The little workbench that could

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Project by DHS posted 01-26-2012 08:52 AM 8976 views 71 times favorited 50 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I did not think I had room in my shop for a “real” woodworking bench. Then I spotted LJ Trev_Batstone’s wee little woodworking bench and realized, of course, that I could make one to fit the space available. This bench is just a little over 2’ x 4’, but it will clamp just about any workpiece I plan to plane, chisel or saw. Made from 2×4s, 2×6s and some old wormy oak I had lying around the shop, the only real expense was for the end vise hardware (Large Front Vise from Lee Valley) and a little extra oak for the vise jaws. To make the top I laminated strips of oak onto fir 2×4s, glued them up, flattened the whole thing with a No.7 hand plane, and then filled the holes and pores in the oak by sanding with a mixture of oak saw dust, BLO, and varnish. I kept the leg vise and side vise (which runs the entire length of the bench) as simple as possible, building them with a few ¾” nuts, some ¾” threaded rod, and washers. The vises work by means of ¾” nuts inserted into mortises in the handles and the rear jaws. The end vise and leg vise jaws are faced with maple but the front jaw of the leg vise is faced with jatoba. I built several bench dogs using a ¾” birch dowel and music wire, which is made from spring steel. (Bench dog in photo enlarged to show texture.)

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

50 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


18099 posts in 4524 days

#1 posted 01-26-2012 10:59 AM

Great job on your workbench! Looks like it will serve you for yrs to cvome. I love the pic of your bench dog! I’ll have to see if mine will do that LOL. Congrats!

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

View gavinzagreb's profile


210 posts in 3655 days

#2 posted 01-26-2012 11:29 AM

Has given me food for thought as I also have limited space in my workshop and no access to vice hardware.

View dubsaloon's profile


623 posts in 4129 days

#3 posted 01-26-2012 01:50 PM

Great looking bench and bench dog. Great job on those vises. i may be able to afford them now.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Traildog's profile


4 posts in 3654 days

#4 posted 01-26-2012 02:21 PM

Very Nice. Looks Great

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5158 days

#5 posted 01-26-2012 03:00 PM

You hit the nail right on the head, custom fit for your own space it better than nothing at all. I took the plan of a 8’ foot bench and made it 6’ and have never look back since. Most projects can be handle easily on smaller bench and the best thing is you can’t accumulate as big a mess on the smaller bench…lol. Nice work thanks for sharing and posting….BC

View Don W's profile

Don W

20281 posts in 3903 days

#6 posted 01-26-2012 03:15 PM

thats a great looking bench. I may copy parts of your leg vise design if I ever get to that project.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3990 days

#7 posted 01-26-2012 04:01 PM

Great job on this bench. I love the way you organized the shelf below, so clean and ready to work.

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

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4754 days

#8 posted 01-26-2012 04:05 PM

nice bench

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View ed220's profile


627 posts in 4728 days

#9 posted 01-26-2012 04:07 PM

Very nice bench. Great job !

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4202 days

#10 posted 01-26-2012 04:31 PM

Don, you did a really nice job on that work bench. It’s sharp looking.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4509 days

#11 posted 01-26-2012 04:54 PM

Great job. Beautiful end result. I particularly like your bench brush. Should do a FANTASTIC job of sweeping away dust and shavings :-)


-- -- Neil

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 3828 days

#12 posted 01-26-2012 05:07 PM

Don..this is a beautiful bench for sure. You said that my bench inspired you to build yours, but I think we’re taking turns inspiring each other. I really like yours, the two-handle vise is a good thing, I am also going to put a shelf under my bench as well.. I was actually looking at the bench last weekend and said to myself “I can put a shelf down there”. Thanks for sharing your new bench, Don, and I know that it will get lots and lots of good use. I don’t know how I ever got along without mine. Happy Woodworking!


View DHS's profile


144 posts in 4559 days

#13 posted 01-26-2012 05:21 PM

Thanks for the comments Trev. Let’s keep inspring eachother. – David

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View dannelson's profile


197 posts in 3706 days

#14 posted 01-26-2012 05:27 PM

one question on the leg vice, does that diameter of foot wheel work well for you? Im thinking about expanding my bench and was courious

-- nelson woodcrafters

View DHS's profile


144 posts in 4559 days

#15 posted 01-26-2012 05:36 PM

Hi Dan – The leg vise is somewhat slow to adjust. But, I adjust the foot wheel first before applying clamping pressure so the small wheel works fine.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

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