Hierloom Spalted Maple Workbench

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Project by Christian Holihan posted 04-29-2020 04:34 PM 1198 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After many years of waiting and multiple steps and seasons, I have my own bench done. Very excited to put it to use making beautiful things with a beautiful thing.

This maple was harvested from my own neighborhood. The owner had already taken the top off and all that remained was the trunk. I asked if I could have it and he agreed. I knew this would be enough material for a fabulous maple workbench. A local sawer slabbed it up for me and the waiting began.

Five years later, I finally began to mill it up and i could not believe it, the maple had spalted. I was torn between using it for other projects or using it for my bench as I had always intended. I was encouraged to go for the bench ans I am glad I did.

All the joinery is through tenons pegged with walnut. Everything in the base structure is 3” x 3”.

The top is 4, 3” slabs glued together. I finished out the aprons and vice with walnut to compliment the pegs. I finished it with a coat of tung oil. I am very proud of this bench and it will certainly outlive me. Thanks for looking!

-- Nobody deserves particle board |

12 comments so far

View Andre's profile (online now)


4266 posts in 2810 days

#1 posted 04-29-2020 05:43 PM

Pretty darn fancy for a work bench! I had originally designed my bench with that foot design but was concerned they would become a tripping point.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View pottz's profile


14675 posts in 1989 days

#2 posted 04-29-2020 05:45 PM

wow i dont think ive seen a workbench made from spalted wood like that before.quite beautiful.i dont think i would have used that gorgeous wood to make a bench though,that is some of the best spalt ive seen.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View therealSteveN's profile


7214 posts in 1579 days

#3 posted 04-29-2020 07:16 PM

WOW I like that bench.

Obviously the Spalted Maple is quite something to look at, and I’m with pottz, I had never seen a spalted bench, at least not all the way spalted. But I like it more for it’s size, just enough bench to get it done. I’ve seen too many looked like you could land tanker planes on.

Nice bench.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Andrek's profile


586 posts in 2914 days

#4 posted 04-29-2020 11:23 PM

Very nice work, that will last forever and get more attractive with time,

-- andrek

View MrWolfe's profile


1449 posts in 1128 days

#5 posted 04-30-2020 01:09 AM

Great bench and you’re right…. thats gonna be a hand-me-down.
Congrats on a building a beautiful tool.

View GrumpyGolfGuy's profile


107 posts in 300 days

#6 posted 04-30-2020 02:11 AM

Words escape me, what a totally awesome piece….congrats!!!


View LeftyBayside's profile


23 posts in 1998 days

#7 posted 04-30-2020 02:18 AM

Dude, you kicked some serious ass with that. You have every reason to feel very proud.

-- Lefty

View PaxJen's profile


175 posts in 1661 days

#8 posted 04-30-2020 02:18 PM

Beautiful. Nicely done.

-- Pax - Maryland

View ASTEC's profile


9 posts in 363 days

#9 posted 04-30-2020 03:16 PM

Very nice workbench. I would need to put that in my living room. I don’t think “Lucky” (dear wifey) would approve.

View Brandon's profile


4381 posts in 3956 days

#10 posted 04-30-2020 09:17 PM

This is quite a unique piece and undoubtedly one of the coolest looking benches I’ve seen. I am curious, though, about the spalted maple itself. Often spalting compromises the wood’s integrity, making it weaker. Have you notice anything in this regard?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Christian Holihan's profile

Christian Holihan

94 posts in 2802 days

#11 posted 04-30-2020 09:35 PM

This is quite a unique piece and undoubtedly one of the coolest looking benches I ve seen. I am curious, though, about the spalted maple itself. Often spalting compromises the wood s integrity, making it weaker. Have you notice anything in this regard?

- Brandon

Actually yes. It looks good but it is much softer and is a bit more brittle than it would have been had the spalting not have happened. I had serious questions about the durability of the top. My mentor encouraged me…

“Wood is for using. If is gets beat up over time, take it off, make a cool table top with lots of character and make another bench top. Don’t stress about it.”

I had been planning to use this lumber for a bench for 5 years so I went for it. I am glad I did because the beauty of the tool inspires the creation of other beautiful things. The base will always be solid. If I need to replace the top eventually, then another another saying comes to mind…”Wood comes to those who use it.”

Build on.

-- Nobody deserves particle board |

View shampeon's profile


2167 posts in 3188 days

#12 posted 04-30-2020 11:13 PM

There’s a school of thought that says “make the workbench top out of soft wood and you’ll dent and bruise your work pieces less.” There’s probably merit in it.

Lovely looking bench.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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