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    Build a Simple, Sturdy Workbench






    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

    This easy-to-build workbench can do double-duty as a tablesaw outfeed table.

    The bench is constructed with lumber and supplies available at any home center or lumber yard. To build it, you'll need a few basic tools including a router, drill-driver, and circular saw.

    StartWoodworking.com use only

     

     

     

    Requirements for a workbench
    While you can follow our measured drawing, we recommend customizing the dimensions for your bench to suit your needs.

    There are two common ways to determine the height of your workbench. The first is the height of other surfaces around your shop. We designed our bench to match the height of the tablesaw so we could use the workbench as an outfeed support when cutting large pieces.

    Another approach to sizing your bench is based on your stature; the taller you are, the taller your workbench. To determine a good height, straighten your arm against your side, aim the palm of your hand toward the floor, and measure from the floor to your palm. This height is generally comfortable for bench tasks like hand planing and routing.

    Joinery and Construction
    In this first episode we focus on building the base. In episode two, we construct the benchtop and attach a woodworking vise.

    The base is constructed with kiln-dried construction lumber (not green lumber, which is wet and might warp as it dries). And the joinery system consists of long threaded rods, sometimes called truss rods, that fit inside the stretchers and are held in place with washers, nuts, and dowels.

    We cut all of our lumber to size with a circular saw and a shopmade straightedge jig. You can also use a miter saw or tablesaw if you have those in your shop. The holes for the dowels and bolt system are bored with a handheld drill-driver. A drill press would speed up the task and provide better accuracy.

    The benchtop and base
    The benchtop is constructed by cutting two matching pieces from a single sheet of MDF. This is a pretty simple task that makes use of the circular-saw edge guide we made in the previous episode. The two pieces are glued and screwed together and attached to the bench base with tabletop clips.

    Once the bench top is attached to the base, we show you how to install a woodworking vise with bolts. Finally, we finish up by drilling holes for the benchdogs.


    How to Make

    click to enlarge

    Instructions: Follow the detailed step-by-step instructions in the video player above.



    AsaC

    Comments

    What size drill bit and counter sink used.

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    dalladalla dalladalla writes:

    I'm a brand new woodworker and also making my own 2nd try and create that bench. I like the style however are having problems while using the pockets inside lower limbs for that threaded supports. In the event We have calculated correctly there is certainly just 1/16th of in . relating to the pockets planning just about every course. A pair of with the lower limbs arrived completely however a couple of lower limbs Best online digital cards received pockets that intersected and also the supports may not healthy by means of. I'm going to connect the actual pockets using dowels and also try all over again with a routine guidebook this time around (don't have a routine press). In the event it does not work I'm going to start all over again however this time around employ larger panels for that prolonged stretchers. Any kind of methods for what sort of raw lumber to utilize, anything I can pick up with a large container shop?

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    David Stys writes: It looks like the threaded rods need to be cut to length. What lengths? And can they be hand sawn with a hack saw? Thanks!

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    David Faber writes: Don't know about the length but I saw something on You Tube to help with the cutting. He took a 2x2x10 inches or so in length and drilled a hole about 2" from one end the same or close to same diameter as the rod. Then he cut a kerf in between the holes with a bandsaw. He placed the rod through with a nut on one side and another on the end protruding from the hole. He tightened both nuts to hold the rod tight and cut it with a hacksaw. Taking the nuts off straightened out the threads, too. Hope this helps.

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    Marco Calvo writes: Hi. I like your videos and the simplicity of this bench. I live in the tropics, and I wonder if the MDF will last long. Especially if drilling dog bench holes in it. I've been thinking on using solid wood instead, but for that I'd need to join the pieces. Not sure what to do. Any comments on the durability of the MDF for the top? Thanks

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    John Hopkins writes:

    This is a great project for a beginning woodworker. I'd like to make a larger version of this bench with a 96"x30" top. How would you change the base to support the larger top? I was thinking of adding another 4x4 leg mid way between the other two at the front and back with a top and bottom stretcher running front to back, basically a third leg assembly. My only issue with this is how to join the front and back stretchers to this new vertical member. Should I get a 96" truss rod and pass it all the way through from left to right? 

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    What finish to use

    AsaC
    Asa Christiana writes: Hi, Keith. So glad you are enjoying the site. We did apply a simple oil finish to the MDF. One coat of just about any finish, Danish oil, Minwax antique oil, tung oil, shellac, polyurethane, will soak in and toughen the MDF a bit, and also help it resist stains. But too many coats of a film finish like shellac or poly will be too slippery, and will develop ugly scratches. Best of luck.

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    Winx51
    Keith Winkelmann writes:

    Greetings ASA,

    After 5 trips to the hardware store I am finished with this table. It looks like you guys applied a coating to the MDF. If so, what is it and what made you choose it? Thanks again for keeping everything so simple. I really enjoy this website.

    Keith

    Different dimensions

    burlbus
    Richard Lipkin writes:

    Hi Asa,

    I like this plan and am about to try constructing a bench. I purchased a ready-made top that is 30 x 60. I notice that in your plan, the base width is flush with that of the top.

    Do you feel a base whose dimensions are flush with the top's is especially desirable? Would there be a downside to a base with your base's dimensions and putting my top that would overhang all around?

    I see an advantage to having an overhang because it makes it easier to temporarily attach vises or clamps. But I am a beginner so I would defer to your advise.

    Richard

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