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This workbench is my 60-th birthday present (Today September 14, 2015). I worked all through the summer to build it. Now that I know what I am doing I think I could build it in 3 or 4 weeks if I had no distractions, all the lumber, and the hardware.

  1. Front view
  2. End view
  3. Made some shavings.
  4. Holes
  5. Bondo pose

The top measures 8'.5 to 9' long and is made of a center 15" by 4" slab on each side of the slab two (true) ash 2" by 4" have been laminated, making it 23" wide in total. It is Ash with Cherry ends. The face vice is Spalted maple. The leg vise and deadman are cherry. The legs, shelf and short stretchers are ash. (Some spalted Ash and a couple pieces of Oak.) The short stretchers are attached to the legs via draw-bores. The long stretchers are made of birch and attached to the legs using 1/2" bolts, that can be removed for transport. The Top sits on the legs via blind mortise and tenons. I am very happy with the design and construction. It breaks down so that it can be moved and is rock solid when assembled.

Recommendations for the beginner.
  1. Don't do as I did. First learn how to use all your hand tools long before having a real bench as fellow LJ Mosquito did.
  2. Don't try to make it out of one slab as I originally tried to do, unless you really know what to look for.
  3. I think buying pre-dimensioned lumber is the way to go on this project.

Acknowledgments. There have been so many LJs who have been patiently answering my questions I am sure to miss and offend someone. So I'll just say Thank you…. you know who you are. It has been a great learning experience.

Now I have to dust off my 55 and catch up in Mos's class.

Addendum.
While building I had a dog hole/hold fast hole epiphany just as I was about start drilling lots of holes.

Wait until you need them. That way there won't be holes everywhere

Then I found the Chris Schwarz Lost art press article on holdfast hole theory.

I thought he gave excellent reasons for these holes so I drilled 7 of them. Also when you look at the picture in Roubo's book you will see there are not all that many holes. So my plan is to drill dog holes when and where I need them when the need arises.

Some assembly photos. (Added July 9, 2017)

Top sits on tenons, its massive weight hold it in place.



Short stretchers and legs are a single unit joined by draw bore mortice and tenon joints.



Long stretchers are attached via bolts:





Note the wide slot to accommodate the wrench and the use of the magnet to hold the nut while threading it into the bolt.

Gallery

Comments

· Registered
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7,180 Posts
Outstanding work, Don! Looks solid and huge.
Happy B-Day to you!

Hmmm, your pose resembles my fav…

 

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· Registered
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12,441 Posts
Happy birthday Don and great bench. Dog holes?
 

· Registered
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1,218 Posts
Nice Job Don! What is the length of it…Lots of work surface!

You need to go out and have a pastie to celebrate!!
 

· Just Plane Crazy
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11,542 Posts
Very nice! Happy Birthday!

And thanks for the shout out; I only pretend to know what I'm doing lol
 

· Registered
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8,547 Posts
Don, looks great! Awesome job, Sir. You should be proud.

The rest of the shop look good too! That lathe peaking out in your Bondo pose is one of my favorite looking lathes ever made.
 

· Registered
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18,689 Posts
Great job.

Mos, are you sending Don the blue wig?
 

· Premium Member
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3,594 Posts
Great work Don! Now mess it up with some projects
 

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Pretty damn good for a young fellow. If you are having a problem with Grammersy holdfasts, touch them all over and wait a week . The shaft will rust or at least it does here. A dry day here is when the humidity is less than 60%. So stuff rusts a lot around here, They hold real well when they rust a little. Any way nice bench. You guys make me ashamed of my work.
 

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1,819 Posts
Excellent Don! Congrats with the new bench.
 

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Don, looks great! Awesome job, Sir. You should be proud.

The rest of the shop look good too! That lathe peaking out in your Bondo pose is one of my favorite looking lathes ever made.

- ToddJB
I just started resurrecting this lathe. Its been sitting in my basement for 14 years. Got the motor rewire and she runs now. The Lathe axel sized up so I've scrubbed off the old grime and grease. Found I was missing two sets screws.
So tomorrow I'll get those and some light machine oil. And see how it goes. I'll post some where when I have more problems. Be sure to give me some advice. Here is a picture for you.

 

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10,147 Posts
Don, great lookin bench bud.
 

· Registered
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Happy birthday Don and great bench. Dog holes?

- theoldfart
While building. I had a dog hole/ hold fast hole epiphany just as I was about start drilling lots of holes.

Wait until you need them. That way there won't be holes everywhere

Then I found the Chris Schwarz Lost art press article on holdfast hole theory.

I thought he gave excellent reasons for these holes so I drilled 7 of them. Also when you look at the picture in Roubo's book you will see there are not all that many holes. So my plan is to drill dog holes when and where I need them when the need arises. Here are my 7 holes:



I added this picture to the project.
 

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4,727 Posts
Nice Job Don! What is the length of it…Lots of work surface!

You need to go out and have a pastie to celebrate!!

- putty
8.3 to 9 feet as the tail face vice is opened.
 

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Don, great bench!! Like the shots of the tool wall too!
I'm working on getting that exact same lathe up and working in my shop! Though still need to drill out the dead center to accept a morse taper and find a head attachment that can accept modern parts.
 

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Nice Job Don! What is the length of it…Lots of work surface!

You need to go out and have a pastie to celebrate!!

- putty
A pastie would be interesting to taste. I can only find Pastys here.

Bench varies from 8.3 to 9 feet long as the tail face vice is opened.

- Combo Prof
 

· Registered
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4,727 Posts
Pretty damn good for a young fellow. If you are having a problem with Grammersy holdfasts, touch them all over and wait a week . The shaft will rust or at least it does here. A dry day here is when the humidity is less than 60%. So stuff rusts a lot around here, They hold real well when they rust a little. Any way nice bench. You guys make me ashamed of my work.

- oltexasboy1
The Gramercy Hold fast worked perfect out of the box, before I put on a wiping varnish. I panicked and asked the gang what to do. Found some 60 grit sandpaper went round and round the hold fast and they work perfect again.
Winters coming so it will be very dry here and we won't get much rust.
 
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