Monday, January 20, 2014

Woodsmith Workbench, part 1

It's time for a new workbench in the shop. I'm not interested at this time in building a Roubo or other traditional style bench but I do want something that is sizable, heavy and sturdy. After looking around I found those things in the "Heavy-duty workbench" from woodsmith magazine.

you can get the plan free off of the Woodsmith shop TV website: plans
I decided to make a few adjustments to the dimensions of mine, first, I like the length, I increased the height by one inch to 37 inches and I reduced the width by 5 inches to 27 inches

A stack of douglas fir ready for the build. I had to go to my lumber supplier here in Houston because the box stores do not carry it here.

I start buy cutting the leg pieces to length.

Leg pieces cut to width and jointed.

Form an L out of the leg pieces and glue together. The joint will face the long end of the bench and be covered by a filler piece later.

After the glue dries I run them over the jointer to insure the joint is flush.

Next, I cut the panels for the end assemblies to size. The plan calls for these to go all the way to the ground, I stopped mine a half inch shy to make leveling the bench easier.

Then, I pre-drill and counter sink for the screws.

Glue and screw the panels to the leg assemblies, being careful of the leg orientation and that they are flush with the top of your leg assemblies.

Here you can see how the end assemblies will make up the base.

Next, the top stretchers and the bottom shelf stretchers get cut to length and width. I also joint them to insure a flat top assembly. Here you can see the first stretcher installed, I clamp it in place drill for the holes and install the bolts.

It is important to get these flush with your leg assembly to insure a flat top assembly, being square to the leg is important as well but a slightly out of square leg to get these flush is acceptable, I think, or you can spend some time flushing this up via a hand plane later.

Here, all of the stretchers have been installed.

To finish the base off filler pieces are cut and glued in place to fit between the stretchers as well as the bottom. This gives the bench a better look but also adds weight.

Completed base, well, almost. The base needs to have all of the edges eased with a bevel bit in the router, a shelf installed on the bottom and then cleats along the top stretchers for securing the top.


  1. Great Job. It's your work bench and it will be a very GOOD one.!!!

    I think many us of ( me ) obsess too much over a perfect workbench. After all it's a WORK bench.

  2. David- I built that plan a couple of years ago as a second small (48") work bench with a vise. Its been great....really heavy! Rusty