Reclaimed Lumber Sturdy Workbench

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Project by TDog posted 11-15-2013 07:13 AM 3168 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My reclaimed materials workbench.

So I was able to get a few large posts from our ag teacher at the school where I taught history. I knew they would make great heavy legs for a much more sturdy and actually flat workbench then what I had.

NEW RECLAIMED LUMBER WORKBENCH: It has the large post legs

OLD SAGGING WORKBENCH: It is sitting on saw horses.

SAW HORSE CONVERSION: After I put the new base on my bench, I trimmed the saw horses down shorter and at angles on the legs for a quick set of traditional handsaw horses saving about 16 hours of fine measurements and hand sawing for the perfect 17-18 century sawyers bench … interpretation.

The main changes I made on the new bench (books open on top of new one), I trimmed down the overall width and a little bit of the length. The base for sure was added. The saw horses worked but became a pain at times when navigating the bench for clamping and using a straight edge to make long cuts.

The new bench is nice and flat and braced by sturdy reclaimed barn timber aprons all the way around. However, the top itself is still a simple used 3/4 sheet of oak ply wood scrap left over from a very long bookshelf I made hears ago. The bench top has been plenty strong enough for my rough work. I don’t have to worry about “ruining it” with glue spills and stray chisel strikes or handsaw cuts. It is well broke in.

The weight the legs added has been great for stability and prevents much movement during hand planing and other tasks in building pieces of furniture.

The fun part was hand cutting the mortise and tenons for the cross braces in the base. If you look close, you can see where I got my marks off on the wrong side of the legs making one cross piece flush to the inside of the legs under the bench top and the other slide flush to the outside of the top. O well, it’s still sturdy as can be and did not cost me any bench cash, only lots of hours planing, chiseling, and digging out mortises which was quite a learning experience. I am of the school go for it and either succeed or fail while daring greatly. Gotta love the “Man In The Arena” Speech by Former President Theodore Roosevelt.

1. one 3/4” sheet or large scrap of oak plywood
2. two reclaimed 6×6x8 posts (shaping needed due to mild twists and bows)
3. a few reclaimed barn timbers (vintage if that’s allowed in wood talk from the old saw mill- a true 2×6 I think
these are the same timbers I used on my coffee table build if you get to check that out on my project list.
4. long screws from a garage sale bucket of various screws and bolts for 5$

NOTE: My six year old son made footprints in paint and created “foot art” on the underside of the bench top when he was about 3 when I built the original (sagging) bench top. Of course I saved the top piece and trimmed around this masterpiece as we talked about that day and created the new workbench. He was astonished I had not thrown it away and there it was.


A heavy workbench for around $5.00
Garage sale guy would not throw in the screws free with the baseball glove purchase. LOL

-- "So many little time..." Psalm 23

3 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30662 posts in 3678 days

#1 posted 11-15-2013 07:29 AM

New workbench is awesome

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JSan's profile


56 posts in 3317 days

#2 posted 11-15-2013 02:55 PM

Great! Feels good when putting old wood to good use. If I may add a recommendation, for table with legs you could add some casters with brakes for easy moving (about $3 ea. at HF).

-- "It's always a good idea to copy a good (wood project) idea" author unknown

View TDog's profile


235 posts in 3570 days

#3 posted 12-13-2013 03:25 AM

Thanks guys
I miss the length of my 8 ft bench
But I love being able to move around and work more in my work area.
Its much more stable too.

-- "So many little time..." Psalm 23

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