Reply by HokieKen

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Posted on Workbench design input

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15157 posts in 2019 days

#1 posted 07-13-2017 11:48 AM

Hi everyone,

So I m looking to build a new workbench in the next week or so…

- hondo13

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! I wanted that too. I’ve been working on mine since August and I’m almost done. I spend close to a year prior to that designing it. Then again, I built my first one in one evening. Of course it wasn’t aimed specifically at woodworking either.

On the serious side, I think taking your time up front on the design is VERY worthwhile IF you plan to use this bench for a quite a while. If this is just a bench to use for a year or so until you’re ready to build your “real” bench, then just go at it.

There are lots of decisions to make that will have a big effect on how you can work. Aprons or no? Knock-down or permanent? What kind of vise(s)? Where to put the vise(s)? Storage below or open space? Dog holes? Round or square? Tool well? Big or small? Where? Etc, etc, etc….

My bench is 26” deep with a narrow well ~2/3 of the way to the back. As Rick suggests, my bench is in the middle of my shop so I can work from both sides and I use both power and hand tools. I also use my bench for assembly which is the reason for the narrow tool wells. I can still use the full bench for assembly when needed. If it were against a wall though, I’d probably have gone 20” with a shelf above it for tools or 24” with the back 4-6” as a well.

Construction lumber is commonly used to good results for benches. I’d recommend going with SYP if it’s available to you. It’s heavy and fairly hard for a soft wood. Doug fir is also a good choice. Personally, I’d buy it in 2×10 or 2×12 and rip down to the width needed. You’ll get straighter, clearer boards by buying thicker stuff and you’ll be able to be pickier about which parts you use.

Okay, that’s enough :-) Probably more than you bargained for. But I’ll follow the post so if you have more questions, I’ll be glad to chime in. Here's a blog I've been writing during my workbench build. Part 2 has details of my design if you’re interested.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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