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My take on a Sturdy but Cheap bench

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Forum topic by Kudzupatch posted 02-07-2021 08:27 PM 807 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kudzupatch

168 posts in 2261 days


02-07-2021 08:27 PM

Woodworking is part hobby and part business for me. When I build shop furniture it is treated as a tool. It doesn’t have to look good, it HAS to be functional and I prefer it to be cheap. Function is much more important than looks.

I needed to replace the base of my existing bench recently The existing top was fine. Trying to decide what to build I started scrounging around to see what materials I might have. I found a some cut offs of PT 4×4’s and a few lengths of 2×4’s.

Did a quick sketch to set the basic dimensions and saw that I had just enough to make the base. Now pressure treated would not be my first choice but again, it was what I had and it was totally functional for this if a tad ugly.

Photos will show pretty clearly what I did. But just notched the 4x’s so that the 2x’s fit snugly. Glued the joints and pinned them with dowels. I have found adding dowels can really help in a glue joint that will be stressed.

In 4 corners I drill a hole and press in the largest dowel I have in the shop. Probably a 3/4” dia. I leave them standing proud about an inch. Then lay the bench top of these and lined it up. I mark the dowels on the top. Flip it over, drill oversized holes (1” I think). Flip the top back over the pins. This leaves room of movement and the weight holds it in place. The pins, even though the fit is loose it keeps the top from sliding around.

The drawers are a unit I built and repurposed for this. I sized the base to fit and I LOVE having that storage there. You can put nothing or do shelves. Just what ever you prefer. The extra weight is a good thing though.

Dirt cheap and ROCK STEADY!

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com


19 replies so far

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Madmark2

2492 posts in 1640 days


#1 posted 02-07-2021 08:53 PM

Lovely looking. I really like the inlaid crossmembers. Good work.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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BurlyBob

8694 posts in 3317 days


#2 posted 02-07-2021 09:04 PM

Now that’s an honest to God, working work bench.

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Peteybadboy

3273 posts in 3001 days


#3 posted 02-07-2021 09:27 PM

Wow that is a beast! (in a good way) I like the pencil sharpener. Did you repurpose the vice in the last picture?

-- Petey

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jamsomito

655 posts in 1478 days


#4 posted 02-07-2021 09:42 PM

With today’s lumber prices, might as well have made it out of walnut if starting from scratch, lol. Looks good.

I have the same mentality, though I am envious of those with picture perfect shops. Someday when I have time and money… For now, free scraps are good and things rarely match. But convenience and accessibility make the rest of my endeavors much more manageable, and with 3 little boys at home that’s exactly what I need right now. So – nice job on the bench legs!

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Kudzupatch

168 posts in 2261 days


#5 posted 02-07-2021 09:58 PM


Now that s an honest to God, working work bench.

- BurlyBob

Yup. It is the center of my shop. Everything cross that bench at some point

It would be hard for me to build a bench or any shop cabinets that looked like a piece of furniture and then beat the crap out of it. I admit that I am often tempted but then realize I would have to sell it. I could never use it.


Wow that is a beast! (in a good way) I like the pencil sharpener. Did you repurpose the vice in the last picture?

- Peteybadboy

I would be lost without the sharpener or the vice.

I picked that vice up cheap on EBay years ago. I think it was about the price of the screw? If you find one they are popular now and not so cheap anymore.

It is my go-to vice. I have a machine vice, grinder and polisher motors mounted so I can clamp them in this vice when I need them.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

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Kudzupatch

168 posts in 2261 days


#6 posted 02-07-2021 10:01 PM



With today s lumber prices, might as well have made it out of walnut if starting from scratch, lol.
- jamsomito

Isn’t that the truth!! I picked up 4 pressure treated 2×4x8’ and it was nearly $50. I was just making a simple wood rack and had used up all the old ones I had laying around. I knew lumber was high but I was shocked!

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

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Aj2

3757 posts in 2850 days


#7 posted 02-07-2021 10:36 PM

That bench is all business. Excellent work

-- Aj

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SMP

3787 posts in 957 days


#8 posted 02-08-2021 02:00 AM

Yeah there is only one person that needs to like it. Some people like nice, shiny, <insert> tools, some people just want a tool that works.

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diversity210

16 posts in 1630 days


#9 posted 02-08-2021 04:16 AM

Doesn’t have to be pretty, fancy, or elaborate to get the job done. Heck some of my best tools are old ugly and all beat up. All they need to do is get the job done.

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Karda

3042 posts in 1606 days


#10 posted 03-03-2021 11:04 PM

like the bench especially the drawers. Is each drawer the runner for the drawer ablove

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Foghorn

1145 posts in 438 days


#11 posted 03-04-2021 12:00 AM



Yeah there is only one person that needs to like it. Some people like nice, shiny, tools, some people just want a tool that works.

- SMP


I like both!! :)

-- Darrel

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Kudzupatch

168 posts in 2261 days


#12 posted 03-04-2021 12:15 AM



like the bench especially the drawers. Is each drawer the runner for the drawer ablove

- Karda

No, there is a dado on the side of each drawer and a peice of hardwood for a runner. Wax them ever so often and works well.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

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RClark

111 posts in 3237 days


#13 posted 03-04-2021 02:53 AM

I’m lovin’ it.

I tend to be very “utilitarian” when I build a workbench. I will paint, glue, pound, scrape, sand, chisel, stain, grind, and drill work pieces on the surface of those benches. I really have very few actions I take to protect those benches. I don’t care…a well-used bench will look like it has a few miles on it.

-- Ray

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Karda

3042 posts in 1606 days


#14 posted 03-04-2021 03:06 AM

ok thanks

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Sylvain

1222 posts in 3551 days


#15 posted 03-04-2021 10:57 AM

do I see a sliding deadman on the second picture?

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

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