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New house, new (first) bench, new to woodworking.

by 11d via Android

Initially, I drew the plans on SketchUp. They weren't much and the final product is slightly different but this helped me estimate materials and cost. I plan to use this for more or all projects in the future. I had a photo of all the wood stuffed into the back of my impreza wagon but can't find it. I can fit 8 foot boards but it certainly looked funny while we did several more errands around town with it. I bought the wood from a local lumber store and it cost me about the same as big box and seemed like as good or better quality. Plus the employee was kind and helped me make some cuts (to fit it all in my car) and offered suggestions for my plan. I'll go back.

I had no surface to work on. I was using a handheld small circular saw (rockwell R3441k I bought a few years back) to cut dados and a rolling toolbox with the wheels locked and a chisel to clean them up. I learned a valuable chisel lesson and sliced my thumbnail. It's healing nicely though. I used scrap wood in some cups in the top of the tool box to prevent the workpiece from moving too much. It was still a pain.

Legs in work

Oops. Cut in the wrong spot. I was moving too fast and had to salvage with some scrap 2x4. Luckily it's a back leg and close to the top so not noticable. it's just a workbench right?

Done the tops

More dados near the feet. These got tough with a sliced thumb.


I wanted to practice dowel joints so each dado has glue, two dowels and one screw.

I used a clamp to hold it together while I'm emplaced the lower 2x4 supports in the dados. It took a minute to get it all to fit well. Also not pictured are three 2" x 4" cross supports for the top.

Almost there! The top isn't fastened 100% here but I couldn't wait to put stuff on it. I used 3 2"x12s for the top. These were fastened to the 2x4 cross supports. I used a half inch sheet of birch plywood since I don't have the means to completely flatten the 2x12s. (I don't even have a table saw yet). I screwed those into the 2x12s using cabinet screws that are a bit shorter so they don't protrude on the bottom.

The birch plywood top is secured and sanded. (Lazily... It's a workbench)

Wiped clean, oil applied. I didn't treat this like rocket science. Just applied with a brush, let it sit and then wiped off the excess after 10 minutes or so. I probably need another coat.

It's heavy, but solid and level. Mistakes were made but I wasn't looking to create a masterpiece. Looking forward to having this dedicated workspace for years to come in the new house. I'm happy with the bench.


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