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Forum topic by GrumpyGolfGuy posted 06-07-2020 02:22 AM 731 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GrumpyGolfGuy's profile


128 posts in 536 days

06-07-2020 02:22 AM

I need help from Y’all. I need a true woodworking bench, for hand plane use and more hands on woodworking. You know, dogs and a tail clamp and such. I had hoped to build a Roubo style bench, but I just don’t have the time or space to build one. I’m in a basement shop, limited space.
So, I need to purchase one. I’ve been searching thru web sites like Wood Crafters and such but am truly over whelmed at this point. All my wood working up to this point have been power tool based, but as I am making the transaction away from power to hand tools my current bench’s don’t cut it. I plan to keep the main one fro an out feed for the table saw and assembly, but I need one to use with planes and such.

Are there any “kits” out there worth a hoot?



-- Give a someone a piece of wood, they'll make fire. Teach them to work with wood and they'll buy saws, hammers,planners, chisels, and more.

11 replies so far

View SMP's profile


4816 posts in 1145 days

#1 posted 06-07-2020 03:26 AM

If you don’t have time to build yourself, Benchcrafted makes some nice benches here:

View therealSteveN's profile


8832 posts in 1814 days

#2 posted 06-07-2020 04:12 AM

Not just an average bench either, possibly the best hardware anywhere, and Jameel builds stuff to last.

-- Think safe, be safe

View controlfreak's profile


2876 posts in 841 days

#3 posted 06-07-2020 11:33 AM

I know this won’t fix the no time to build problem but you should check out
I am getting ready to start one.

View Sylvain's profile


1389 posts in 3739 days

#4 posted 06-07-2020 01:04 PM

The big advantage of the Moravian workbench is it can be assembled and knocked down in less than a minute. Although, using a quick release metal vise on it would make this less practical due to the heavy weight.

I made a Paul Sellers workbench and I am happy about it:
It is very rigid and can be knocked down if needed (moving).
I made mine taking into account the material and space available, it i easy to scale up or down. Joinery is limited to 8 mortises and tenons and 4 housing. Otherwise, it is sawing, laminating and planing. Quite easy, even with limited experience. I am 1.75 m and my bench is about 97 cm high; it is comfortable.

If you are in a hurry, make a one-afternoon workbench:
Bandit571 is one of the most productive LJ. He demonstrates there is no need for a fancy workbench.
Then, if you want it, make a nicer one time permitting.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View OleGrump's profile


581 posts in 1584 days

#5 posted 06-08-2020 10:59 PM

Little confused here….No room to make a bench….in a basement shop…...? if it’s that small, then how would there be room to do any kind of woodworking…..? Right now I’m sqoozen into one end of a one car garage, which is only 9 feet wide at best. I built a 6’ X 2’ X 36” high bench in it by placing the top of saw horses, and building it upside down. When the legs were completed, I flipped her over, and began working on the vises. Space shouldn’t be too big of an issue here.
Time is another question. If you really have ZERO time, get one of those $120 bench kits from Harbor freight. It’s good enough to get you started, and you can either make modifications as time and money allow, or eventually use it to build your ultimate dream bench sometime down the road. The HF bench can then become an assembly table for your projects.
The ubiquitous workbench admonition: Never build a workbench any less than 36 inches high. More as needed, but never any less. Your back will thank you for it !!!

-- OleGrump

View Sylvain's profile


1389 posts in 3739 days

#6 posted 06-09-2020 10:22 AM

I made my workbench in the backyard during summer.
My “workshop” space is about 2 X 3 m in the attic (hand tool only). The workbench was knocked down for transport.

Studies indicate the optimum height is about 15 cm below elbow height (with your shoes on).
Lower = back pain
Higher = shoulder/wrist/neck pain

Before finding this studies, I wrote this:
which for me gives the same height.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View controlfreak's profile


2876 posts in 841 days

#7 posted 06-09-2020 10:30 AM

For hand tool work I have heard that the proper height is when standing where the first knuckle on your finger is. I haven’t set up on saw horses to test this out yet.

View metolius's profile


432 posts in 1970 days

#8 posted 06-09-2020 07:10 PM

The HF bench isn’t a bad deal in its value. Having one for 10 years, my biggest complaint are that the top is thin and apronned with the underside prohibited by drawers, all leaving not much for clamping options. I use it more as a worktable then a bench. Yet, for a starter bench, weighted down so it can’t move… it has usefulness, yet costs half as much as a vise that might be on a more substantial bench.

HF stands at 34 inches, I stand at 5’9”. I am a hung jury on the proper height. CSchwarz might tell me 33 inches, PSellers may say 38. For planing I might prefer low to get my shoulders over the work. For sawing pins and tails, I’d want the work to be higher to line my eyes through my arm and down the saw. Perhaps this is why benchtop Moxons are so popular.

Speaking of Paul Sellers bench design, he also has a plywood version that is interesting

-- derek / oregon

View Sylvain's profile


1389 posts in 3739 days

#9 posted 06-09-2020 07:38 PM

this video demonstrate that a low workbench is not needed for planing (as long as your plane is sharp).

If, nevertheless, you find your workbench too high for some operations, you can always walk on a duck-board.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View OleGrump's profile


581 posts in 1584 days

#10 posted 06-21-2020 02:41 PM

Been using a “higher” (36”) workbench for some time now, and loving it. Keeping one’s tool sharp and using one’s legs and arms are the keys here. Yes, I will probably be making a benchtop twin screw vise for dovetail work, but this height is serving me well for most purposes, planing, boring, sawing and the like. Forget that old “first knuckle” wive’s tale! Go about halfway up your forearm, and you’ll never regret it!!! 8^)

-- OleGrump

View bandit571's profile


29699 posts in 3923 days

#11 posted 06-21-2020 03:19 PM

Mine will be 7 years old in September….still going strong, BTW…
Added a Leg Vise….There is a cabinet under the bench, with a shelf over it….shelf sticks out enough the items in the leg vise can rest on the shelf. Enough of an apron, I can clamp things to the bench. I can also use a clamp across the bench, using the tool well.

There is an end vise. For joinery, I can drag out the Shop Stool, and sit down at the end vise.

But, right now…it is a bit full…

Been a wee bit busy, lately….yes, there are 13/16” dog holes…I taper 7/8” dowels for a tight fit.

I’m 5’11”..Bench is about…33” tall….

And, this IS the space I have to work in….in my basement shop..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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