Woodworking Bench Bennington VT
North Adams, MA
Hoosick Falls, NY
North Adams, MA
A modern bench that features storage, stability and mobility.
by Dave Munkittrick
Tired of working on a sheet of plywood thrown over a pair of sawhorses? Had it with rolling benches that wiggle and wobble? Hate running around your shop whenever you need a tool? Boy, do we have the bench for you.
Our dream bench starts with traditional workbench features like a thick top, a sturdy base, bench dogs and a pair of vises. Then we added tons of storage, an extra-wide top, and modern, cast-iron vises. Last but not least, we devised a simple method to make the bench mobile and still provide a rock-solid work platform.
Our bench is built to withstand generations of heavy use. Simple, stout construction absorbs vibration and can handle any woodworking procedure from chopping deep pocket mortises to routing an edge on a round tabletop.
The thick, butcher-block-style top is truly a joy to work on. We’ll show you how to surface this huge top without going insane trying to level 24 separate strips of glued-up hardwood. Our top doesn’t waste wood—even the offcuts are used.
Tools and Materials
If you go all out like we did you can expect to pay about $900 for materials. If you can’t swing that much dough all at once, don’t worry; you can build an equally functional version for about $450. How? Save $220 right off the bat by substituting common 2x4s for the maple top. We made several tops this way and they work great. Just be sure you dry your 2x4s to around 8-percent moisture content before you build. You can save $75 by skipping the expensive birch plywood and hardwood. Just stick with construction lumber. The inexpensive bench may not look as classy, but hey, it’s still a great workbench.
You could build adjustable shelves inside the cabinets instead of drawers and pullout trays. They’re less convenient, but it’ll save you another $110 in drawer slides.
The best thing is you can cut costs and still get a fully functional bench right away, even if you go with the least expensive options. When you’ve got the extra cash, you can always build the maple top or add the full-extension hardware.
To build the bench you’ll need a tablesaw, planer, belt or orbital sander, a router and a circular saw. You’ll also want a flush-trim bit and a dado blade for your tablesaw.
Build the Cabinet
Cut the plywood parts for the three individual boxes (Parts D and E) and assemble them (Photo 1). The three boxes are joined to form the cabinet (Photo 2). Screw the two end pieces of birch plywood (H) to the cabinet, placing the screws where the face frame will cover them (Fig. A). Cut the plywood top (C) according to the actual measurements of your assembled cabinet and attach with screws. Do the same for the back (B).
Cut and assemble the three face frames (parts U through AA). Use the actual measurements of your cabinet to determine ...