Bodgers Workbench

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Project by bearriverbodger posted 02-10-2008 05:31 PM 21685 views 15 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are a few pictures of my workbench. I built this last winter(2006-2007) and started off with a set of plans from Lee Valley! This was my first “proper” workbench so I read through the plans and studied the materials lists carefully, then I rummaged through my woodpile and came up with three large Rock Maple boards that would provide enough material for all the parts. Now having dragged the boards into the workshop I just couldn’t bring myself to saw them up into small sections and then glue them all back together again so I threw away the Plans and Just made the Bench to fit the wood! I managed to true up the huge boards on the tabe saw (lots of burning wood smells!) by making a slide from plywood and screwing the boards to it .
So the top is made from 2 boards one about 15 inches wide and one around 7, both at 3 inches thick and with a tool tray in the middle which is basically just a gap between them with the base of the tray made from 1/4 maple sawn from the third board which makes a 28 inch top. The sloping tool tray ends were added in afterwards again with maple. The legs are made from some slabs milled from the butt section of a spruce tree with Maple morticed and pegged (oak Pegs) to form the base and frame to carry the top. I’m not sure what kind of wood the centre stretcher is (it came with the house!) but it is through tenoned and wedged with Cherry wedges.
The breadboard ends are pegged on again using Oak Pegs and no glue was used in the construction. The bench is very stable and the pegged ends allow it to move with the seasons. I am planning to add several bench dog holes to the top soon.
I wish I had taken some pictures during the construction but there you go.

-- John, Nova Scotia,

24 comments so far

View MinnesotaMick's profile


15 posts in 5044 days

#1 posted 02-10-2008 05:38 PM

Awesome bench..did you make the shavehorse also???

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5306 days

#2 posted 02-10-2008 05:38 PM

Nice John.
One of the nicest I have seen in a long time.
I always wondered what to do with those tapered limb and crotch sections.
You made excellent use of them.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 5132 days

#3 posted 02-10-2008 05:48 PM

I really like this, very well done!

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5273 days

#4 posted 02-10-2008 05:49 PM

Fantastic bench! Looks like it’s built like a rock.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5106 days

#5 posted 02-10-2008 05:51 PM

Very nice bench. And I am sure that it is rock solid. Using the spruce as you did really adds a nice “flair” to the bench. Not only is this a very nice bench to work with but it also is a very good looking piece of shop furniture as well. Very imaginative. My shop furniture tends to be rather utilitarian in nature. But, thanks to post like these, I am beginning to understand that shop projects can be both functional and pretty.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View bearriverbodger's profile


15 posts in 5045 days

#6 posted 02-10-2008 06:17 PM

Hi MinnisotaMick
Thanks for the comment.
No I didn,t , I bought it from the guy that I learnt the chairmaking from. He was moving to Whitehorse and didn,t want to have to ship too much stuff. I do have the plans for it in a Drew Langsner Chairmaking book if you’re interested. It is made from spruce construction grade lumber with shaved legs.
I am in the process of building one in the same style as the bench but slightly shorter (5 feet) and a little higher off the ground for comfort.

-- John, Nova Scotia,

View MinnesotaMick's profile


15 posts in 5044 days

#7 posted 02-10-2008 06:27 PM

Thanks..have Drew L’s book..used it with a few changes (shorten throw for my leg length) etc…Living as I do with just wind & sun power, I use mostly handtools..built my house, all furniture, with handtools.. It sure is a lost (losing) artform…One of my biggest joys is making chairs..windsors and shaker rockers..what a job..the angles can get confusing…but once they are done..what joy to sit at a handtool crafted dining table in one of your own chairs, or rock by the fire in a comfortable shaker rocker..those shakers understood comfort!!! Good luck with your shop..

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5108 days

#8 posted 02-10-2008 06:31 PM

Its work like this that just keeps me so stoked about this web site….just plain awesome….Blkcherry

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5159 days

#9 posted 02-10-2008 06:58 PM

That’s one of the coolest benches I’ve ever seen! Great story. I can’t believe there is no glue! Really REALLY a nice bench.

-- Happy woodworking!

View bearriverbodger's profile


15 posts in 5045 days

#10 posted 02-10-2008 07:03 PM

WOW guys!
Thanks for all the comments. It sure helps to recharge my batteries in the middle of a Canadian winter.
Thanks Again

-- John, Nova Scotia,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5503 days

#11 posted 02-10-2008 07:44 PM

That is a unique and very beautiful bench. Also that is some collection of handsaws you’ve got there.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Pete Santos's profile

Pete Santos

172 posts in 5293 days

#12 posted 02-10-2008 08:40 PM

Very charming. That is definitely an heirloom piece. Whoever gets to inherit that will be very lucky. Amazing one of a kind that is priceless.

May you make many more priceless pieces on that bench.

-- Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and love.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 5097 days

#13 posted 02-10-2008 10:58 PM

That is something I like very much. And many other things in your shop too. I´m looking forward for another posts of yours.

-- Jiri

View Critterman's profile


601 posts in 5095 days

#14 posted 02-11-2008 12:06 AM

Don’t know what to say to describe how great this bench is…accept…THAT IS SOOOOO COOOL!

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5281 days

#15 posted 02-11-2008 01:25 AM

Now that’s a sturdy looking bench! I bet it doesn’t move on you! Nice work. Fun to hear how you scrapped the plans and went for it…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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