Workbench

This is the introduction for a free series. Want to watch the whole thing? It is free to do so, you just need to log into the site and you can enjoy this series and many other videos we think you will love.

Description

How do you make a workbench, when you don’t have a workbench to work from? In this series, Paul shows every step on how you can make your very own workbench.

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions

Tools Used

  • Square
  • Knife
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Combination gauge (or marking gauge plus mortise gauge)
  • Tenon saw
  • Handsaw
  • Chisel set ½”, ¾” and 1” (12mm, 18mm and 25mm)
  • Chisel hammer or mallet
  • Smoothing plane
  • Brace and bits (or screw gun and bits to suit)
  • Router plane**
  • Plough plane**
  • Rabbet/filletster plane**
  • Hammer (steel)*
  • 10” steel rule*
  • Jack plane*
  • 10” rasp*
  • 10” flat file*
  • Winding sticks

*Optional

**Optional but highly recommended

Equipment Used

  • A workbench or improvised support of some kind such as:
    • Two saw trestles or…
    • a portable, folding workbench or…
    • a picnic table.
  • Seven or so 36” (91cm) sash clamps (for frame clamping and clamping the laminated top)
  • Some shorter sash clamps, bar clamps or G-clamps
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228 Comments

  1. jettkeyser on 1 November 2017 at 11:23 am

    Appreciate the content…So helpful to one starting out…or for that person wanting to build in another style to perhaps enable more efficient function.

  2. gargagliano on 1 November 2017 at 11:31 am

    I am just now making the bench from the old youtube videos and blog series. So while this is not quite timely for me I will say that this introduction video when you showed off details of the bench answered a lot of questions I had about some specifics of the older design bench.

    • Joseph SellersTeam Member on 1 November 2017 at 11:45 am

      Also, check out the drawing. That is something that hasn’t been available before and might still help you with some of the details.

      Good luck with your bench build.

      • Chris Carson on 16 December 2017 at 10:27 pm

        Joseph, I’m building from the plans. The leg dimension appears to be 1 and 1/2 inches too long. Perhaps the designer forgot to add the top plate into the figuring. As I was building, I stacked the parts on top of each other to make sure I’d done it right. It measured 39 1/2″. Easily corrected by taking off the measure on the legs to shorten. Thought you might want to change the plans. I so appreciate this site. I”ve learned a lot. Paul sure makes it look easy. No so for us amateurs .

        • Philip Adams on 19 December 2017 at 2:26 pm

          Hello Chris, glad you’ve been enjoying the sight.
          As far as I can see the measurements given are:
          Legs 34 3/8″
          Benchtop 2 3/8″
          Bearer 1 1/4″

          Which gives the 38″. Does that help?

      • Alan Knowles on 19 February 2019 at 3:16 pm

        I notice the cross-member between the legs has been increased from 4in to 6in wide compared with the earlier bench Paul made. Was that found to be a weakness in the old construction?

        • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 21 February 2019 at 12:18 pm

          Hi Alan,

          Paul says:

          No, not really but the wider shoulders do increase the lateral stability. Probably an overkill but it looks great.

          Kind Regards,
          Izzy

    • vwrmic on 1 November 2017 at 11:57 am

      I am also in the same boat and am well over half way on my build, cross referencing from the blog series, the YouTube videos and Paul’s book.

      Don’t look at it as a problem, use it as an opportunity to figure things out for yourself – it’s part of the charm.

      Admittedly, however, it would have made my life a lot easier, that said, I can use this new blog series if I wish to create a second workbench with the skills I have learned from the first.

  3. John Phillips on 1 November 2017 at 11:52 am

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to build this bench! Thank you Paul and Team!!! 🙂

  4. Rob Navratil on 1 November 2017 at 11:55 am

    Really looking forward to this Paul. My first ever introduction to you was on youtube watching you make your workbench in your garden. It was so inspiring.
    I’ve just completed a green woodworking course making a Windsor Chair and I’m still hooked, more than ever.

    Keep up the great work guys.
    Rob

  5. cabanon on 1 November 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Hello Paul and Josep, I really liked this project and it seems a great success for you, in the flyswatter I gave my opinion but instead I liked this, The plans have improved and although I already have a bank done because I continue I’ve been with Paul for a long time since I released the series on DVD some years ago, we’ve been almost five years and I consider myself part of the team,

    best regards

  6. farewell on 1 November 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I am so HAPPY about this project!!!!!

  7. Mathieu Peckel on 1 November 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I can’t wait for this series to begin!

    Clamps aren’t mentioned in the required tools, does this mean there’s an alternative way to laminate the boards? We can see clamps in the video.

    • Ken J on 1 November 2017 at 1:23 pm

      LOL obviously it’s a mistake… well spotted!

    • Philip Adams on 1 November 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Hello Mathieu, thanks for pointing this out. I have added a list of needed equipment above. Best, Phil

      • Allen Schell on 10 June 2019 at 7:35 pm

        Philip I wonder if the well board could be 3/4 ?

        • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 14 June 2019 at 9:05 am

          Hi Allen,

          I passed your question on to Paul and he said:

          Yes, no problem. It vibrates more, rattles more, but that’s not an issue, we can live with that.

          Kind Regards,
          Izzy

  8. Mark68 on 1 November 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you for this

    Just want to say your videos and instruction is massively appreciated. We, me, us, the world! might not comment on everything, but rest assured folk are interested and are watching intently.

    Thank you very much

  9. Thomas Angle on 1 November 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Not that your videos where ever bad, but here lately they have seemed to be really professional looking. You all do wonderful work in everything that you do.

  10. Ken J on 1 November 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Looking forward to the rest of the series

  11. Tim Z on 1 November 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I’m married with twins and one on the way,as well as finishing up a two year apprenticeship and coming up on my 4th year of college…and I’m not even 30 haha.
    My life is constantly moving so quickly it’s hard to keep- Until I stumbled across your videos online. Your coarse sensor of humor reminds me of all the subtle jokes I overlooked growing up. Your precise words and reaffirming tone, along with guidance, make us all feel like we can accomplish what you teach. Most of all, you introduced so many of us to an art that was almost forgotten and in my case, a place to rest my mind and escape for a little while.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, wisdom, talent, and sense of humor; that’s not abruptly followed up with a laugh track.
    I hope all is well and that this and all the other comments make you feel as special/empowered as you’ve made us feel over the years.

  12. Morten Corfitz Eriksen on 1 November 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you so much Paul and team – you are the best!

  13. Rushton on 1 November 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you so much for this new workbench series! I am looking forward to seeing more of the updated design and beginning my own workbench build. I hope you will comment a bit about the trade-offs of this single-top bench versus the double-top bench in your original YouTube series and about the 66″ length versus a somewhat longer bench if space in one’s workshop allows. In other comments over the years, you have said an ideal dimension would be 30-32″ wide and 72″ long for stability. So, I am curious about the tradeoff in using the current design’s smaller dimensions.

    • john casey on 1 November 2017 at 3:23 pm

      I second this comment. I was just about ready to build the larger bench when you notified us about this one. I am holding off building for now until I understand the insights of this design.

      • neophytewoodworker on 16 December 2017 at 11:03 am

        Consider this comment officially “third-ed” (it’s a word…) I’m excited to build this bench, but I’m interested to know what, if any, the tradeoffs are for a single sided bench, and a slightly shorter one, versus the youtube version with a central tool well. 🙂

  14. Mac McC on 1 November 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Sorry but the background music was to loud. Hopefully the new viewers will not be put off by the unusually loud music. Paul’s other episodes aren’t overbearing with music as this one is!

    As for the workbench; I’m excited to see Paul build this because it appears to be very simple lar of the exactly the same as the one we have seen him at for the past 5 years! I wish we could get his ever popular vise though?!
    Thank you very much Paul!!

    • Roger Evans on 1 November 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Not knowing where you are I don’t know whether this info is of any use to you but I recently found an original Record No 53 E with 10.5″ jaws for £28 on eBay.co.uk. It was in immaculate condition apart from some light surface rust and a bit of stray paint, all easily removed. It was in far better condition than my own which has suffered badly over the fifty-odd years I’ve had it due to rather adverse weather conditions where I live. However, it still performs just like Paul’s with a solidity which is difficult to find in more modern day equipment.
      Good hunting!

  15. Omar Rodriguez on 1 November 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I am also building mine with the information of the first videos you did and the blog series, this is fantastic and it’s been quite a challenge for me because I am not experienced in carpentry and have limited tools but very excited with the task, I like to say that this master classes and YouTube videos has been a great success and I want to thank you for all your work and effort to help me and others to achieve the knowledge in a very practical way and specially the enfasis in the use of hand tools, because it has show me that you don’t need all this expensive tools that are in the market and still do almost anything you want with small budget, thank you very much, keep the track!

  16. eriksalmon on 1 November 2017 at 4:11 pm

    What type of wood, would you recommend for this project?

    • Ryan Dillon on 1 November 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Any wood is great. Simple pine construction lumber will work great. I can attest to this as I’ve build his previous tank down one from 2×4 and 2×6’s

      • Rushton on 1 November 2017 at 5:02 pm

        Agree with this. Paul has said “use the wood available to you” and he typically builds these benches from construction grade softwood lumber from the home supply stores: SPF, spruce, southern yellow pine, douglas fir in the U.S. I’ll be building my bench with spruce and southern yellow pine boards salvaged from 12′ pallets.

    • Ed Minch on 1 November 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Chris Schwarz gave me the idea of Southern Yellow Pine construction lumber – it is hard and stable, and easy to work. He noted that wide and long pieces have the best chance of being good wood. I found a Home Despot nearby that had 16 foot 2 X 12’s that were very nice and I paid 55 cents a board foot. After 11 years of use, I would do it again.

  17. Ryan Dillon on 1 November 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Love the idea of this one being more compact.
    Can you adjust the mic a bit, it sounds a bit far or muffled. Maybe a more directional one is needed to perk it up. Love your content guys and keep up the good work. I’m also going to request the hand tool book for Christmas this year. Thanks for putting that together and offering it to everyone.

  18. Nicholas Newble on 1 November 2017 at 5:06 pm

    So excited to see this series – having just finished making the diamond sharpening plate holder and strop, and got all the equipment together, this will be my first ever PROPER woodworking project, and I can’t wait!
    It was the ‘workbench in the garden’ series that first got me interested in woodworking and Paul Sellers, and since then have attended a couple of excellent classes too.

  19. muhammadkm on 1 November 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I am very happy to hear about the upcoming new workbench series.
    Will patiently wait for them.
    Thanks a lot Paul, Josef and Team.

    PS. Will have to give credit and say that the videography is very high quality, nicely and artistically done.
    Well done friends.

  20. Godly Paul on 1 November 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you Paul & team for this wonderful new project.
    I have a few questions regarding my first workbench build, which is 40″ tall, 23″ deep & 72″ long made with wild jack tree wood which is a native species. Specifications below.
    Benchtop: 2 3/4″ X 10 1/2″ X 72″
    Apron: 1 1/4 x 9″ x 72″
    Wellboard: 3/4″ x 10″ x 72″
    Legs: 2 3/4 x 3 3/4″ x 36 1/4″
    Rails: 3″ x 2″ x 24″
    Question 1: Is the top work space width sufficient for furniture making or should I add an inch or two?
    Question 2: What should be the depth for housing dado for aprons given apron thickness is 1 1/4″ ?
    Question 3: Are the rails of sufficient dimension? What tenon size should I choose 1/2″ or 3/4″?

    It would be very helpful if Paul or someone knowledgeable would be kind to reply.

    • Philip Adams on 22 November 2017 at 11:58 am

      Sorry for the delayed response. It is hard for us to go though the details and advise whether it will work out for certain without trying it ourselves. Some aspects, such as the bench top, are personal choice.
      For other aspects it is hard to say if there will be sufficient strength. The measurements we have given are a guideline of what has worked, which can be carefully adjusted depending on available wood size.
      Otherwise we can’t really go into individual builds. Sorry not to be more helpful.
      Phil

      • Larry Geib on 1 December 2017 at 6:56 am

        In the USA, a 4×6 (3 1/2” x 5 1/2” ) ripped lengthwise would just about get you to Paul’s specs, minus a kerf. Pick through until you find one with no pith.

  21. David Riggs on 1 November 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Video looks and sounds great! Have been gradually gathering the tools and preparing a cellar workspace to build the previous workbench, so this is great timing. To echo comments above, I’d be interested in the evolution from the previous bench to this design as well.

    Thanks so much for all the team do, David.

  22. Warren Allentown on 1 November 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Your Youtube series on building a workbench using 2X4s for a “Robou” like top was thorough, inexpensive, educational, something a novice could accomplish. Why deviate from it?

  23. patrickwright on 1 November 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Although I like the previous workbench video, I have been eagerly anticipating this smaller workbench video series and will build this one first. I am glad for the addition of another alternative to building a workbench.

  24. Debra J on 1 November 2017 at 9:40 pm

    OMG so excited! I am still building the bench from the youtube series but eagerly anticipating the new series. I like the idea of a fresh perspective. I was about to cut the ends of the benchtop to length, then work on the aprons.

  25. jeffdustin on 1 November 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Grandpa Paul and his trusty sidekick Philip have done it again!

    Where do I begin? The positive, upbeat feeling of starting a new adventure in the clip made me smile the kind of grin you get when you have that first warm spring sunshine after a long dark winter.

    Well done, gentlemen.