Hand Tools Archive 2006

Finally finished my workbench (pics)

GolfSteve in Calgary
>Well it's finally finished. I started building the bench in March 2005 and finished it in April 2006, with a few other projects interspersed in there. It's a traditional cabinet maker's workbench based on the design promoted by Frank Klausz (and others).

The bench is a joy to work on compared to my old faithful plywood bench. I have absolutely no regrets about the time or money expended on the project.

The general dimensions are 8' long by 30" wide. The doghole strip section is 4" thick and the remainder of the bench is 3" thick. I planned to document building the bench so I took a lot of pictures. Last weekend I sat down to write up the process and ended up with over 80 pages! After a bit of editing this weekend and inserting a bunch of drawings it's up to 103 pages, so expect a bit of verbal diarrhea if you download the PDF file. It's not exactly the page turner that the DaVinci Code is, but hopefully it provides a bit of useful info for anyone building their own bench.

Since I mostly work with handtools I wanted a traditional bench. Rob Cosman promotes the utility of the shoulder vice as do Scott Landis and Frank Klausz, so I used that style of vice even though I've never really had a chance to work with one before. I really like the tail vice and the planing stop. The tail vice is the most useful feature of the whole bench, except for the nice flat reference surface.

At some point in the future I'll get around to shortening the shoulder vice screw, adding a flip-up saw stop, and building a bathroom vanity between the stretchers, but for now I'm done.

Hope you enjoy,

Workbench Write-up (4.3 MB)

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