Essential Workbench

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Project by DaveMueller posted 03-08-2013 03:28 AM 6116 views 28 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been a woodworker since my early teens, nearly 40 years now. This was the first real woodworking bench I ever made which I completed last year and it took about 4 months to build. The top is 3” thick, 25” wide and 66” long. It stands 34.5” tall which is a perfect height for my 6’ height.

The top and base is constructed from hard white maple and the vise jaws are made from African Mahogany. It weighs 350 lbs. The end vise is a Veritas twin-screw bench vise and the front vise is a Veritas quick-release vise.

The base is and hand chopped mortise & tenon. The front apron is 6” tall and dovetail construction. I incorporated both square and round dog holes. The top is dead flat which was accomplished with my Lie Nelson #7 Jointer plane.

The top is finished with a boiled linseed oil and gum turpentine mixture. I sprayed the base with a water white water based polyurethane from General Finishes which is why it is whiter than the top.

The total cost of materials was just about $1800 USD including the Veritas vises, bench dogs (4 square and 6 round), Veritas hold downs.

I have always loved working wood but can’t believe how much more joy there is when doing it on a solid bench. Its is such a breeze hand planing boards when the work surface stays put no matter how much force I put into the stroke.

After all these years this was probably the most satisfying project I have ever done.

-- Dave M. - Liberty Township, Ohio

27 comments so far

View kdc68's profile


2873 posts in 2791 days

#1 posted 03-08-2013 03:32 AM

Awesome bench Dave !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View MrHart's profile


46 posts in 2797 days

#2 posted 03-08-2013 04:03 AM

This is a great looking bench sir. Of that cost, how much was hardware vs. wood? Yours is beautiful, I might have to go cheaper.

-- MrHart

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 4235 days

#3 posted 03-08-2013 04:12 AM


-- christopheralan

View DaveMueller's profile


30 posts in 2422 days

#4 posted 03-08-2013 04:12 AM


The two vises were about $525. The other bench accessories and hardware were about another $250. All the hardwood was about $950 and the finish materials about $50. The mahogany was a nice touch but about $50. It would have been less than half that if I used maple.

Hope this helps.

-- Dave M. - Liberty Township, Ohio

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16194 posts in 3133 days

#5 posted 03-08-2013 04:15 AM

Dave, congratulations on your accomplishments over the past decades that have obviously culminated in an I-Owed-Myself-This bench. It is a real joy to work on a solid surface! And yours is truly beautiful. Well done!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2800 days

#6 posted 03-08-2013 04:20 AM

Very nice job on a beautiful bench. Top end accessories go with the top notch craftsmanship. Well done!

-- John, BC, Canada

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

93 posts in 2800 days

#7 posted 03-08-2013 04:47 AM

Looks amazing, enjoy it!

-- Chris, Long Island

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 4349 days

#8 posted 03-08-2013 06:00 AM

Great bench!! Maybe I’ll do one when we do our next move. Thanks for posting your treat to yourself. Welcome to LumberJocks and look forward to some posts of your other projects.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2989 days

#9 posted 03-08-2013 06:35 AM

I am so glad it is not another Roubo bench! Great looking bench, looks very pratical and the aprons are kickass… :-)

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3371 days

#10 posted 03-08-2013 09:03 AM

Dave that is a proper bench
I hope you get lots of use from it

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View RichCMD's profile


427 posts in 2455 days

#11 posted 03-08-2013 12:38 PM

Love the bench. May you have as much fun using it as you seem to have gotten from building it.

-- Ride the bevel!

View iminmyshop's profile


295 posts in 2508 days

#12 posted 03-08-2013 12:40 PM

That is one awesome looking bench. Based on the craftsmanship shown here it looks like some really cool projects are going to be born there. Hats off to you.


View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 3207 days

#13 posted 03-08-2013 01:29 PM

Great, congratulations, it looks not only beautiful but really strong and complete for any WW. Have lots of fun with it !!!

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1907 posts in 2484 days

#14 posted 03-08-2013 03:45 PM

Well I don’t know if this one passes muster. Send it to me and I will tell you if it does. I’ll give it back in 20 years. Really nice work. I have bench envy big time.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Mark55's profile


163 posts in 2578 days

#15 posted 03-08-2013 03:46 PM

That is beautiful. If my wife saw that she would make me bring it in the house and use it for a table it’s so nice looking!

-- Mark, Newton, NC.

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