174 comments on “Workbench

  1. 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, 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 .

    • 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

      • 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. 🙂

  7. 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!!

    • 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!

  8. 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!

      • 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    • 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Very much looking forward to this video series as over the next few months I’ll hopefully be able to start on my own.

    Having watched the original bench build (on youtube) multiple times, I’d love to know what Paul has changed from that design and why.

    To see you doing this in a space more like my space is also incredibly refreshing.

    Regards,
    Darren

  18. I have made my bench from the original youtube videos, but will look forward to viewing this series and perhaps it will show me some of my mistakes. My vice was difficult to instal and it is crooked, but it is working and I can use it, which is the main thing. I look forward to that section. I would recommend to those who think it is too difficult to give it a try. If I can do it so can you.

  19. First traditional woodworking project ever was this about 3 years ago. It’s been the focal point of my passion (obsession?) but I started a new one that hopefully won’t have the same thousand mistakes. This video could not have been timed better. Many thanks, Paul.

  20. How does one determine the height of the bench? I’ve seen materials and videos that seem to contradict one another. I am 6’6″ and suggestions by Jim Tolpin’s videos seem very small to me. Another suggested to “try benches at different heights.” Every bench I’ve tried (mostly at local classes) is far too small. Any suggestions?

    • I am also 6’6″ and had this exact same dilemma and now have a tall workbench that is too tall for just about anyone else to work at but is perfect for me. This question is very loaded and I have come to the conclusion that everyone has different ergonomics so no one can really answer it except for you. I know some guys who swear by the crease in the wrist height, and usually they argue it so you can bear down hard on your hand planes when planning, but paul has shown this to be bad form. For me I made it a little higher at about my navel. I determined this one day by stacking blocks under a pair of saw horses with a board on top of the horses. I kept raising the height of the saw horses until I found a height that felt natural to me and where my hands wanted to be when working a plane or chisel. this was around 45 3/4″ for me so I built to 47″, and ended up cutting it down to 45″ at the end. Shorter friends of mine cannot even stand comfortably at my bench, but I have yet to experience a sore back, sore shoulders or wrists at my bench as a result. I would suggest you do as I did and experiment a little using what you have until you can find an approximate height you feel comfortable at , then adjust as necessary once the bench is constructed such that it fits your personal ergonomics.

      • I’m with Ken — you have to experiment. Height is kind of a meaningless measurement in this case, because maybe you’re tall overall, but you have relatively short leg lengths, while your upper body is very long (eg Micheal Phelps, the US swimmer) or maybe the reverse. Long arms vs short arms will also factor in. How’s your back? Some people don’t mind bending, some do. Vision — some people have hawkeyes and can see ultra-fine marking lines while standing perfectly upright, others need to wear reading glasses and have their faces inches away from the work. Some people will be adaptable, and can deal with a wide range of bench heights, others very particular.

        All these factors and more will play into your preferred bench height, and nobody has a magic formula.

        • When I built my bench 40 years ago, i was almost 5’11” tall.

          the plans called for a 33″ height, which seemed too short for me, so I settled on 35 1/2″ and have never regretted it. Part of the reason I settled that is that my home shop was small, and I didn’t want a bench higher than my table saw ( yeah, I know— gasp). The height was in fact the same height as the saw and I could rip material and use the bench as an out feed table of side support for large stock.

          Now I’m almost two inches shorter and the bench still fits pretty well. I have made appliances over the years for certain tasks ( dovetails, saw sharpening) and a high vise that clamps into my face or tail vise for carving and such.

          But for my current 5’9″ , I am perfectly comfortable for face and edge planing on the 35 1/2″ height. That would translate as something in the 44″ range for a person 6’6″, I would think.

          When I read that Paul considered a 38″ bench good for people my height range, I propped mine up and tried it, but went back to the old height. Maybe if I started at a taller height I could have gotten used to it.

          • For Paul’s design, that might be true.

            My bench was easy to increase, but cutting it down was a major rebuild, since the stretchers formed The feet and bench supports.

    • For assembly and fine work the bench can be really high, but I think the determining factor is planing, not because of ‘downward pressure’ as some folks say but because of control. When your underarm and upper arm are at less than 90 degrees I think you don’t have the fine control anymore you may need when you are doing some finer work with the plane. So I chose the height such that with typical stock on the bench my elbow is still a bit higher than it to get the right underarm/upper arm angle, that is my elbow is about 15 cm higher than my bench, which gives me a 99cm/39 inch height.

  21. I was at Oxford Wood Recycling today buying wood for the workbench, when I noticed someone else with Paul’s PDF cutlist also buying wood for a bench!

    I’m sure this will be a popular build. 😀

    Darren.

  22. The timing of this couldn’t be better for me. Next week starts the migration of my shop from my basement in to a brand new shed. Building a new bench is the first step of that process. I had planned to modify the design from your old videos, but it appears these plans are almost identical to what I was going to do anyway.

    I will also second the note from others regarding the improvements in your videos. It appears that over the years you (and the entire team) have improved your skills with filming.

  23. Anyway, I’ve already drawn up plans for the You-Tube video series work-bench to suit my requirements and ordered the wood. As this new bench build has a greater tool requirement than than for the YT series work-bench (at least as far as “optional but highly recommended” tools is concerned) I’ll be sticking with the original work-bench together with the basic tools and my poor man’s router!

  24. How much harder will it be without a plough plane? I have a rebate plane, and a router plane, but I lack a plough plane, unfortunately. Should I wait until I can afford one before making the bench? I still don’t have a workbench, and I was planning on making the one in the youtube series, but I procrastinated until I learned that this series would be coming soon, so I’m very excited to build this project! 🙂 I just don’t have a plough plane, and the equipment list says “optional but highly recommended” I suppose that means that it’s *possible* to do without, but much more difficult?

    PS: do you think this would be a good “first project”? I’ve whittled some handles for my chisels but other than that, I really haven’t built anything. *sheepish expression*

    • Interestingly the original workbench video (on YouTube) did not have the slotted version of the well board. I followed this version for my first project about a year and a half ago and am very pleased with the results. I made a 5 foot version (for my available space) and a single work bench area like in the new version. While I do not think that the slotted version is necessary it is a reasonable addition.

    • I’d say start making with what you have. I don’t have a rebate plane, hell I don’t have a tenon or dovetail saw just a panel saw with 10 tpi. It’s amazing what you can do when you just start. It might be awkward at points but waiting for all the tools will only stop you enjoying woodworking today. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough. I say this because I am a perfectionist and I let that stop me in the past, then I never did much of anything.

        • Ian, that’s a great idea! I feel kinda silly for not thinking of it, actually. I don’t enjoy using a circular saw, and I’m not super experienced at it, but I can manage…and that means that I have one less excuse for not starting this project! Awesome! 🙂 Thank you. I almost didn’t ask the question at all, but I’m so very glad I did.

      • Thank you so much! That’s pretty much been one of my biggest issues (believing I have to have all the tools beforehand, and I must be absolutely perfect at using them…before I use them…yes, it is an odd problem to have, heh) with starting anything. I tell myself I’m not good enough, or I don’t have the right tools, or I need to watch more videos/do more research to ensure that I don’t screw up, etc, etc…and it just builds up bigger and bigger, y’know? So thank you for your wise words. I think it was exactly what I needed to hear at this moment. 🙂

        • I will use some offcuts and make a few practice cuts. Like you I don’t have a very big set of tools and to be honest I don’t have the money to buy some of these expensive ones. Even so I think that the circular saw will do just what we need. I am making some timber dogs too which should make up for my lack of large clamps. 🙂

  25. Hello,
    I’m fairly new to this level of woodworking and have been working thru plans for building a workbench with an eye for this one. So this question is really to understand feature and function along with insight to my budding craft. What is the purpose or use of the wide apron?

    Thank you,
    John

  26. Hi there Paul and team,
    I see that at some point we will be also using bolts to secure the aprons to the legs and i wanted to buy those to be ready. What will the size (length and width) be of the bolts to be used? From the diagram i see that there is a mention of 1 1/8 (“to center of hole”). Can you please help me?
    Thanks

  27. Just looked at the cutting list–it looks like the wellboard design has been improved/fitted more precisely than when I built my bench a couple of years ago. Looks like it fits via a groove/dado now? If so, I like that improvement–great way to prevent the issue of sawdust filling crevices and things getting stuck in the cracks in my wellboard.

  28. Hello,
    Again a very interesting serie I will follow carefully!
    I have learned a lot from you. Thank you to Paul Sellers and all the team for providing so much content of such quality! It’s really unbelievable!
    My family is enjoying a lot little projects I’ve been able to build thanks to your lessons!

    I have to replace my workbench which is not sturdy enough for handtools.
    I’ve got one question : I am used to have the top protruding and I usually use it for clamping. WIth the apron in front it won’t be possible.
    I’m thinking about solutions like :
    – fitting the apron underneath the top instead of against the edge of the top
    – adding a piece against the apron.
    – adding some holes on the apron to let the head of the clamp coming underneath the top.
    of course it will necessitate also to fit the vice differently.

    but i don’t know if these ideas are really suitable or not.

    Thanks.

    Sorry for my English, It’s not my native language.

      • Paul has an alternative suggestion: put one clamp in the vise, and use this clamp (horizontally). Different designs of bench bring different ways of clamping and fastening; the bench really is a tool.

        For what kind of operation do you want to clamp on the top of the bench? Let’s find answers for your situation.

        • Thanks for your answer.
          I often clamp my sharpening board on the top of the bench.
          Also I regularly clamp thin wooden pieces to plan thin boards on the bench. Thin boards tend to bend on their lenght if I only clamp them in the vise.
          The best solution I think about is to create holes (2 or 3) in the apron in order to be able to use small clamps.
          Another solution (to be combined depending on the case) would be to have dog holes, but I’m not sure on the good way to do it.
          Regarding the alternative proposed by Paul, now that I have improved the clamps with a piece of pine Inside it, I will be able to use it. But it will useful only for boards too wide to fit in the vise but also thick enough not to bend.

          • For the sharpening board, You can add a small strip of wood to the underside of your board that clamps in a vise like the one Paul includes with his diamond plate holder. He has a tutorial on the build that clearly shows how to fo that. I have found I don’t need that, and instead just glues some silicone shelf liner to the underside of my board and that allows me to sharpen anywhere on the bench. I use a solid silicone shelf liner, not the perforated kind Paul uses.

            Planing thin boards is usually done against some sort of planing stop that requires no clamping. For small boards, you can make a simple appliance like this – https://youtu.be/__T5B7FqX54

            It can be clamped in the vise if you want to keep it steadier, but it saves lots of clamping.

            Larger pieces can be held with a thin board that likewise clamps in the vise or with other appliances that also do not require each board be clamped to the bench. Just google “planing stop” and “Doe’s foot” for some ideas.

            Veritas makes several varieties of metal planing stops, but I don’t use them as I am averse to using metal stops near the planes I have spent hours tuning and sharpening.

            I guess I’m a chicken.

            Lastly, I have planed really thin boards by sticking them to the bench top with double faced carpet tape. It works well and you can usually plane several board with the same piece of tape.

  29. Hi,

    Im trying to work out my timber so I can order it and get started. I was looking at the dimensions listed and when trying to find local (Australia) construction pine I am having to make do with what I have by changing the dimensions slightly. I have however ran into an issue with trying to find timber big enough for the well board. The dimensions call for 320mm Wide however in Australia the largest pine construction grade timber is 290mm! Are we expected to laminate the well board?

    I am also thinking I will have to Laminate the legs as well because there are no rectangular sizes even close to the dimensions listed. I would either have to get 90 x 90mm legs or laminate in order to reach something similar.

    Any help is much appreciated. I’m very new to this.

    • Hello Warwick,
      You certainly can laminate the well board. I would expect that most people will. You can also laminate the legs, as long as you take into consideration where the mortise hole will be. 90 x 90mm sounds great.
      Hope that helps.

  30. Hello Paul and thank you for the wonderful share of this build.
    I’m not quite sure though how this workbench stands compared to the 2012-2013 version?
    Is this an improved design? A different build?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Alexandre,
      Here are the main reasons:
      1. This bench is smaller, it is shorter, only has one side, and is easier to move
      2. This series is more thorough (we missed showing vise fitting last time)
      3. This bench build includes full measurements (you can still adapt it but you have a solid starting point)
      Best,
      Phil

      • Can you post the make and model of the vise Paul will be using? It may take a few months before the episodes get to the vise, and during that time some good deals may come and go. I’d rather buy the vise early on sale than pay full price when the episode arrives.

        I suspect Paul will say any number of vises will do, but I’ve found doing exactly what he does the exact way he does it works best the first time I do it. (After that I can modify it.) Thanks.

        • I believe he likes the 9 inch eclipse quick release vise (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). At the moment, it’s at an all time high on Amazon, so I’m keeping an eye on it. The lowest it’s been is $84, but it has averaged $110 over the years.

          • Although Paul mentions the 9″ in recent posts, the vises we had in class I think were the 10.5″ Lee Valle steel vise, and the 10″ Eclipse would be equivalent. I suspect Paul is saying the 9″ because it can be hard to install the heavier 10″, but my opinion is that the 10″ is worth the pain of installing and the extra cost.

            My impression is that it is still early days for Paul testing the eclipse vises.

  31. It’s been two weeks since Episode 1, isn’t Episode 2 due now?
    It’ll take until February 2018 to see them all. Wood GROWS faster than this!
    Better to watch old YouTube video, review the plans for this one, then freeze-frame through the Introduction to see how was made. Is anyone actually building this, in real-time?

    • I was also wondering if I should wait to have more episods before starting.
      I’m wondering if gluing the top and leaving it for weeks before assembling is a good idea. It could maybe move, twist depending on the conditions.

    • I’m building it in real time as I was just about to start on the first version when I saw he would be doing another series. I’m not really in a hurry, but my goal is to keep up with the videos. I assumed the second video would be out a week after the first one, so I worked like crazy to get my top laminated in a week. It was a lot to do in a week though, since I’m a newbie, so I’m okay with stretching it out a little more.

      • That makes sense, the Bench Top could take a couple of weeks – especially as this is part-time for most people. But how can it span 9 Episodes? Why are they stretched-out over 18 weeks?

        Episode 1: Bench Top
        Episode 2: Leg Frame 1
        Episode 3: Leg Frame 2
        Episode 4: Well Board
        Episode 5: Apron 1
        Episode 6: Apron 2
        Episode 7: Vice
        Episode 8: Apply Finish

  32. Is this design a portable (“knock down”) version? The doorway to my shop (which I cannot modify – this is a rental house) is just over 24″ wide, so if I built it inside my shop, it would probably be difficult to move out of the shop when the the time comes.

  33. Okay so this will be my first woodworking project outside of restoring a smoothing plane (which maybe counts?) and I’m a little perplexed by the lumber dimensions. I live in the US and so far as I know the 2 3/8 X 1 1/2 boards for the bench top laminations aren’t a standard size here. Should I just use 2 X 4’s and adjust the other dimensions accordingly?

  34. The USA standard for 2&3’s is 1 1/2”x 2 1/2”
    Functionally, there would be no difference.

    Any box store or lumber yard will have them.

    i just bought some spf 8’ commons kiln dried at the orange box store for $2.20 ea. If you pick though them you will find a few suitable pieces.

    Lowe’s will have them as will any actual lumber company. I just needed a few, so I didn’t want to drive further for Douglas fir-larch ones, (#2 and better grade) which would be better suited for a bench top and only about 20¢ more.

  35. I very much appreciate this series being free. As s beginner it’s great that I can get my start this way.

    I understand the difference between common and actual board sizes well enough but I was hoping for some clarification on the wood list to make certain I’m understanding it properly.

    For the bench top, should I be looking to get eight six-foot 2x3s or should I go with 2x4s and plane them down to that 2 3/8?

    • Here are the main differences:
      1. This bench is smaller, it is shorter, only has one side, and is easier to move
      2. This series is more thorough (we missed showing vise fitting last time)
      3. This bench build includes full measurements (you can still adapt it but you have a solid starting point)

  36. The placement of the lower stretchers is my question. A shelf or perhaps a cabinet underneath might be useful. If so, then would the 9 inch distance from the floor need to be reconsidered, say lowering it to 6 inches?

    Is there a stability factor involved in the 9 inch measurement?

    Thanks.

    I might add – I have watched Paul make all of his mortise and tenon joints on all of the projects and still learn, despite the repeated examples. Thanks.

  37. This info may be too time-specific, so please feel free to delete when it no longer matters. Amazon has the 9″ Yost vise (which appears to be a dead ringer for the Eclipse Paul recommends elsewhere) on sale for ~$60US as of today December 3, 2017. Just bought one myself for my upcoming bench build.

  38. I am so thankful to have stumbled across this and can’t wait to start. As one who is very new to this, I have a couple questions that I was able to find partial answers to throughout the posts above.

    Basically it comes down to this: have any of you prepared a detailed shopping or cultist? For example, the plans give the bench top’s final dimensions, but it would be really helpful for a newbie like me to have a few more details (like: are those 2x4s? How much longer should I start with them before cutting it down to 66″? If I’ll need to laminate the wallboard and apron, what size pieces would you recommend starting with?)

    Perhaps this is asking for more hand-holding than this project/site is for, but I figured I’d give it a try.

    So if anyone has a shopping list for the lumber that I could easily get at a big box store, I’d really appreciate it (and hopefully this bench will set me on the path to more and more projects in the future).

  39. For those of you close to South West London/Croydon – I’d recommend Fulham Timber Merchants as a good source of timber. I’ve just bought the timber for my workbench from them. Seven lengths of 2×4, seven lengths of 2×6 and two lengths of 4×4 (all “lengths” are 2.4m, or 8 feet). Total price £153 for very good quality PAR “redwood”. And the chap at the yard couldn’t have been more helpful, sorting through a couple of dozen of each size to make sure I got the straightest, clearest of the lot.

    I’m building my bench a bit bigger than the one Paul is showing – a bit of a “mash up” of this one and the original YouTube one. I’d imagine the timber as he has specified here would be well below £100.
    Very nice people to do business with!
    https://fulhamtimber.co.uk
    P.S. They’re not actually in Fulham – they moved out long ago.

  40. Paul, or others, how do you feel about putting locking wheels on a workbench. I have a small shop and cannot put my workbench permanently in the center of my shop to work around it and get full utilization of it. Do locking rollers work or are there other methods that would still give me a sturdy work surface and yet allow me to move it to the side when I need the center space for other machines, assembly, etc.

    • Hello Alex,
      This bench is certainly designed taking wood movement into consideration, so you should be fine. You may have some planing to do once the bench has settled to re-flatten it, but that is nearly always the case.

      Has anyone else had their workbench in places with a high fluctuation in humidity? Would be interesting to know how you got on.

        • Alex, I would say so, yes. Does depend a little on the type of wood used, and make sure to let your wood to acclimate in their for a while before planing. The top, bottom and sides all have the grain running in the same direction to allow the dovetailed pieces to expand and contract evenly and the floating panel framed doors do the same.

      • My bench is in my unconditioned garage in Colorado. Pretty drastic swings in temperature and humidity seasonally, from 20 percent to 80. No problem, structurally. The top needs a slight flattening again after two years, but it isn’t bad enough for me to bother to do it anytime soon.

  41. Paul, Thank you for this workbench. I had started on your previous bench design but had to stop in the middle. I can, however, use the laminations for that one to make this bench which is actually a better design for the woodworking I do. I will now be able to complete this bench quickly and get to work. I am very excited to have this design to work to. Thank you so very much. – John

  42. Just glued up my first frame yesterday. I opted to not use the haunch on the top rail. The diagram said it was optional. I’m wondering what if anything I should do about the one inch gap at the top between the legs where the haunch would have filled in.

    • Hello Rodney. Think there is a little bit of confusion about the haunch. Paul doesn’t use a haunch in his build, but removes the whole top 1″ of the tenon instead. This makes it flush with the top of the legs.

      In your case, you could screw and/or glue a piece to the top of the rail that brings it flush to the top of the legs. Then the bearer can be screwed and glued into this. Or you could use long screws and screw and glue the spacer and bearer into the rail at the same time.
      That make sense?

      • Perfect sense. I ended up attaching a piece to the top of the rail. It worked well. The four mortise and tenons for this project were the first four I’ve ever made. My first attempt was to follow the plan prescribed by Paul but my mortise for the top rail ended up too long so I decided to make the top rail mortise and tenon the full width of the rail extending the length towards the bottom of the leg. Thus I ended up with the inch gap.

        I just installed the top pieces to the frames and did a final leveling and sanding. Its awesome! Love my new workbench. Thanks for getting back to me.

  43. I could not find overall dimensions for this table in your video, website, or plans download. The tall and the short of it is, I need to adjust it for my awkward height! Can you help? (maybe add it to the plans) Thanks!

    • Hi Tod, the overall dimensions are on the last page of the drawing linked to above. We’re using a mean height of 5’10” and found that most people that height prefer a bench height of 38”. That being the case we suggest that you add or subtract inches according to your personal height. To be on the safe size you could make the bench an inch higher as well as work standing on a block and then work at the bench for a short while, see how it feels and cut it accordingly.

  44. I wonder about some of the design decisions. Did Paul discuss where he places the vise in the not-yet-posted episodes? Why use the 9″ vise since they make a bigger one? I’m sure much of this is personal choice, but I don’t have enough experience to tell if I’d prefer one location or one size vise over another.

  45. If I remember correctly the fitting and position of the vice is in one of his blogs. I remember Paul commenting that the selection of the vice is one of choice but that bigger vices become very unwieldy do to weight. I compared the 9′ Eclipse with the 10″ Eclipse in person at a local woodworking store and the weight difference was amazing – I went with the 9″ and have been happy with it.

    • The vise goes on whch ever side you ar comfy with. Rt or left handed. He also mentioned the 9 n was asier t install by your self.
      I have the 10 in h on my outside bench and a 9’inch on my inside bench. The nine hasnt been a problm yet. I turned the big bench upside down when i put that vise on i built in the in side bench and did not have the luxury so was glad for the lighter weight.

  46. A good project. My bench is 71″ long, just an inch longer than my old jerry built bench (this one doesn’t rock and roll!)
    Although it started life as a Paul Sellers design I looked at other designs. I was caught by the idea that the front of the bench should have the legs and the worktop in the same plane so I retro fitted a front stretcher and added a couple of leg fillets to achieve this. This change also necessitated recessing the vice into the apron else the single frontal plane is lost again so the rear jaw of the vice is about 1mm behind the front of the apron. Plans to add a full width wooden tail vice are being considered. I have not drilled for dog holes at the moment but I can add these later if required.
    Just a word about other bench designs. A number of American authors write and assume that you have available a full size table saw (with dado set capability), an industrial size thicknesser, a router table with all the cutters, a drill press and the facility to rip down 2″ x 12″ or 4″ x 8″ lengths of timber that may be 12foot or more long.
    One author described his small workshop 15′ x 25′. I use one half of a small garage, a space about 8′ x 9′ (the other half of the garage doubles up as a print room and a photographic dark room).
    The use of hand tools is what makes the Paul Sellers tutorials so useful. Most of us try to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, most of us have some hand tools. Thank you Paul for showing us what can be done with these simple resources.

  47. I just completed my new work bench. In the end I hybridized Paul’s original youtube bench and this project. The PDF of the layout and dimensions were nice to refer to. I actually took my own sketch/drawing and compared to Paul’s to ensure I had not missed anything and it worked a treat.

    Used dimensional SPF from the big box store( not the clearest around) but made it work. had to plane up quite a bit but with regular sharpening of my #4 and #5 1/2 managed to achieve a really nice flat top. It is amazing how much planed waste you end up with once you have finished all the rough planing.

    Really happy with the end result having decided to wedge and glue the leg frames.

    My favorite parts of the build were the rounded through tenons, the wedge system which is simple and solid, along with finishing the whole bench with shellac and finally 0000 wire wool with wax.

    A big confidence building project……………

  48. I built my bench but left out the well board. I thought it was to challenging for me and I don’t have one if those planes. So I made a couple changes to the plans but I’m extremely happy with the final product.

    The only question I have is what would you recommend for the finish if anything.

    • I struggled with this one before settling on shellac. Diluted to around a 1 pound cut not exact,. I gave the legs and underside two coats to act more as a sealer, then applied several extra coats in the top and sill boards. when done a quick rub with very worn sand paper, 0000 steel wool and then used the steel wool to apply the wax. The finish is glass like but not high gloss. depend on what you would like. The shellac is easy to repair down the road if I have to re-flatten the top.

    • John,

      Obviously it really is a personal preference and depends on how you intend to use your bench. I think Paul was trying to show that cheap materials such as stud grade lumber can make a very functional and cost affective work bench and many of us have followed that lead.

      From my stand point having used SPF lumber it was an odyssey to really see how nice a product I could make using cheap materials but also honing those other skills such as maintaining the sharpness of your tools to a achieve a great end product.

      Like Paul says ” it’s not what you make but how you make it”….Good luck with your build.

    • I agree with Paul Bowes — it’s not what you make but how you make it. It won’t make a fundamental difference, and there is no right nor wrong choice.

      The woods have significant differences, and while both will make fine workbenches, you might make a choice based on their working characteristics. Ash is a ring-porous hardwood, significant difference in hardness between early and late wood, and has that grainy, coarse texture like oak. Pine is a softwood, so a big difference in working feel, probably everyone knows how pine works. If you have a lot of wood to remove, the ash will take a lot more effort, assuming all other factors are equal. Neither wood is known for moving too much. Southern yellow pine has a reputation for smelling nice when working on it, ash not so much.

      You might look at your stock and choose based on factors like quality of stock – are both perfectly clear and free of knots or defects? Was the cost to you for both the same, and the opportunity costs identical? What about grain — are both 100% quartersawn perfection, or does one look more cooperative than the other? Are they both dried and acclimated to your shop?

      Lots more that could be considered, but in the end it is trending more towards paralysis by analysis than wisdom to delve into the minutiae …..it’s a workbench; the end result will depend far more on you than on the wood from which you build it.

  49. Hello all, thank you for your kind comments. We’re glad so many of you have been enjoying and following along with this project. We love seeing your progress and completed projects in the forums and gallery. There will be a number of follow up posts on common questions and additional features, so keep an eye out for those.
    Thanks again,
    Phil and the Woodworking Masterclasses Team

  50. please excuse the basic question. I have seen Paul mention the portability of this bench and ability to disassemble for transport. My question is, when he’s gluing up the top to the front apron, how do you keep the squeeze-out from gluing the top to the legs underneath? Thanks.

  51. TAIL VISE QUESTION

    Hi everyone. I am done with the bench. The distance from one end to the the legs is 9 inches. How do you install a tail vise here. I have an old record 7 inch one? Any help would be appreciated. I believe the record 7 inches is around 11 inches long.

    thanks

  52. I’ve started making my workbench at last, I’m using old roof joists and timbers that were skip bound. I’ve had to laminate my legs using 4×2’s and some of my other timbers are different dimensions to Pauls but I’m changing the sizes on the plan to suit the timber I have. It’s taken me two days so far and I’m not quite up to video three but I’m loving it and determined to do as good a job as I can, it’s great watching it take shape. I’m using two of the saw horses which I made from this site, also a scrub plane converted from a No#4, two Ebay saws which I’ve been able to sharpen as a rip and crosscut pattern, a rusty Stanley No#4 and No#5 which I have been able to clean up and sharpen so they sing as they glide along and it’s all thanks to Paul and team and the brilliant way you teach, film and edit the videos. What a fantastic job you are doing! Thank you!

    • Great suggestion Ed. We aim to answer specific questions on the content of individual videos in these comment sections.

      General questions can be put up on the forums (a very supportive and helpful community of people) or otherwise emailed in to us through the comments form. There is a lot of useful info available in the FAQ tab about the workbench.

      Hope that helps and all the best with your project. It can b overwhelming and daunting when first learning woodworking. The only way through is practice and perseverance, but you’re in good company.

      Best, Phil

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