Beginner's First Workbench

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Project by MDots posted 07-04-2017 08:28 PM 5385 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first real workbench. Working in theatrical scene shops for the last several years, I have always used the worktables they provide. However, the 5’x10’ rolling flat tables are not very well suited to the kind of woodworking I prefer, and I always found myself trying to come up with creative solutions to hold my work while planing or sawing.

This bench is made with 99% recycled materials, pulled out of the skip behind our shop. The small size makes it easier to move from shop to shop, since I do have to move around frequently, and it has to fit in my tiny car. Also, I was limited by how much material I could salvage. I’m poor, what can I say?

Most of the top is made from Southern yellow pine, with some scrap Alder boards from another of my projects thrown in for color (and because I misjudged how much SYP I would need, and they emptied the dumpster before I was able to get more)

The legs are mortise and tenon (slightly sloppily, I might add), and the stretcher unit straddles the leg units, and is held in place by oak wedges.

The finish is Boiled Lintseed Oil, and the vise is a cheapo Yost vise I got from Amazon for something like $60.

I’d like to write up a blog with more information about my design process, and the actual construction.

12 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


8908 posts in 3349 days

#1 posted 07-04-2017 10:09 PM

Well constructed and functional, good job!

View doubleDD's profile


9464 posts in 2815 days

#2 posted 07-04-2017 10:52 PM

Great looking bench.It should serve you well. Nice build.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7513 posts in 4125 days

#3 posted 07-04-2017 11:50 PM

Noting like having a good bench to do your work on. Nice work and I know your going to love using it.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View htl's profile


5125 posts in 1931 days

#4 posted 07-05-2017 02:42 AM

Heavy Duty Mini bench, great work and helps you get where it need to be.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View PUREMADNESS's profile


14 posts in 1656 days

#5 posted 07-05-2017 08:51 AM

Great looking bench! it looks plenty sturdy to work on :)

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3638 days

#6 posted 07-05-2017 01:28 PM

This is a nice starter bench. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 3087 days

#7 posted 07-05-2017 06:05 PM

A Cheppo vise from Amazon? What makes it a cheepo other than the fair price? looks to me like it will work out just fine on your bench … I’m on my fourth bench now and still thinking of improvements … Keep up the great work.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View MDots's profile


7 posts in 1116 days

#8 posted 07-06-2017 12:20 AM

it was mostly the fact that it was made in China about $30 cheaper than equivalent sized vises from Lee Valley or Woodcraft. That said, it feels just as sturdy as all the ones I tested in a store, and seems to be working just fine. I need to do a little to fix up the chop, but otherwise its fine

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7513 posts in 4125 days

#9 posted 07-06-2017 01:35 AM

I just put a Shop Fox vice on my bench and it looks like the same vise as your Yost vise. I paid $76 on Amazon.
It’s not the best vise but it a good vise.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4869 days

#10 posted 07-06-2017 02:11 AM

Very nice.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Grumpy's profile


26427 posts in 4623 days

#11 posted 07-06-2017 03:27 AM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View juanabee's profile


113 posts in 3780 days

#12 posted 07-08-2017 05:38 AM

I understand why some guys go to so much work to create benches that look like fine furniture. It just feels good to look at it when you’re done, and each time you use it. I think you hit a sweet spot between practical usefulness and good looks.

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

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