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Just incase there wasn't enough threads on workbenches already... lol


As I've been working with a 1/2 sheet of mdf straddled across 2 saw horses for the last 7ish months, I thought it about time to go ahead and make myself a decent workbench. I had thought of going the whole hog, fancy hardwood inlayed tops, mortice and tenon legs, dovetailed skirts etc etc. Then I realised, 'hey, its a workbench', and its going to get drilled into, chiseled into, have glue and paint spilt across it and the likes so the thought of spending days making a workbench that would rival most fancy dining tables in looks (and cost!) quickly departed.


I have now opted for a more simplistic approach to workbench design, with the focus being on strength and portability around the shop. The finished size will be about 1800x600mm (6'x2') and around 900mm high. The legs are 90x90mm and the rails are 90x42mm. The top will consist of 2 sheets of 16mm mdf edged with a Tasmanian oak skirt.


If I had to name this project, I think I would have to call it the bench of 4's. It took me about 4 minutes to design, has a costing of around $400 (incl. 4 heavy duty double locking wheels, 2 vises and all new timber) and it has taken exactly 40 minutes for me to unload the car from returning from the hardware store this arvo until what you see now!


My pile of parts, roughly cut down from 6m lengths to pieces I could fit in the car.


All parts for the substrate of the top have been cut to size and machined. 40 pocket holes, 20 recessed holes, 10 rebates and 6 30mm holes for the vise rails.



More pics to follow as construction continues when I get home tomorrow.

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I went cheap and laminated 4 3/4 sheets of MDF and framed it in using 2x4's.  I still lay paper out on it as not to ruin the finish.  Shucks,  if I did mess the finish up, I have a lot of wood putty and poly to lay down..  Little did I know then, that the height of my TS is the same height as my bench.  So, when I'm ripping cuts, they just go out onto the bench.  Great for plywood.  No more roller stands.

Ok, this project finally has gained some more momentum! I had planned to get it all finished with a few days, but as I had managed the hurt my shoulder lifting weights at the gym I spent most of my time off work over the holidays at the physio instead of in the shop :/


Anyways, here is the progress thus far;


The substructure support for the 2 16mm (5/8") mdf sheets top.


The legs (on double locking castors) and the lower rails Kreg'd in place.


The legs are coach-bolted to the top strucure should I ever need to take the bench apart. There are another 2 bolts on the other side too, ie 4 10x150mm bolts per leg. All harware has been recessed to allow for the hardwood skirts to go over the top.


The one sheet of mdf has been Kreg'd into place from beneath. The harwood skirt will wrap around all 4 sides of the bench, and extend 16mm above the first sheet of mdf. That way I can just drop the second sheet in from above and put a few screws in from the bottom to hold it in place, facilitating easy replacement if/when it is required.


As of tonight, I have the hardwood skirts on, the second mdf layer in place, the legs have had 2 coats of paint and the top/skirts have had 2 coats of lacquer. Of course I forgot to take a picture of it all assembled prior to me starting the finishing process, so you will just have to wait until it is done to see the end result :)

Well, between a thousand and one other projects, and being put on shed time sanctions to plan the engagement party I have ALMOST finished the bench!

I had a mate around yesterday helping pull an engine out so while he was here I made extra use of hime and got him to hold the vacuum whilst I drilled all the holes for the bench dogs. 27 holes later and I am now left with 2 decisions... to laquer or not to laquer the lower shelf and what the heck to do in regards to handles for the vices.


Anyways, here is the progress thus far. I probably should of dusted the top of the bench a bit better prior to taking the photo, but you get the general idea.


Are your bench dogs in solid wood? I only counted 5 possible 2 x 4 's?
I'm using these as my bench dogs. Most of my work (speaker cabinets and euro kitchen cabinets) is panel based, so they suit my application quite well.

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