One Step Closer

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    The base of the bench is now complete. Next comes attaching the laminated top. The top is comprised of seven 2X4’s glued together. The top shown has a 1/4 inch twist in it that I might be able to plane out. You can see the 1/4 inch gap on the end closest to the camera. I had been thinking the top didn’t look too good and was thinking of redoing it by gluing up another seven 2X4’s anyway.

    The photo shows my new almost done woodworking bench and the Black & Decker Work-Mate Deluxe that I bought new in 1976 that I have been making do with since. When planning the bench I opted for wider 2X6 lumber and not the 2X4 specified in the European Workbench DVD. Me, someone who has never built a bench before, thought the 2X4’s did not look “robust” enough. “This was “A Very Bad Move” tm, on my part as the wider lumber meant that much wider tenons and mortice’s and a lot more work. I used spruce 4X4’s for the legs and I remember complaining to Mr. Sellers that the spruce seemed to be very tough to chop through, it is for dull chisels:-)

    Matt McGrane

    Looking solid there, Kevin. Before you go making another top, are you certain it is not the floor that is twisted? Make sure to use winding sticks to check the bottom of the top for flatness, and then you can worry about the top of the top.

    I look forward to seeing the finished product. I’m hoping to build my own bench this year too.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:

    Jim Braun

    I agree with Matt. When i built my bench all components were square/flat, and it was only during assembly that i ran into issues that were caused by a floor that was not level. If you are sure that your h frames and aprons are good and that the underside of your bench top does not have any wind then i would use a long level to find the flatest area in your shop for the assembly, shimming btw the floor and leg if necessary

    Monmouth County, New Jersey


    The floor is flat, the frame does not rock from side to side at all and looks to be square. I tried placing the top on the floor and it has the same 1/4 inch twist to it. I think when I glued all seven boards together at once they might have shifted in the clamps. One of the clamps broke as I was tightening it. I did the glue-up in our living room on a large plastic sheet where it is a lot warmer than in the shed and had to move the bundle back outside to keep my wife happy. The next top I make will be glued up slowly, maybe start by gluing two together, let it set and then adding a single board and letting that set and so on. I will be more careful when choosing the lumber this time as the boards I did use have quite a few knots in the outside edges. When I bought them I was only paying attention to how straight they were. The aprons have some loose knots at one end and look like they were cut from the same tree. When I bought them I was only paying attention to flatness. The fact that it was about 15 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in the outdoor lumber yard may have had something to do with my haste in selecting the boards I took home.


    Picking out good pieces for joinery takes a long time to be honest especially when you get to wider boards.

    Last time I went to buy boards I had to look through the whole lot to find basically a 1×8 which wasn’t split down the middle, no dead knots, no broken edges, somewhat straight and twist free, there was even one with I assume burn marks on there from machining.

    I made the mistake of getting knotty pieces for building a coffee table and the really hard, dead knots just happen to be exactly where the tenons go. Needless to say, the tenons didn’t come out too good lol


    Great job. Great feeling to make your own bench 🙂


    Your workbench looks like a piece of furniture! Nice work!!

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