Hand-made workbench

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Project by brianl posted 01-23-2011 02:01 AM 5062 views 11 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally finished the workbench I have been blogging about. It is based on the Popular Woodworking $175 bench. I had to modify the dimensions to fit into the small shop I have (a corner of a shared basement). The top is 4ft long and about 30” deep. The front has a Jorgensen quick-action vise and the end has a shoulder vise. I really like the jorgensen.

The tool rail on the back has proven to be really handy and the storage shelf below is currently housing all of my planes – until I get a till built.

I learned a lot about hand tools in the process of making this bench. When I started I barely knew what a plane was and I had not hand-sawn anything in a LONG time. It’s amazing what a few months of working on a big project will do for you! I now feel very comfortable using planes, drawknives, and hand saws.

The entire bench is douglas fir, with three coats of Tung Oil on it. I really like the ease of application and the ruggedness of Tung Oil.

For more info, feel free to walk through the 8-step blog I did about the build.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

12 comments so far

View Michael's profile


201 posts in 4488 days

#1 posted 01-23-2011 02:17 AM

Great build! This will serve you for many years. I like the fact that you used bought vises, my workbench was made using wood threaded dowels and all thread that i scavanged from work.

-- "A woodworking project is either a masterpiece or a POS" Dr. Lang

View MrDan's profile


209 posts in 4778 days

#2 posted 01-23-2011 02:19 AM

Great looking bench! How do you like the doug fir so far? I was just given a bunch of 6×6s of doug fir and I’ve been wanting to build a new bench for some time now…I remember The Schwarz mentioning doug fir as a possible option for a bench, but I was thinking it might be too soft. Do you think it’ll hold up over the long haul?

Also, the tool rail sounds interesting…is that just a bunch of different sized holes to hold the tools or is there more to it than that? Any close up pics of it?

View MrDan's profile


209 posts in 4778 days

#3 posted 01-23-2011 02:34 AM

Nevermind about the pics, I just read your blog and found more info about the tool rail. Great idea!

View swirt's profile


7771 posts in 4462 days

#4 posted 01-23-2011 02:57 AM

Looks great. I like it.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mancave's profile


114 posts in 4554 days

#5 posted 01-23-2011 03:22 AM

That is a very nice looking bench, but think fir will not take the abuse as well as beech or birch would.

View AaronB's profile


8 posts in 4175 days

#6 posted 01-23-2011 03:28 AM

Sweet bench Brian. The blog is nice too.

-- If my socks didn't have holes in them, how would I get them on?

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 4689 days

#7 posted 01-23-2011 03:36 AM

great job, In a couple years I will have room for a bench and I look forward to building on that is similar and of course using it.
Thanks for posting.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 4371 days

#8 posted 01-23-2011 09:04 AM

Nice work! Plenty of dog holes.

I’m thinking I need to add a few extra holes where needed on my bench….

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Rob200's profile


326 posts in 4659 days

#9 posted 01-23-2011 04:56 PM

It look great now it work so it dose not mold

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4952 days

#10 posted 01-26-2011 03:44 AM

Great bench! I admire you taking on this sort of project. I’m sure it will be appreciated for generations.

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

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5163 days

#11 posted 01-27-2011 03:44 AM

Nice looking workbench.

View Dominic's profile


34 posts in 4382 days

#12 posted 01-28-2011 05:10 AM

Nice bench, I really like the tool rack. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t clamp anything in the tail vise between the end of the bench and the end of the tail vise. I see you have dog holes there and I am wondering if you have experienced any problems with the tail vise when using these particular dog holes?

-- Dominic P.- Duxbury MA

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