Ash & Purpleheart Workbench

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Project by GlennsGrandson posted 01-08-2013 07:52 PM 12180 views 39 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I never thought that I would accomplish this feat this early in my woodworking career. I just started doing it and before I knew it I had rough sawn ash stacked in my garage and vises in the mail. It really came to this because I needed better clamping options and I was tired of pushing my bench across the garage.

I have been working on this since October. The purpleheart was given to me as “scraps” from my uncle and I bought the ash directly from the sawmill. The vise on the end is a Grizzly Cabinet makers vise ($50) and the two screws in the “twin screw” vise are Tail-Vise screws ($37.50 each) from Lee Valley. The vises work very well. The twin screw vise does not tolerate being unequal on screw turns more than one revolution but it works fine, I’m still happy with the extra $200 in my pocket that I saved not buying the actual twin screw vise. I figure maybe someday I can put sprockets on the end and add a chain.

Basically all M&T joints with bolts through the joints on the crossbeams. I pegged the tenons with 1/2” purpleheart dowels made on the router with a 1/4” roundover bit. Good practice. Everything is real tight and this bench is very solid/sturdy.

It weighs in around 250 lbs, I think a bit more probably. I would have liked to taken pictures in the sun but no one has been around to help me carry it outside so that’s fine.

I finished it with a recipe I found in a couple of different places online, it is 2oz of beeswax shaved into 16oz of turpentine until it dissolved into a nice slurry and then I added 16oz BLO. It turned out really nice and the smell during application wasn’t bad at all. And when it did dry the bench mostly smells like beeswax. Once it dried I needed to buff it which really makes it look nice. It feels a bit tacky yet but I’m sure a few more days and some sawdust will take care of that.

I uploaded a few videos also. The first one being a general tour of the unfinished bench, the seconds being a timelapse of me applying finish which is pretty fun to watch, and then the final video is a couple things that I forgot to point out and it was taken after the finish was applied (but not buffed).

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Big thanks to all of the help that I got from all of the LJ’s on here, especially on the Workbench Smack Down Forum.

Any comments are welcome, thanks for looking everyone!

-- Grant - N Dakota

40 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4258 days

#1 posted 01-08-2013 08:02 PM

Very Cool Looking Bench !!! Love the graining of the wood….

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 3910 days

#2 posted 01-08-2013 08:05 PM

Congrats! really nice workbench. I wish you have a lot of fun using it.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Jerry Spencer's profile

Jerry Spencer

149 posts in 4031 days

#3 posted 01-08-2013 08:05 PM

That is one great looking work bench. Very nicely done.

-- Jerry - Ohio

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 01-08-2013 08:08 PM

Nice – Very nice. Good thinking on the $$ saved

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 3515 days

#5 posted 01-08-2013 08:14 PM

super super super

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30637 posts in 3555 days

#6 posted 01-08-2013 08:17 PM

Great job. Too nice looking for a workbench.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View hammergeek's profile


7 posts in 3183 days

#7 posted 01-08-2013 08:28 PM

That isn’t a workbench it a practically art!!

-- Sorry Folks, Jesus is still the #1 Carpenter!

View a1Jim's profile


118200 posts in 4794 days

#8 posted 01-08-2013 08:31 PM

Fantastic bench, Grant


View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4369 days

#9 posted 01-08-2013 08:34 PM

Great job Grant! That bench is sweet!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mosquito's profile


11253 posts in 3509 days

#10 posted 01-08-2013 08:44 PM

Excellent work Grant. I’m sure that bench will serve you well :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 3874 days

#11 posted 01-08-2013 08:49 PM

what a great bench! beautiful combinations!

-- -Thomas -

View BusterB's profile


2361 posts in 3225 days

#12 posted 01-08-2013 08:55 PM

That may be too pretty to actually work on…lol Fine build sir

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View Brit's profile


8391 posts in 4060 days

#13 posted 01-08-2013 09:06 PM

What a great blog Grant and what a fantastic bench. Thanks for sharing the finishing recipe with us also. That really brought out the grain nicely. Enjoy it!

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View slotman's profile


115 posts in 3674 days

#14 posted 01-08-2013 09:07 PM

Beatiful bench, I’d be afraid to use it though. Plus great music, I love Foggy Mountain Breakdown! Great job!

-- Roger

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3271 days

#15 posted 01-08-2013 11:46 PM


-- Joel

showing 1 through 15 of 40 comments

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