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Project Information

This workbench began as a salvage from a dumpster. I found an old maple top, very beat up, pits and gouges everywhere, cupped from side to side and slightly bowed from front to back, ragged edges, and a good candidate for firewood. I could see why it was on the garbage heap. But NO! "I can make that workbench I've always wanted," says I, "and cheaply!" So I dragged it home, ripped it and rejoined the good pieces, planed and sanded it (for what seemed like days), and got it into decent shape. Top is now about 6×3, a bit wider than most benches but very good for me. Built a base made of fir, wrapped the top in ash, and added ash slats for a lower shelf. Installed an old Columbian vise that I picked up some years back at a yard sale (for $2-I still get a thrill from that), and mortised the corner of the table so that the back jaw of the vise sits flush with the bench face. Stained the base with a dark gel stain in an effort to highlight the maple top and make the base look "earthy," though it looks more like a goofy gel stain job. Finished the top with several coats of danish oil. And then added a board jack on runners. The whole thing now serves as my main bench, and as many other have remarked of their benches, I can't believe I ever worked without a proper one. Thanks for looking.

Gallery

Comments

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15,066 Posts
That turned out darn nice! 3' isn't wide, mine is 4×12 and I use every inch of it.
 

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14,592 Posts
Very nice AND cheap. Well done.
 

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13,731 Posts
Very well done and thrifty too! I was thinking, it just needs a deadman… then saw pic #2.
 

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7,831 Posts
Very simple… EXTREEMLY USEFUL… And the price was fantastic!

What more could a man need?
 

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925 Posts
Who can't appreciate Dumpster diving when You see a project like this ! Awesome save and nice design, like the board jack as well !
 

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317 Posts
I have to start checking in dumpsters.
 

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1,323 Posts
Sweet! You can't beat that with a stick. Looks really good.
 

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1,345 Posts
great bench - nice save!
i made my bench from old oak door frames from a school or hospital
 

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11,362 Posts
Great work on that workbench. Looks really good and can't imagine from the dumpster. Great find and save. It should get plenty of use.
 

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28 Posts
Thanks, all, for all the comments. I was never a dumpster diver before, but now . . . whoa! (And salvaging is better for the landfills.)
 

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646 Posts
Very cool.
 

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217 Posts
Salvage and repurpose job done well. This looks very solid. How long did this project take to complete?
 

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28 Posts
Thanks for the good feedback. To answer your question, Laketrout36, it took me a couple of weeks to complete. The longest part: it took days to try to get the top into some sort of shape. Working on the top took as much time as milling and joining and finishing all of the other parts. I must not have done a decent enough job of glue-up because I'm now noticing a very slight shift in level between the two big halves of the table. Still works, though.
 

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10 Posts
Really fantastic bench, wish I had one like it. So, how do you get access to salvage at a landfill? Aren't those places off limits.
 
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