Fine Woodworking Get Started in Woodworking Workbench, design modified.

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Project by dbhost posted 05-05-2011 05:03 PM 5359 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay this is an old project, but I just discovered I never posted it here as a completed project, so here goes…

The design is the one from Fine Woodworking’s Get Started in Woodworking Season 2 videos / magazine. I did however deviate from their plan slightly, and have found problems with their plan that I would change now that I have done it…

The changes were minor, but they include… #1. Top lamination was of Birch ply instead of the called for MDF. #2. The base was made of Cedar instead of the pine as called for in the plan. I couldn’t find 4×4 pine that was untreated near me, I did NOT want to use treated, and figured cedar was just as good. Yes I am an idiot… #3. The plan calls for a 60” wide top, I went with 72” so that my bench would act as outfeed / extension table to the entire length of my Ryobi BT3100 table saws extension wing. #4. The plan calls for, admittedly optionally, a lower shelf, I just haven’t done that…

Overall it lacks mass, and I have to re-tighten down the bolts every time the weather shifts. I could have solved that with Loctite, but I am already in the initial stages of constructing a new bench. This time based off of the Shop Notes “Weekend Workbench” plans, size adjusted to meet my needs of course, and instead of a solid core door, I am laminating a butcher block style bench top out of SYP 2×12’s ripped, jointed, and planed to 1.25” x 3”. The new table top will be 72” x 30” (the 24” depth of the FWW design is annoyingly shallow to me). The cedar base won’t go to waste however. I have a mess of still good pull out PT 2×4s from fencing that I am going to free of any metal, joint, plane, then laminate into a top for a 60” x 24” bench top, and the whole thing will be turned into a potting bench for LOML in the back yard. So stay tuned to that!

All these projects, and each a learning experience. I hope I am getting better with each project…

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6 comments so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3972 days

#1 posted 05-05-2011 05:17 PM

careful when planing that PT… make sure you wear a dust mask and run your dust collection… you don’t want to inhale any of those chemicals. But the bench looks good for a first. I look forward to seeing your current build. I want to build a real Woodworking bench bad, but I’ve moved recently and set to move again soon, so I don’t think it will happen too soon.

-- San Diego, CA

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3563 days

#2 posted 05-05-2011 05:25 PM

+1 interpim on the pressure-treated pine

Looks good, though, I need to do the same. Hopefully this bench will help you make the next, sturdier bench. Seems difficult to build a bench without a bench ;-) . I have no plans of starting yet, but I should!


View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3745 days

#3 posted 05-05-2011 05:43 PM

Yep, any processing of PT is done with dust collection, ambient filtration, AND a respirator… I am paranoid about that stuff…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3678 days

#4 posted 05-06-2011 04:28 PM

Simple benches are quite useful, even with no vise, my current situation here. My bench here is simply a slab door on some saw horses. But it has served the purpose for a couple of weeks. It will get upgraded over time. In contradistinction, is the minibench I am nearly finished with back in Anchorage. It is anything but simple.

Well, with any luck, I will post my temporary workshop here in La Conner today. I am in the process of going over the pictures.

Back to painting a post cap… was missing on a balcony here.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View chinagirl's profile


1 post in 3090 days

#5 posted 05-07-2011 02:56 PM


Saw your post on Yankee hand drill. I am trying my first repair as a new widow and need to use the exactr drill you pictured. Cannot figure out how to open the top- to get to other bits. It looks like Ishould be able to depress the button-looking knobs or somehow pull up to lift cap off – not working for me. Assuming I can get it open, I also need advice on removing current bit. Hope to hear back soon – blinds need to be hung. Thanks very much.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3678 days

#6 posted 05-07-2011 08:56 PM

Sent you a private message re how to use the drill. Hope that helps.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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