Essential Workbench

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Project by kbiniowa posted 06-07-2011 06:04 PM 11805 views 35 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was completed using Lon Schleining’s plan from Fine Woodworking Magazine.

The bench is constructed from hard maple. I finished the top with danish oil, the base is finished with an oil based wipe on polyurethane. The bench top is 2 1/2” thick with a 6” apron.

This project took some time. (My wife will attest to that) but it appears that the bench will last for many more years than I will. There were a few mistakes made along the way, most of them corrected, but a few remain just to remind me that no one is perfect.

If one elects to tackle this project, I would tell you that the construction of the base is far more challenging and time consuming the the bench top.

-- Keith - Iowa

33 comments so far

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3594 days

#1 posted 06-07-2011 06:08 PM

Great Job :)
Looks like a bench that will serve you for many years to come :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

View Bertha's profile


13569 posts in 3260 days

#2 posted 06-07-2011 06:10 PM

What’s there really to say. It’s absolutely wonderful. Massive. Big flat aprons. Veritas twin. It goes nicely with that hint of “PM yellow” in the background:) Simply wonderful. Very jealous.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Ken90712's profile


17798 posts in 3756 days

#3 posted 06-07-2011 06:54 PM

Man what a beast! This is a real beauty! I wish I had the room for one of these. Everytme one of these are posted is sit there and drool! Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Manitario's profile


2790 posts in 3450 days

#4 posted 06-07-2011 07:13 PM

very nice! Looks rock solid. One of these days I’ll get around to making one myself.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3741 days

#5 posted 06-07-2011 07:26 PM

“Essential” makes it sound—to me—like it’s just your basic bench—the least you can do, and still have a useful bench.

But this—to me—is anything BUT that.

You’ve built the sort of beautiful bench that you can use—without compromise or sacrifice—for the rest of your life !

I suggest a new title ;-)

Beautiful job. Thanks for posting !

-- -- Neil

View Kenns's profile


155 posts in 3158 days

#6 posted 06-07-2011 07:30 PM

Simply beautiful. I think I could even clamp up my truck on the top of that bench.

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 4097 days

#7 posted 06-07-2011 07:30 PM

Looks great. Funny though, I have always heard the top is the hard part…

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View Allanwoodworks's profile


112 posts in 3408 days

#8 posted 06-07-2011 08:39 PM

Great looking bench, I just finished my as well and can attest to everything your talking about.

-- Ty, Up in Washington

View amat55's profile


62 posts in 3889 days

#9 posted 06-07-2011 08:56 PM

Thank for the post I am on the fence on how to build one of my own,my problem is that it need to fit a one car garage. It’s a beautiful bench great job.

-- "Well done is better than well said"

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3434 days

#10 posted 06-07-2011 09:07 PM

That is an excellent bench and I’m sure it was done with a lot of care that will be repaid many times over as you use the bench in the coming years. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Joshuah's profile


152 posts in 3260 days

#11 posted 06-07-2011 09:19 PM

That is a beautiful bench! My bench is very functional, though no this nice, but one day I hope to build one like this. Very nice.

-- -Joshuah

View Hoosierdaddy's profile


81 posts in 3209 days

#12 posted 06-07-2011 10:10 PM

Great looking bench there buddy!

I’m in possession, for a limited time, of two ‘how to’ books by Christopher Schwarz on designing and building a work bench. I’ve got them for a limited time b/c i got them thru the local library system. I can say that the 2011 book will be one that I purchase though. Chocked with great information from a guy who is pretty opinionated but passionate about not letting others make the same mistakes he made. I highly recommend this book if you, like me, have a bench in your very near future to be built.

-- I don't know what this is going to be like, but there's only one way to find out..........

View Roger's profile


21021 posts in 3371 days

#13 posted 06-07-2011 10:23 PM

great bench. the vises are a nice addition also. I like the looks of your granite? outfeed on your TS in the back

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 3856 days

#14 posted 06-07-2011 10:40 PM

now this is a great looking bench but I think it would look better and function better with a pair of these!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View kbiniowa's profile


50 posts in 3132 days

#15 posted 06-07-2011 11:12 PM

@TheKingInYellow -

The reason I feel that the base is more difficult to make is that you may clear the mortises out with a forstner bit, router, or hollow point mortising bit, but the majority of the 16 mortises that you make in 3” – 3 1/2” maple are with a hand chisel. I made a jig to mill the sled feet, but it was tricky as the router template bit is 2” tall with a 1” diameter. That is my take anyway.

Thank you for the kind words!

-- Keith - Iowa

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