not sure what I contributed, but you did a great job of combining ideas to create something uniquely yours and that works for your needs.

Not sure about #1, but no reason you can’t use the doe’s feet as winding sticks if the sides are perfectly parallel. Probably be useful to have different colors, though. Either the whole stick or at least a strip on one edge.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5689 posts in 1393 days

#5 posted 03-19-2017 01:04 PM

To replace the lags and carriage bolts, is there any reason you couldn’t use a slightly tapered dowel? Whack it in until snug from one side, having it protrude a little from the other when it’s “home” and then you can whack it from the other side to push it out for transport? You might have to taper the holes it goes into slightly (maybe 1/8” or 1/4” taper across the width of the bench?) but if you make multiple tapered dowels, you can slit one of them and put in a piece of saw-blade to make a tapered reamer that will match your tapered dowels.

I figure I would make twice as many tapered dowels, all the same, as I needed initially, plus one more spare to make the matching reamer. They’ll probably wear a bit over time, as will the holes, but unless you’re knocking the bench down every day, they ought to last a while. And because they’re tapered, as they loosen up, you can just drive them in a little further.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Michael's profile


24 posts in 1317 days

#6 posted 03-22-2017 09:34 PM

Thanks Dave,

I like that idea!

-- "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." John Muir

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