Workbench Storage

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Project by paratrooper34 posted 10-11-2011 01:33 AM 3915 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally getting back to the woodworking. Moved into the new house back in january, but really haven’t done much other than get the shop set up. Then summer came along, work, etc. So I got in there the last few days and got my Ulmia bench ready for work. I bought it when I was in Germany and didn’t do anything with it except to throw a coat of BLO on it. The bench was in great shape. It looked as though the previous owner never used it for woodworking. I guess that’s why he got rid of it. So it was in great shape, but had no finish on it. I am a big fan of protecting the bench with something to prevent stains and rogue glue drops.

Anyway, the bench really needed something for storage for tools that I use at the bench. Since I am primarily a hand tool user, I have a need for some items to be close at hand on the bench. Additionally, my bench has a tail vise with steel bench dogs, but there were no holes for using circular bench dogs in conjunction with the face vise or for holdfasts, both of which I like to use a lot. So I added two shelves to hold my bench essentials and I also drilled a series of holes for additional bench dogs and the holdfasts.

I built the shelves in the traditional manner using dimensional 2×6s. The top cross brace you can see is original to the bench minus the shelf. Ulmia benches are built with red beech and I was concerned that I would not find any beech to make a lower tier. Of course, being in the US, I could not readily find beech. So I used some red oak to make the lower cross brace as I felt it would look close to the beech once it was covered with BLO. I was right, it is a close match.

So now I have a lot of storage and added some much needed weight to the bench. Ulmia benches are pretty heavy as they come from the factory, but I do things on the bench with a shooting board, an old Millers Falls mitre box and such so the additional weight helps hold it down more. I think it is good to go now. The only thing I would like to add is a deadman for jointing long boards.

If any of you out there are thinking of doing this to your bench, I highly recommend it. It was a good one day project, I guess it would be faster if you use power tools. I cut all those 2×6 pieces by hand on the Millers Falls box, about 30 cuts in total. But I did it all while listening to the Patriots beat the Jets! Good way to spend a Sunday.

Happy Woodworking!!!

-- Mike

9 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5013 days

#1 posted 10-11-2011 01:50 AM

Nice workbench storage!

View PurpLev's profile


8653 posts in 4988 days

#2 posted 10-11-2011 02:01 AM

looks good. is that a miter station in there on the shelf?

I also like the bench itself, very nicely done!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View 58j35bonanza's profile


395 posts in 4032 days

#3 posted 10-11-2011 02:53 AM

Beautiful bench.

-- Chuck

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 4010 days

#4 posted 10-11-2011 05:46 AM

Nice bench. I’ve almost completed mine and was wondering about a finish. BLO is boiled linseed oil? Does it take a while to dry? Mine is mostly red oak with some walnut trim pieces.

-- Bryan

View paratrooper34's profile


916 posts in 4292 days

#5 posted 10-11-2011 12:45 PM

Hi Bsmith…..yes, BLO is boiled linseed oil. I am not sure how long it takes exactly, but here is what I did: I applied the BLO with a brush, let it sit for about 30 minutes and then wiped it off. I let it sit overnight with a fan blowing on it and it was 100 percent dry in the morning. I have a second, smaller bench that I built about three years ago and put BLO on that after I built it. It really helped protect it from glue drips and such.

Good Luck and thanks for the compliments everyone.

-- Mike

View Ken90712's profile


18101 posts in 4528 days

#6 posted 10-11-2011 01:04 PM

Great looking bench! I’m rough on my work surfaces no matter how careful.

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

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4804 days

#7 posted 10-12-2011 02:11 AM

Good build. The added mass and rigidity probably did wonders for an already nice bench.
I just got back to using holdfasts not too long ago. I love em. I made some from cold rold 11/16 round bar. They grab in a 3/4 in hole really well. If you ever have slipping from them take a little 120 grit paper and rough it around the shaft so the scatches can help grab. It helped mine, even though they worked, they seemed to work a little better.
Later, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View paratrooper34's profile


916 posts in 4292 days

#8 posted 10-12-2011 10:28 AM

BTKS…you made your own holdfasts? That’s awesome, can you post a pic or two of them? Would be interested in reading how you went about making them.

-- Mike

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4804 days

#9 posted 10-12-2011 03:21 PM

I have a brief description posted. Go to My Projects under my profile. It is titled Woodworking meets Blacksmithing. I used oxcy acetlyn to heat with on these. I’ve set up a coal forge since then.
There is a good comment from Chuncky C about epoxying leather to the pads. I’ve been meaning to do that but just haven’t yet. I think Gorilla glue would work best for that. It’s what I used putting leather to end grain oak.
If you have more questions, shoot a new message. I’ve got this project on my watched list or PM.
Got to get outta here and support my hobby.
Later, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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