|I started working on the workbench in October 2004. The bench top is constructed entirely from discarded job site materials. A
friend of mine was able to salvage about twenty 3" x 4" x 8' red oak and white oak boards and I was able to salvage about fifteen
6/4 red oak and white oak boards. The center portion of the bench top is constructed of the 3" x 4" beams milled to
approximately 1 7/8" thick x 3-3 1/2" wide pieces and the dog hole section and the apron was laminated from the 6/4 boards
milled to approximately 1" thick boards. The rough lumber was milled as the construction of the top progressed.
|After milling the top sections, I arranged the best faces to be on the top and front of the
bench top. The top was first laminated in two sections approximately 13" wide. I did this
so that I could run each section through my 15" planer before laminating the two
|I used an angle grinder with a sanding disc to knock the dirt off the boards.
I did this so that the grit wouldn't damage my jointer and planer blades.
|A router with a 1/2" spiral bit and a straight edge was used to route a tenon
on the edge of the bench top. An end cap will be screwed to the end of the
bench top to help keep the top flat.
|After cutting the tenon on the top and bottom of the bench top, the excess
was removed with a jigsaw. The extra thickness laminated to the bottom of
the top to allow mounting of the tail vise plate has not been cut in the
|It would have been easier to cut the tenon on the bottom had I cut it before I
added the front spacer for the tail vise plate.
|This picture shows the end cap dry fit in place. The end cap extends
past the back edge of the bench top so that a tool tray can be added.
|I used my Sargent combination plane with a 3/8" blade to form a groove
needed for clearance of the top sliding plate on the tail vise assembly. The
location of the tail vise assembly was located approximately 1" below the top
of the bench.
|This shows the location of the plate. I used a square to make sure the
top of the plate was parallel with the top of the bench.
|Once I determined the width of the tail vise core, I was able to mill the
dog hole strip, two spacer strips and the front apron strip to the proper
size. A plywood template was used with my router equipped with a
bushing guide and 1/2" spiral bit to route the dog holes. I also routed a
slot for the face vise rear jaw. The rear jaw of the face vise will be the
|Here's a picture of the core installed between the upper and lower guide
|The front three strips are approximately 1-1 1/8" thick by 4" wide boards
laminated to the front of the bench top. The wider 4th strip was milled from
the same stock as the rear of the bench top. Strips 3 and 4 are the
thickness of core mounted in the guide plates. Biscuits were used to help
keep the strips in alignment during glue up.
|Here I am testing the fit of the top and the end pieces of the tail vise.
|For the base, I used 3x3 Douglas fir purchased from Home Depot and 2x8 pine. A 1/2" threaded
rod fits in a groove down the center of the 2x8. 3/8" diameter lag screws are mounted at the top
and bottom of the 2x8. The top and bottom stretchers were fitted with mortises and tenons.
|Tail vise glue up.
|I was lucky that only the 4 dog hole strips required flattening. The cauls during gluing and the end
caps kept the center section flat.
|I finished the top with 2 coats of Watco Danish oil. I am still debating whether or not to install a lifting
mechanism. My test show that it will work, but I am not sure if I want the space required for storage.
I removed the pivoting jaw from the Wilton vise. If needed, it will take a minute or two to reinstall. I
haven't applied any finish to the base as I may add some drawers for storage.