Reclaimed barn beam /old growth doug fir work bench

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Project by oldreddog posted 09-28-2012 03:02 AM 4696 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this bench from some old growth timber that was used to park a old Modal T on in a wooden floor garage about a half mile from my home.
The building was over a hundred years old and had thick doug fir floors.
I was able to salvage these boards. These were power washed last year before I built my new shop.
They air dried in my wife’s garage before I stored them away until late this summer.
I studied all the current books out on work bench design and watched dozens of you tube videos.
Then I started building my bench, most benches were being built from new lumber and mine was a challenge to get straightened out with old lumber.
But It worked well I think.
The barn beam legs were from a old hay barn west of town they are old pine beams.
The top is doweled together, stretcher/ leg joints are with draw bore tenons. The tool / dust collector on back is made from a left over 22 foot floor joist from my shop construction.
The old craftsman screw vise was totally rebuilt. the leg vise screw was purchased at Woodcraft.
The finnish is just Tung oil wiped on several times over a light stain to bring it all together.
I got a new Veritas wonder dog as a treat to my self and some Kreg dogs for now.
I have used this project as a from of therapy while i battle a rare disease.
looking forward to more therapy in my shop and breaking this bench in with some projects I have in mind.

-- oldreddog

13 comments so far

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2837 days

#1 posted 09-28-2012 03:28 AM

Nice job on the bench!

View fleetphoot's profile


18 posts in 2798 days

#2 posted 09-28-2012 03:58 AM

That’s a nice job oldreddog. Looks pretty large. What are the dimensions?
Looking forward to seeing your projects made with it.

Kind Regards,

-- fleetfoot

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 3540 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 07:38 AM

Great to see new life for old timber. You have done a sterliong job on the bench, take care of it and it’ll last you your life time.

I’m guessing you have a preference for hand tool working…...or have you always had an inckling for building a traditional European style bench. Either way you have done yourself proud, you certainly earned the veritas dogs.

Good for you.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Poisson's profile


51 posts in 3583 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 08:51 AM

It would be another theraphy when you work on this nice and functiong workbench.

-- Byung Soo Kim, Seoul, S.Korea

View empeg9000's profile


86 posts in 2986 days

#5 posted 09-28-2012 10:59 AM

Nice bench. I’m jealous!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4540 days

#6 posted 09-28-2012 11:03 AM

Very nice bench.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View oldreddog's profile


165 posts in 2894 days

#7 posted 09-28-2012 12:12 PM

Thanks all for the kind words, its a nice way to start the day.

-- oldreddog

View waho6o9's profile


8800 posts in 3137 days

#8 posted 09-28-2012 01:11 PM

Beautiful work ORD!

View steamfab's profile


76 posts in 2741 days

#9 posted 09-28-2012 05:49 PM

Awesome work on it.

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2700 days

#10 posted 09-28-2012 07:47 PM

I. Am. So. Jealous.

I’ve been wanting to build a bench out of recycled barn timber, but its a real hard thing to find where I live.


View Green_Hornut's profile


165 posts in 3181 days

#11 posted 09-29-2012 01:34 AM

Great that you are recycling wood and re-purposing it. While everyone says it is a renewable resource you are never going to see lumber like that again in your lifetime. Good for you to go the extra mile and bring back some great old boards instead of going to the big box lumberyard and buy the junk they sell and making something totally forgettable.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7803 posts in 3475 days

#12 posted 12-03-2012 05:03 PM

Very cool! Must have been fun to work with such a treasure of lumber. Well done.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2453 days

#13 posted 08-24-2013 01:06 AM

Great looking bench! I too have 100-yr old fir real 2×6s and planks stored away to build my first decent bench with. And a 40+ yr-old beat-up heavy duty face vise requiring restoration. All free! (gloat). Still considering my final design. Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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