Workbench made from beech stairs

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Project by Czokalapik posted 11-13-2017 11:25 AM 2121 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First of all, sorry for my english, it’s not my first language and my grammar is not perfect.

About the project: this is my first REAL woodworking project, apart of few uses of hand drill, everything was made with few basic hand tools:
  • #5 stanley plane, I had #4 and #4 1/2 then, but I haven’t used them much (if at all)
  • panel saw (while I was making workbench I bought and restored old tenon and dovetail saws, but I prefer using panel saw)
  • 30mm and 20mm chisels
  • marking knife
  • wooden rabbet plane with 12mm blade
  • with all the above I’ve also made myself mallet, adjustable router plane, try square, dovetail guide, marking gauges

Back to workbench. Friend of mine was changing his stairs, knowing I want to learn woodworking, he gave me his old beech stairs (with half-floor). All steps and half-floor were 45mm thick, without thinking much, I’ve decided to make a workbench since I didn’t have any good and flat surface to work on. Whole project took me about a year, 3-4 months of actual work (I only have few hours after my day job to make myself useful in my house and if time will let me, do some woodworking after that).

Most of the joints are far from perfect, because like I said, it was my first real woodworking project. Dovetails in this bench were actually my first dovetails! So I’m really proud how they turned out.

Sides of the top are meranti, just for visual effect, rest is beech.

Because vises are really expensive I found used front vise (Lion, made in India) and restored it, and I had to improvise with tail vise, so I bought used trapezoidal screw, few bearings , and I made a tail vise of my own. Nothing special, a screw set in two bearings.. Handwheel on it was made by cutting a circle with my coping saw and refining it with sand paper using hand drill as a “lathe”.

Whole bench is about 90cm high, 75cm deep and 175cm long. The drawer takes about 20cm out of the bench depth and it’s deep and wide enough to fully “hide” #4 1/2, #5 1/2 or #6+ plane laid on its side if I will ever need more flat working space.

I hope you like it and my description is not too “chaotic”, I have tendency to describe what I’m doing a little unclearly :)

5 comments so far

View Farhadmalek's profile


5 posts in 1440 days

#1 posted 11-13-2017 11:59 AM

Looks good .

View DDWW's profile


127 posts in 1871 days

#2 posted 11-14-2017 12:30 AM

Thats a great bench and a clear description. I was wondering about the tail vise.

View Czokalapik's profile


12 posts in 2260 days

#3 posted 11-14-2017 06:19 AM

Here are some under the hood pictures of the tail vise. Screw came with matching nut. I’ve reshaped round nut to normal nut shape (6 walls) and chiseled matching hole into the moving block, glued everything up, then I made a box holding bearing supporting bavk of the screw.

Moving block helped me to mount everything on same level, front and back.

View morath's profile


34 posts in 3434 days

#4 posted 11-20-2017 02:27 AM

I like this very much. Sometimes you just have to run with what you’ve got.

-- My mom says I'm handsome.

View builtinbkyn's profile


3031 posts in 2186 days

#5 posted 11-20-2017 04:37 AM

Beautiful work on the bench. Looks pretty stout and heavy. Nice work on the vises too. Looks like it will serve you well for many years.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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