Workshop Bench

2 Weeks
When we moved into this Finca, I had a workshop built, woodwork has been my hobby for nearly forty years, and I wasn't ready to hang up my saw just yet!
I had the new workshop, but only a rickety bench, that I had constructed as a temporary measure in a rented apartment we had been living in. So I decided to make a new one as a Christmas present to me, last year.
Much of the construction lumber in Colombia is mahogany and cheap, however it is wet, even so, it is something I could only have dreamed of, had I still be living in Europe.
I designed the bench, the top of which measures 2.5m x 0.9m and bought the timber, which sat in the middle of the workshop for a while, getting in the way.
I then got underway, cut all the parts, lettering them as I went, so I knew where every part was going.
All the main joints are held together with 5/8" threaded rod. I cut the holes in the rails with a forstner bit, then clamped the rails and stiles to the legs, and drilled through both, so I knew they were aligned, tapped the threaded rod through, and bolted it together.
This was far easier than I thought it was going to be, and certainly a strong joint, I would use again, If you wanted to hide the bolts, you could always use thin plywood and cut a fancy cover to stick over the holes, but in the workshop, this was not necessary.
I then drilled and screwed the top planks in place.
The bottom planks were nailed, which I now know was a mistake, because two of them have pulled out as the wood dried and the planks twisted, but as that is just for storage, it is not too bad.

I then hand planed the top to get it level, job done! I have moved it once, but I nearly put my back out doing it, it is so heavy, hopefully it will not need moving again.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 7 comments
  • I need a workbench - I'm going to save this to my inspiration board - thanks so much for sharing.

  • Charley_Drumm Charley_Drumm on Nov 01, 2015
    I can barely build a sandwich, but I do need a work bench. I'll have to re read your instructions several times, to determine if this is above my skill level. The wood will definitely NOT be mahogany. I'll check prices on pine #1 and #2, and go from there. Not being a woodworker, I am limited on woodworking tools, but I do have a circular saw and hand drill, and a small electric sander. I'll wing it from there. I do better with design plans. I may have to look for some online. Mary Beth, I'm new to HOMETALK. Would I have an inspiration board also?

    • PhilCo PhilCo on Nov 01, 2015
      @Charley_Drumm This may be the wrong design for pine, being a soft wood, but there are plenty of designs out there, I suggest watching a few YouTube videos on building a workbench, many of which have links to plans. I have to be honest, I watched many, pinched some ideas from a couple, then scribbled a plan on scrap paper and winged it!! :)