Since I don’t have a real workshop at the moment, I needed a flexible workbench that was easy to move. Inspired by Laura’s and Jonas’ mini workbenches:
I decided to make my own version.
I was able to use a friend’s well equipped workshop for the most part. All in all it took about three days and was a lot of fun.
The lumber yard had some planed pieces of beech lying around that were leftovers from making stairs. I was looking for something quite thick since I wanted the bench to be heavy, hoping it would add to the stability wherever I would put it on. The boards were about 4cm (1.5") thick which was perfect. They were 90 cm (35") long which was enough for the 80cm (31") length that I was going for.
The glue up left the table top with quite some planing to do, which was done by hand (with Alex’ help) and got us a good work out.
We gave a sliding dovetail a brief thought, but in light of the time and tool limitation (router bit too small) we decided to go with simple dowels to attach the legs to the bench top, which seems to work well until now.
The dog holes are 19mm (3/4"). Most of them were done using the drill press, but due to the location of the setup two wholes had to be done with a power drill in a mobile stance. The fun thing here was that I could use one of the already existing dog holes to clamp down the drill stance (see picture). Nerd alert: this reminded me of the old Gentoo times, when you downloaded a tiny gcc version that was just powerful enough to compile itself fully — bootstrapping and all. The vise itself has a dog integrated, so for now I am going for two rows of dog holes in the bench top + the one in the vise. If that’s not enough I might add two corresponding holes to the sacrificial wooden piece in the vise.
So far I only have two bench dogs that I made from 22mm rod (made with: rasp, card scraper, chisel, blood, sweat, tears ..). I’ll add to the collection when necessary. Paul Sellers has a cool, simple and cheap DIY solution:
I finished the bench with three coats of Danish Oil (see Jona’s Video) and it looks very nice. Brings out the figures in the beech .. way better than I expected. After using the bench already a bit, it does seem to scratch quite easily. Let’s see how it holds up.
The complete bench has a weight of 24 kg (52 Ibs) which makes it a bit awkward to move around but when fixed with clamps in a table makes for quite a stable setup.
This looks like a great bench to take you on your woodworking journey.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin