Workbench #9: Attaching benchtop to the base

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by yuridichesky posted 03-14-2014 07:18 PM 5623 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Wagon vise reloaded Part 9 of Workbench series no next part

This blog entry is further in the past than the previous one, sharp-sighted will notice that leg vise is not ready yet here. I believe it’s not a big deal, so here we go…
At the very beginning of the project I wanted to build some kind of folding workbench, but as project evolved I rejected this folding approach and decided to build solid yet collapsible bench. Thus I started to figure how to mount benchtop on the base when both were ready.

Here’s what I came up with: benchtop (laminated pine 3-1/2” thick) attached to the base using mortise and tenon joint and bolted through these tenons with 3/8” bolts.

6 tenons are glued into the base (three on each side), and 6 mortises are cut on the bottom side of benchtop about half-way through. The tenons are drilled through to receive bolts.



I didn’t want to have large holes for the bolts heads on the benchtop, but small heads won’t allow to tighten strong enough because they’d just crush this soft pine. To address this I glued large metal washers into benchtop.

Large hole for the head:

Wooden plug:

All the bolts and nuts:

Wooden plug glued in:

...and planed flush:

Little jig I used to bore holes through the plugs:

Some side note. I like simple things, I appreciate simple stuff that works. All my software engineer career I’ve been trying to find and implement some simple solutions that work, and I know how hard it is to do something simple but yet effective. While working the wood I always ask myself if what I do simple enough, and I constantly find myself over-designing and over-building my projects. Just like those washers and plugs glued into benchtop. On one hand I see how much against the KISS rule they are, but on the other I don’t know how to make it more simple and yet provide desirable result. I think simplicity is related to craftsmanship level, and I hope that things WILL get more simple with experience and practice. Will see…

Back to workbench. Base and the top finally got together.

Front view:

Back view:

You can see the base is wider than the benchtop, but don’t worry, there will be a tool tray at the back. Not just tool tray, but tool tray with a twist :-)

Thank you for looking!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

9 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


11251 posts in 3506 days

#1 posted 03-14-2014 07:39 PM

Very nice. I like the approach of gluing in the washer, then filling in the extra. Nice clean look

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View CL810's profile


4167 posts in 4202 days

#2 posted 03-14-2014 07:49 PM

Interesting details.

I think simplicity is related to craftsmanship level” That is absolutely true. Trying to figure out how to do something for the first time, plus desire to avoid mistakes, equals lots of thinking/overdoing.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4548 days

#3 posted 03-14-2014 08:38 PM

Your bench looks very good. It’s nicely made with a lot of useful destails. Personally I hate tool trays as I find they collect shavings and mingle with any tools or other stuff that winds up in there while working on a project. I’m sure many others get good use out of their tool trays, but it just doesn’t work well for me. I hope you have better luck with yours.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26648 posts in 4319 days

#4 posted 03-15-2014 01:58 AM

Mighty fine! a lot of thought went into that!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3178 days

#5 posted 03-15-2014 05:10 AM

Thank you everybody!

Mike, you’re right about shavings and dust in the tool tray. But still I find some positive outcome too, as far as I built one I just have to find something positive :)

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Sergeich's profile


111 posts in 3011 days

#6 posted 03-15-2014 04:38 PM

Interesting decision on decreasing bolt hole size. Very clever. I have rather big bolt holes on my temporary workbench and they annoy me much because they collect all sorts of dust and chips. I am going to glue them with wood at all.
BTW what about that jack plane on a photo. I saw exactly such a plane in local tool shop for low price. But I was not shure in its quality.

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3178 days

#7 posted 03-15-2014 05:30 PM

Sergey, privet!

Thank you, man!

The jack on the photo is an old counterpart of #5 made by Voskov factory (Завод Воскова). My cousin found it somewhere and asked me to fix and tune it for him. I spent maybe couple of hours on it, and it turned to be quite decent one. Now plane is back at my cousin’s, and I bought some Chinese copy of #5: 350mm Kraftool plane. To be honest it’s not as good as old Voskov plane. I spent half a day trying to make its sole flat, but still it’s far from perfect.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Sergeich's profile


111 posts in 3011 days

#8 posted 03-15-2014 06:29 PM

Ok. I like Voskov planes. I bought one of them on a flee market – analogue of Stanly #1. It is pretty good.

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4365 days

#9 posted 03-19-2014 07:12 PM

Very innovative ideas Yuri, both the tenons and the plugs.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics