Workbench Update

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Project by Doug S. posted 05-01-2008 02:48 PM 8116 views 15 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well like everything I start, this took 5 times longer than I estimated to complete but it’s finally done (well 99% anyway).

The construction is pretty much following Sam Blasco’s bench on this thread
Things Sam forget to mention though:
1) I make this look easy
2) You’re an idiot if you try this without a honkin big vacuum press bag like I have
3) Having a big slider TS sure beats trying to trim that top with a circular saw.
4) I make this look easy

This ended up at 28×78. The thickness was originally meant to be 4”. The top is (from the bottom up) 2 horizontal layers of 1/2” ply, 1 layer of 1” vertically laminated ply, 1 horiz. layer of 1/2” ply, then 1-1/2” of vertically laminated ply. The bottom 2 layers and top 2 layers were glued up separately, run through a wide belt sander, then those 2 slabs were glued together. The LH 2/3rds of the top ended up with a crown in the middle so more flattening with a router sled on rails was needed. That and the wide belt sanding made for a final thickness of around 3-5/8”.

The vertically laminated layers were done using yellow glue to glue 5-6 layers of ply – the most I could do and be able to cut it on the TS. Then those were cut on the TS to form sub-sections of the 2 vert. layers. After those were all formed, epoxy was used to glue those together while also glueing them down to the horizontal layer(s) beneath.

The hardwood edging, and vise jaws are purpleheart. Not the funnest stuff to work with, but I wanted something darker to contrast with the ply. Of the locally available options in 8/4, the PH ended being one of the better prices. It’s glued to the ply core with epoxy. The area around the Tucker vise also has #14-4” screws through the PH as well. It seemed prudent for supporting the 50 Lb vise weight.

The rear rail underneath is a piece of Macacuaba I pulled from my No-Kill Wood Shelter.

Noden Adjust-A-Bench leg hardware underneath which I’m already enjoying. It made for much more comfortable working heights as I completed finessing and finishing the top. The caster set rolls extremely well too. Maybe I’ll mount some masts and sails in the dogholes and take the bench for a spin around the neighborhood this summer:-))

Bison leather jaw liners for the Twinscrew picked up on eBay around 1/4” thick.

I wanted to be able to keep longer work flush with the bench front which is why the Tucker vise is mounted in that setback. An LV Surface Clamp in the dogholes on the front edge works to hold the opposite end.

Still need to finish up a couple of things but probably wont get to them for a couple of weeks.
-Finish touchup in a couple spots
-Easing the dog hole edges
-Drilling dog holes in the Twinscrew jaw
-A tiny bit more shimming underneath for the UHMW rub strips

-- Use the fence Luke

31 comments so far

View Mottom's profile


30 posts in 5364 days

#1 posted 05-01-2008 03:02 PM

I didn’t know that jealousy could cause me to drool this much. Darn, that’s a beaut of a bench and the cadillac hardware really complements it well. I f I had such a nice bench, I’d never get anything done because I’d be staring at it all the time.

-- A novice at the craft and loving every minute!

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 5172 days

#2 posted 05-01-2008 03:06 PM

I wouldn’t DARE to use it. I wold ding it up!. You should put it in the dining room!. Sure is a mighty prutty workbench!


-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5680 days

#3 posted 05-01-2008 03:24 PM

Great looking bench!

How good is the rigidity of that leg system?

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

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 5170 days

#4 posted 05-01-2008 03:52 PM

With the casters adjusted down so that it’s sitting on the leg panels it feels rock solid. After I had all the work done on the underside I did a couple months worth of work on the top after I had it mounted on the legs and it wasn’t moving. Haven’t tried using it yet with the casters engaged but locked though so I may have something to report later.

I’m not sure I CAN ding it. That edge-up ply is tough as nails plus the finish is a few coats of epoxy. I actually didn’t discover my crown problem in the middle until after I had the first coat of epoxy on. So I had to sand that back off, and that was like sanding concrete. Then I initially tried flattening with handplanes. That worked but after only getting about 18” fixed over a week, I gave up and went with the router sled approach. A lot of that time was just continually having to resharpen plane irons.

-- Use the fence Luke

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5284 days

#5 posted 05-01-2008 03:55 PM


This is a gorgeous bench. I am beginning to really appreciate these “furniture” benches. I agree that it does seem a shame to beat them up like I do my cheap ones. I like the mobility of it as well.

Thanks for the post.

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

View Phil Clark's profile

Phil Clark

359 posts in 5257 days

#6 posted 05-01-2008 04:17 PM

Obviously a well thought out project. I’m thinking that the quality of the bench will impact the quality of the work that comes off it. Your description indicates that great work doesn’t come easily.

-- Legacy Woodcraft

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5450 days

#7 posted 05-01-2008 06:15 PM

Man, that is one nice looking bench! Very cool pattern makers vise also.

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

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 5165 days

#8 posted 05-01-2008 07:21 PM

Nice looking bench!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Kevin's profile


291 posts in 5420 days

#9 posted 05-02-2008 12:23 AM

That is an amazingly beautiful top. I can honestly say that I have never thought of using the edge of plywood for a bench top. However, I may have to try it out after seeing yours.

No vacuum press though, so it may not be a good idea to try and tackle.

Deffinetly jealous of the vices. Those will be a great addition.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 5215 days

#10 posted 05-02-2008 02:08 AM

That is a beautiful bench. I realize it took a lot of effort to make and I was wondering how many man hours it took to make.

Again beautiful bench

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 5170 days

#11 posted 05-02-2008 03:11 AM

That’s a tough one. Most of the work on this was confined to weekends, with a stray couple of hours during the week at night. There were also longer holiday weekends, vacation days, and my work shuts down from Christmas until after New Years, so about 10 days or so this year. But I also lost a few weeks during this to the flu, when nothing got done on it. I first bought the ply around September so this went on over a span of 8 months I guess.

-- Use the fence Luke

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5452 days

#12 posted 05-02-2008 02:52 PM

Nice one! I really like the purpleheart trim. Might have to consider that when I redo mine.

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View wpreman's profile


1611 posts in 5174 days

#13 posted 05-02-2008 02:58 PM

Very nice bench! I don’t know if I could bring myself to use it. Great Job!

-- Bill, Florida

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 5176 days

#14 posted 05-02-2008 03:06 PM

I would have commented on this sooner, but my drool ruined my first keyboard!... That is awesome!!... you’ve done a fantastic job… I’m lovin’ the purpleheart.

Also, I’m having my wife paint me a sign to hang on our biggest pole barn, “No kill wood shelter.” That cracked me up… lol

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 5567 days

#15 posted 05-02-2008 05:32 PM

Very nice. Purpleheart may be hard as nails, but it is beautiful when finished, and adds a great accent color.

How do you like the Veritas twin screw? I’m considering one myself. Does it require a lot of clearance under the bench at the end?

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