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Project by Tomoose posted 08-29-2010 10:47 PM 6547 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally got to make myself a decent bench. The plans came from The base is entirely made up of laminated 3/4 birch ply – 5 plies for the legs and 3 for the stretchers. The bench is surprisingly sturdy for being made from relatively cheap materials – I think the whole project cost around $120. Mortise and tennon joinery with a few screws for insurance. The top is 3/4 MDF laminated over 3/4 birch ply with maple edging. Edging is glued/screwed and then plugged with some dowels. This is way better than the flimsy “gorilla” bench I had before.

I included adjustable feet so I could match the height to my TS on my non-level garage floor – so it can serve as infeed support also. The legs are finshed with some really bad “English Oak” water-based stain I wanted to get rid of and a coat of poly. The top and edges got a few coats of Danish oil and a coat of wax to top it off.

The vise (which was never mounted until now) I got last year for $20 on Craigslist. It is a Craftsman from probably before I was born (NO. 391-5195 if anyone has Craftsman knowledge). I think it is a 7” and has a quick release action so you can slide it in/out easily before cranking it down. I have never used a real woodworking vise and this may spoil me. I just lined it with some birch ply for now until I get my hands on some other hardwood. I need to get some dogs at some point and drill some holes in the benchtop for those. Anyone with insight as to spacing and number of dog holes, I would appreciate any help.

As always, criticism (at leat partially constructive) is appreciated!


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

7 comments so far

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3306 days

#1 posted 08-30-2010 01:17 AM

Nice table. Rocks with your other table and together the router table attached. You almost have a ping pong stadium there!!
Lucky you that can find stuff aged before you were born. I need to look into XVI century

-- Back home. Fernando

View b2rtch's profile


4880 posts in 3411 days

#2 posted 08-30-2010 02:16 AM

looks very good, congratutaltions

-- Bert

View rimfire7891's profile


123 posts in 3265 days

#3 posted 08-30-2010 02:26 AM

Hi Tom,

Must be a lefty.

Very handy for any project.

Thanks for posting.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6512 posts in 3557 days

#4 posted 08-30-2010 02:39 AM

Greetings Tom, Nice looking should serve you well for many years…..... as to the dogholes…... I have 2 vices on my bench(mounted at each end of the bench like yours), and in front of each vice I put 2 rows of dogs spaced about every 6” apart….That way if you have a wide board, with 2 dogs, you have twice the holding power. I put a row of dogs down the length of the bench at the front (where you stand), there again about every 6”. I made a jig for that, and it really helps keep the holes lined up. Made it out of MDF. But you can space them any distance you like, but 6” being the normal spacing, that’s what I did. I used a 3/4” spade bit, or paddle bit, and drilled all the way through. I made my own dogs out of 3/4” dowels, and about an
inch from the top of the dowel, I angled the cut to give it that “dog look”. Just look at a metal dog, and that’s how I did it…........Hope this helps a little…......

-- " At my age, happy hour is a 2 hour nap".....!!

View Lewis Baumstark, Jr.'s profile

Lewis Baumstark, Jr.

49 posts in 3287 days

#5 posted 08-31-2010 02:45 AM

That looks like my dad’s Craftsman vise. His is probably about 30 years old; I remember him getting it but I was a wee tyke. Last I saw it was still going strong.

-- Every time I walk in my shop I thank my dad, my geometry teacher, and my drafting that order.

View jevarn71's profile


83 posts in 3522 days

#6 posted 08-17-2011 05:14 PM

I found a new-in-the-box 5195 Craftsmans vise on craigslist here locally, thought I’d checkout LJ to see if anybody had one. How has yours worked out for you? Any issues/problems? I appreciate any advice.


-- Jason, JEV Woodworking

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 3736 days

#7 posted 09-06-2011 10:11 PM

Jason – I just saw your post here. The vise works fine – I am sure it is older than I am, but really not much could go wrong with it. Opens, closes, holds stuff tight.


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

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