Scandinavian style workbench with tail and shoulder vises

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Project by Dominic posted 01-22-2011 07:23 AM 23101 views 8 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Scandinavian-style workbench with shoulder vise and tail vise. Hard maple and ash top with cherry and walnut tail vise accents, mahogany vise handles and leather-lined vise jaws. Base is cheapo borg lumber, stained dark. Boiled linseed oil and wax finish. Heavy and rock solid. Shoulder and tail vise screws from Lee Valley, used the Franz Klaus plan from FWW. The tail vise was the most difficult part of the build, taking more time to make than the entire base. I found I really liked working with ash (it’s used for the aprons and shoulder); it’s hard, planes beautifully, affordable and I really like the light color with prominent grain. Total cost of for wood, vises and hardware was about $300, as I got a great deal on the maple and ash and had the rest of the wood sitting around in the shop. That’s about $10 for every year of use I expect to get. My 7 year old son likes to sit on the bench and plane scrap blocks of wood, and I hope to pass it on to him someday.

The first picture was taken when the bench was completed about 1 year ago. The remaining 5 pictures were taken today after I flattened the top using the LV LA jack seen in the pictures, applied a fresh coat of wipe on poly, and tightened up all the nuts in the top and base. I was surprised to see how much I could tighten each nut. The tool tray never looks so tidy. Most of the crap on the adjacent table in the 5th picture is usually in the tool tray.

I plan to 1) add a bank of drawers underneath to store my hand tools, 2) make a board jack to support long stock held in the shoulder vise, 3) add a LV mortised bench stop between the 1st and 2nd dogs in the tail vise, as I have found that the spacing is a little wide for my taste and 4) turn new handles for the vises that look nicer but do not protrude past the top of the bench.

-- Dominic P.- Duxbury MA

16 comments so far

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1130 posts in 4257 days

#1 posted 01-22-2011 08:01 AM

It is gorgeous
Perhaps you should move it up to the dining room and out of the basement, it is too nice to work on :)
Great job!

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View MrDan's profile


209 posts in 4571 days

#2 posted 01-22-2011 08:09 AM

That’s awesome, you should post some more pics though, that one doesn’t seem to do it justice. Close ups and details!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4399 days

#3 posted 01-22-2011 08:22 AM

that does look a lot better than mine with all the ding and scratches it has
but on the other side its allso 80+ years old ….LOL

thank´s for sharing it

View AttainableApex's profile


347 posts in 4116 days

#4 posted 01-22-2011 09:40 AM

what makes it a Scandinavian bench

-- Ben L

View Norwegian_woodworker's profile


66 posts in 4116 days

#5 posted 01-22-2011 01:56 PM

what makes it a Scandinavian bench: The shoulder vise and tail vise is spesial for the skandinavien bench
the Norwegian

-- Lars, woodworker from Norway.

View Schwieb's profile


1921 posts in 4745 days

#6 posted 01-22-2011 02:06 PM

Great bench. Nice planes. This will server for many, many years to come.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4645 days

#7 posted 01-22-2011 03:54 PM

One sweet bench…well done.

View stumpybear's profile


50 posts in 4139 days

#8 posted 01-22-2011 06:51 PM

Nice Bench!!!! I’d be afraid to use it!!!

-- Stumpybear,Petersburg PA

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4442 days

#9 posted 01-22-2011 08:03 PM

Wow, I think I’ll build one and make it my kitchen island. Just to pretty for anything else!

-- jay,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4957 days

#10 posted 01-27-2011 03:47 AM

Dominic, thats a nice workbench.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 5007 days

#11 posted 01-27-2011 04:11 AM

That is a Beaut!!!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile


130 posts in 4315 days

#12 posted 02-07-2011 08:00 PM

Absolutely beautiful. Your attention to detail is inspiring! I too love working with ash. Its a great wood and very affordable. In Michigan we get it very cheap now due to the emerald ash borer which has devastated our ash population. Market is glutted now, but I suspect ash will get more expensive in the next 5 to 10 years as the number of ash trees dwindles nationwide.

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

View StumpyNubs's profile


7853 posts in 4084 days

#13 posted 10-02-2014 12:55 PM

I’d like to use one of the photos of your vise in an article we’re writing about various vise styles for I’ll give you full credit for it. Would that be ok?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Dominic's profile


34 posts in 4176 days

#14 posted 10-02-2014 01:52 PM

stumpyNubs, yes you can use the photos for your article. Please post the link to the finished article in this thread, I’d love to read it.

-- Dominic P.- Duxbury MA

View CLowery15's profile


24 posts in 2166 days

#15 posted 05-08-2017 01:25 AM

Dominic, Good evening. Where do you find the plans for this scandanavian workbench?

Looks absolutely awesome!


-- - Craig

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