71 comments on “Workbench: Episode 2

  1. Thank you very much for the detailed video’s about the workbench.
    This weekend I am going to buy the wood for my version of the workbench. I can’t wait for the rest of these videos, but I have plenty enough video material from the youtube series ‘How to build a workbench’.
    Best Ben

  2. Thank you for the great videos , I can’t wait to get started on my workbench very soon. You have been an inspiration to me to move more toward a less dust more skill kind of woodworking and with the added bonus of Gym free exercise .

  3. I have seen old workbenches that were absolutely worn out.
    I presume the original owners worked on them as long as they could.

    It seems like Mr. Paul and other skilled craftsmen could do the same it they wanted to or needed to.

    I think I over stress on my obsession for dead assembly flat bench top.
    The tops he planes are near that.
    I guess my anxiety to start is my need for perfection.
    But I forget that pretty good will be good enough if I just do the best I can.
    If It is not to his standards, I still need to make one just for the experience alone.

    2×4 are at a minimal cost.
    4×4 are available.

    It’s time to get started.

    Mark

  4. Another excellent video, I now know what tomorrow is going to be spent doing! I had already laminated the top following Part 1, so all ready to go.
    I notice that the leg timber I bought has already bowed a bit too so plenty of squaring to be done.

  5. Thanks for the motivation. I have recently traded in my career in IT to place my hands on wood to earn a crust. Best decision ever made. The best part is doing this is working with hand tools and for the furniture I build, far more rewarding than the dreaded machine and must have gadgets. I have followed Paul’s approach and methods and they work for me, I am as we speak building the workbench. I want to add the draw units at the end of the bench and under cabinet storage, Paul do you have any idea’s on what works best, approach etc for this, thanks Richard

  6. I enjoyed every project so far and this one is no exception. Thanks so much!

    Would be nice to see a wall clock in the background when you show the time lapse sections. It would illustrate how much time passed by during the time lapse.

  7. отличное видео!! очень уважаю вас за золотые руки и простой подход к делу без излишеств! буду делать себе верстак именно по вашей технологии!

    • I think that Paul used old stock two by four studs. I’ve a few laying around in my garage and they don’t have rounded edges. But the new stock has an ugly radius. It’ll be totally okay to rip that down on the table saw or a power planer. I don’t think Paul is all against Power Tools…so if you think time is short, it’s fine to machine it. The only difference is that when you use the plane you begin to feel how it cuts and you start to see ways to do shortcuts. For example, it’ll sound terrible, but if you really want to get down to a thickness fast, just plane it against the grain (oh my god, that sounds terrible) but it really works…just note to keep a bit of thickness for final with the grain planing to smooth out all the tear outs.

    • For the new style workbench Paul is suggesting using the most easily available (in the UK at least) and cheapest CLS stud timber at a nominal 2 x 3 (50mm x 75mm) size, the actual size of these is 1 1/2 (38mm) x 2 1/2 (63mm) and is why eight are needed to get the benchtop width of 12 inches / 300mm.

      Finding out that there are FOUR different finished sizes of supposedly 3 x 2 timber was an enlightening experience, to say the least! And yes, I ended up with the wrong one so have had to do a lot of planing.

      Stud / CLS: Nominal 50mm x 75mm, finished size 38mm x 63mm
      Scant: Nominal 50mm x 75mm, finished size 43mm x 69mm
      Rough Sawn: Nominal 50mm x 75mm, finished size 47mm x 75mm
      PSE / PAR: Nominal 50mm x 75mm, finished size 44mm x 69mm

    • For the underside the rounding doesn’t matter. For the top side, you will be taking off a fair amount during leveling and taking out any twist after glue up. Also, make and use a scrub plane, Working diagonally across the top with a scrub plane is a great way to remove a lot of wood quickly.

    • Hi Ben,
      Paul’s wood did have a radius on the edges. Some of this has been removed during the flattening process. You can see there is still some evidence of the rounds when Paul is using it as a surface for planing on.

      Paul will refine this later to remove any remaining rounds and to plane it flush with the apron.
      Best, Phil

    • In the U.S., you would have a hard time getting to those dimensions, so I think I’m just going to use actual 1 1/2 x 3 1/2, cut off the roundover, and figure I’ll end up with about 3 1/8 x 1 1/2. Don’t see any sense in cutting off and throwing away good wood when it will just give me a more solid top. Are there any problems with doing this?

    • Today I finished my bench top. I made it from 2×4 pine from the local Lowes in the US. They definitely had big rounded edges. I used hand planes, no table saw or band saw. I had previously built the same trestles Paul uses.

      Before glue, I test planed each board to determine how the grain ran. Then I aligned them with grains all running one way. I think that was a huge help in planing. I started with a #5 Stanley plane going across the board, at a 45 degree angle with the grain. I angled the plane a bit further so it sliced. Went from one end to the other. Repeat. Repeat. That hogged off lots of wood. The big chasms formed by the rounded boards gradually disappeared. Then the glue between the boards disappeared. Eventually, it was pretty flat.

      I paid no attention to maintaining even thickness, just repeated the same 45 degree pattern over and over. After the #5, the difference in thickness from one edge to the other was 1/10 inch. End to end, it was a bit less.

      Then I put it on two concrete blocks on the floor, straddled it, sat on it, and went with the grain from one end to the other. This allows lots of horizontal pressure, with nearly zero downward pressure. Long stretches starting at one end and backing up along the top. (Remember Paul’s demonstration of pulling a plane with a cord? This is the same effect.)

      Last, I used a #4 Stanley, and it all worked well. I did both sides, spending a total of four hours planing.

  8. Following the previous series about workbench building has taken me to make the one I had at home now, but I’m following this new series with more interest yet!

    It’s always interesting watching you making real woodworking. I was tired to watch videos and blogs of people with all kind of sophisticated machines, but these ones are really a nice thing to watch. It’s, like you say, real woodworking for real woodworkers.

    Thank you very much, Paul and team.

  9. Great to see you using your eye to check the straightness of the pieces and the tape measure to check if parallel , being an engineer I always have a long straight edge to hand approx 4ft , it’s a piece of ally sheet about 3″ wide 16 gauge thick which was a offcut from the guillotine.
    I use it all the time and find useful to check from corner to corner diagonal to check for twist as well as winding sticks on wide boards.
    It’s a real pleasure to see hand tools being used , the lost art of hand and eye coordination.

    • Both benches are great. This one is can be disassembled and moved to a job site with an ease. This one also has quite ridgit areas, like the aprons that really help on some tasks. I think Roubo style workbench is great for display, as you don’t want to ding it—that’s why they use hardwoods for making it, but this bench really is designed to get abused (in a good way) also note that this bench can be made with soft woods (the idea is to use a soft wood so that when working with a different wood species (soft or hard) the product doesn’t get damaged by the hardness of the workbench. Just my opinion as I have one of these…

  10. Great video, always the great teacher. Thank you for sharing Paul! I actually find it is easier to get a nice jack plane here in the USA (I have 3- a 5, a 605 and a Miller Falls Craftsman #5). I only have one number Stanley number 4 and I have it set as a fine smoother. A decent number 4 is just harder to find unless you go on EBay, which I find too costly, but then I won’t spend more than $40 on a decent plane.

    • It must depend on location. Here (Victoria, B.C. Canada) #4’s are far more common than #5’s. I found most of mine at the local Habitat for Humanity – Restore, also try Craigslist and Antique stores. The most I have paid was $30.

  11. Already using the workbench top is a great way to get started. You must have really been tired after seeing how fast you were working there the last minute – haha.
    With all of the measuring and checking you did, may I ask why you didn’t use a long straight edge to check either the table top or legs from end to end? Thank you Paul !!

    • Good question, maybe because it’s so fast to place winding sticks. I think as well that most people could make winding sticks easily and have a tape and square to hand. Where I for one don’t have a long straight edge. I’ve never seen him use one for this task, it’s always been by eye or with winding sticks and the side of his plane.

    • Hello Mac (and Michael),
      Putting a straight edge on a long piece of wood is not a method we often use for checking for twist or straightness. It is hard to get an accurate registration and clear read on what is going on. Using winding sticks and sighting down the piece gets you where you need to be.
      Thanks, Phil

      • That’s interseresting Philip. I used a straight edge a lot when working on my top, but now that I’m starting my aprons and legs, I’m going to work on developing my other senses. Thanks for the reply.

  12. Hi. Thanks for this episode. Althought I’ve watched the old series on youtube couple times I’m always awaitint new episodes 🙂 This time I’ve started working on my workbench but have a question. Wouldn’t it be better to make legs from two pieces of wood glued up? Due to size of my stock I’ll oversize some dimensions (i.e. legs), do you think that’s ok?

    Best Regards

    • Hello Lukasz,
      You certainly can make the legs from two parts if you are careful to orient the mortise, but there is no particular benefit.

      As far as having oversized components, you can either cut them to mentioned sized and follow along exactly. Or you can use different sizes, which means you will have to think through any possible changes you would have to make to other elements of the bench.
      Hopefully that is helpful.

  13. I like the scale of this bench compared to the YouTube series, and the new ‘garage’ set is very convincing, save the mallet strikes at 17:40 result in concert hall echos (you might consider hanging some tapestries on the wall behind the camera crew.

  14. Really enjoying the video series so far, enjoyed your previous bench build too. Glad to see the time lapse video included. It’s also good to see you overcome workpiece holding problems too. Can’t wait to see the next episode and to eventually start my own build. I’ve already downloaded the plans and cut list. Great quality videos and instruction as always. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  15. Paul,
    What do you do with all the shavings that end up on your floor? Do you re-purpose them or place them straight in the refuse bin? I ask because I started using some of mine in my flowerbed as a ground cover to prevent weeds. Looks nice with bits of pine and mahogany and others mixed in. I love your videos and they make me feel like I can do these projects despite my lack of experience! A real joy, cheers.

    PR

  16. I enjoy all of these build videos.
    I built a Nicholson type work bench using the knowledge gained from the first build series that Paul put out.
    I still find myself using a mix of power tools with my hand tools but I use the hand tools so much more now.
    GT

  17. Another great episode with some useful little tips dotted throughout. Nice seeing what you’re doing compared to the original bench videos which I must have now seen 3 times through.

    I’ve been on a bit of an eBay spree in the last few weeks and have obtained a Record 071 Router, Record 044 Plough, Stanley 78 Filletster, and an old Record 52 1/2 ready to get started on this soon. That a vintage Marples sliding bevel, Stanley 80 cabinet scraper an old combination gauge also fell in to my basket is just coincidence! Also treated myself to a new Joseph Marples combi gauge too. A beautiful tool and still made in England to boot!

  18. Hello Paul.
    Great video. I am building the bench according to the instructions in ‘Working Wood 1&2’. The legs are going to be glued and screwed (or bolted ) to the aprons. I noticed you use wedges on the plans is the original system OK ?

  19. Hello Steve,
    The original system works fine, but this system allows it to be disassembles and more importantly, the wedges allow you to tighten the joint when there is an movement. Paul would advise wedges even if you do glue the legs in place, but either works.

    • Hello Tom,
      It has housings in the apron for the legs, which are then wedged tight. There is a bolt through each leg and the apron and a screw at the top of the apron into the top of each leg. The drawings linked to on the info page show some of this.
      Hope that helps.

      • But I don’t see any fixings to stop shearing/twisting of the bench (not sure what the right term is)? ie imagine one person stood at one corner of the bench, pushing along its length, with another person at the opposite corner, also pushing along the length of the table, in the opposite direction. Wouldn’t the bench get twisted into a rhombus shape, with no fixings to prevent this? Or are the housing dadoes in the aprons enough to resist this?

  20. Is there any reason I couldn’t use 2x12s for the aprons rather than gluing up narrower boards? They might end up slightly narrower than the finished size called out in the plans. Doesn’t look like that would impact the bench much.

    Thanks for the videos, looking forward to getting some honey-do’s finished up than tackling this build.

  21. I’m having trouble finding kiln dried wood, primarily Douglas Fir, in anything other than 2x4s here in Southern California. The big box stores, Lowes and Home Depot carry the larger dimensioned lumber but it isn’t kiln dried. Most of what I look at ; 2×6, 2×12, 4×4, 4×6 looks clean and straight but what will it work well if I use it for the bench? I can laminate the KD 2x4s I have found but it would be nice to use the full size pieces.
    Any advice?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Robert,

      I asked your question to Paul and he said that any wood sold in a big box store is kiln dried before being sold but often the storage conditions before point of sale can be poor and that’s why lumber from these places usually has a much higher moisture content when bought. Ideally you should buy the wood and let it dry in your own workshop before working it.

      Izzy

Privacy Notice
You must enter certain information to comment on this page. We take the handling of personal information seriously and appreciate your trust in us. Our Privacy Policy sets out important information about us and how we use and protect your personal data and it also explains your legal rights in respect of it. Please click here to read it before you comment.

If you are having problems with viewing the video, or you have any other technical problem, please don’t use the comments, instead contact us here

Leave a Reply