Modified rock solid plywood workbench

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Project by jdawgg posted 03-04-2021 06:00 PM 999 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started this workbench just before Christmas 2020 and “completed” it by the end of February 2021. I have a wife and two small kids so it was built “at the speed of dad”. I’m sure many of you are or have been in this boat.

Previously I had been cobbling projects together on whatever surfaces were available. It wasn’t very ergonomic or fun to work on. It’s safe to say that I’m quite excited to put this bench to use.

The design is borrowed from the “Rock-Solid Plywood Bench” article on Fine Woodworking. I modified the design a bit because I wanted a bigger bench and I wanted the face of the legs to be flush with the edge of the top so I could clamp to them. Also my original intent was to laminate one more layer of plywood to the top apron so it would be flush with bench edge but ran short on wood. I can always add those on later if I decide I still need them. The top is two layers of 3/4” plywood glued together and a top layer of 3/4” MDF. I also modified the apron and stretchers to be 65” long because I wanted a longer bench. The top layer of MDF is 23.5” deep and 7.5’ long. Edges are trimmed out in 3/4” maple boards, yielding a total bench depth of 25”.

The vise is a “Heavy Duty Quick Release Front Vise” from Rockler. The front chop is two 3/4” thick maple boards glued together.

Finish applied is two coats of Minwax wipe-on poly.

I still need to drill some dog holes but I’m holding off until I decide how I want them laid out.

12 comments so far

View Peteybadboy's profile


3264 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 03-04-2021 06:25 PM

Looks like a sturdy bench that will serve you well. Nice job

-- Petey

View Ocelot's profile


2972 posts in 3688 days

#2 posted 03-04-2021 06:53 PM

A good practical design, nicely done.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View therealSteveN's profile


7463 posts in 1625 days

#3 posted 03-04-2021 06:53 PM

Enjoy it. A bench of some sort is a must.

-- Think safe, be safe

View controlfreak's profile


1964 posts in 652 days

#4 posted 03-04-2021 07:14 PM

Lots of space to work there, nice job on that. I would have that bottom to where I was losing things there in about a week.

View tt1106's profile


241 posts in 4119 days

#5 posted 03-04-2021 07:38 PM

Nice job. My first bench was 4 layers of MDF. Very sturdy. It didn’t look nearly as nice as yours. Well done.

-- -Todd

View MDiDomenico's profile


10 posts in 96 days

#6 posted 03-04-2021 08:05 PM

Love it. Thanks for posting. I’m hoping to upgrade my bench soon, and this design looks great!

-- Mark, Chicago Suburbs

View ShaneMM's profile


6 posts in 38 days

#7 posted 03-05-2021 12:59 AM

This was just the inspiration I needed to redo my bench. Great work!

View AJ1104's profile


1282 posts in 2710 days

#8 posted 03-05-2021 01:08 AM

Nice bench! I like the design

-- AJ

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


8740 posts in 3459 days

#9 posted 03-05-2021 02:35 AM

Good solid bench, what’s not to like? Great work!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View SuperCubber's profile


1179 posts in 3335 days

#10 posted 03-05-2021 03:45 AM

Congrats on getting the bench done! Looks great and should serve you well for a very long time.

I have done many (all?) projects “at the speed of dad.”

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View gsimon's profile


1327 posts in 3164 days

#11 posted 03-06-2021 04:29 PM

i hear the speed of dad! shows youre probably a decent father :) great bench

-- Greg Simon

View jdawgg's profile


6 posts in 423 days

#12 posted 03-09-2021 01:28 PM

Thank you to everyone for the remarks. Feedback is always appreciated.

I know that before I embarked on building this I looked at MANY a workbench build project on this site for inspiration. Hopefully this post helps someone in the same fashion.

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