Workbench Top

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Project by Luke posted 07-09-2011 03:11 AM 25395 views 12 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I actually finished the top quite a while ago. I toiled for months on what type of bench to build, what materials to make it out of, and had huge visions for what would be the “bench of benches” and then I realized that I was using a bench made from 2×4 and 1/2” plywood and it would sway with the direction of force…

At that point, I realized I just need a functional bench, something that will last me for years, that can get beat up, that I can “learn on”

The top of the bench is a 1 1/2” Solid core door that I picked up at the local thrift shop for $6, I then laid a piece of 3/4” MDF on the top of it so it could be replaced if needed. In hindsight, I should have glued the MDF and then added a 1/4” hardboard top. Oh well.

The apron is just BORG 2×12 lumber ripped planed and jointed. I tried to find the most straight grained pieces I could.

I got the tail vice from Lee Valley during the free shipping event last year, and the face vice is from HF… I hate the face vice, eventually I’ll replace it.

It was my first shot at a hand cut dovetail, and 2x douglas fir may not be the best wood to learn on, but I got through it. The dog holes work great, bought a 3/4” dowel to make dogs with.

I used the “Shop Dog” plans to build some sturdy saw horses to keep the bench sturdy. Some day I’ll build a bottom to it with drawers and the like, but likely for the next few years, she’ll sit as she does, sturdy, and strong.

6 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4261 days

#1 posted 07-09-2011 03:38 AM

wow that seems prety thick for just a door and 3/4” wood very nice though I like the tail vise the best. And another thing is it was cheap to make and would be even cheaper for me to make one cuz I have everything in my shop cept for the tail vise and the sheet of MDF.

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

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3627 days

#2 posted 07-09-2011 04:31 AM

Anything that helps you make shavings is a good thing.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3919 days

#3 posted 07-09-2011 05:31 AM

SOLID! that’s what I want too.

-- Smitty

View hjt's profile


906 posts in 4110 days

#4 posted 03-07-2013 03:13 AM

Luke – saw a recent project you posted and now I’m scouwering your are and enjooying what you’ve done. Being new to woodworking, I’m not familiar with all you stated so a few questons. Is the face vice the one on the right side? What is it used for and why do you not lilke it? What are”dogs?”

On to another project of yours.

BTW – love the router. i have a bosch 16??? Love it!

-- Harold

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3659 days

#5 posted 03-07-2013 11:02 PM

Harold, the face vice is the one on the left, it uses the apron of the work bench and the vice to clamp a work piece to the bench for working on it. The tail vice is the one that slides in the workbench. It has slots for “Bench dogs” which are basically pieces of wood that fit into holes in the bench top. By putting two bench dogs, on the bench, one in the vice, and one in a stationary hole you can clamp a work peice flat to the table, great for planing or sanding, or even routing.

The face or front vice I don’t like because it was cheap, and the threaded rod has a very tight threading so it takes alot of turns to move it in and out, whereas a more “traditional” vice will be an ACME threaded rod, and won’t take as many turns to move the vice in or out.

View hjt's profile


906 posts in 4110 days

#6 posted 03-09-2013 01:26 AM

Thanks Luke for the explaination.

-- Harold

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