1. Brian, with no diagonals on the legs to stop racking, and the bench being able to be disassembled, the wood will shrink and move about. As it does, you can drive the wedge down and tighten up the joint again

  1. I see the plans call for thicker dimension of aprons. Here in the US, 1.5″ is common in pine where Paul calls for thicker material. Is the expectation to laminate boards together to make it thicker or use a more expensive hardwood like hard maple

    1. You can use 1.5″ lumber. If you used the lowest grade of SPF 2×12, the front skirt board alone could support 600 lbs with a deflection of less than a millimeter. The loss of 1/8″ won’t be noticed.

  2. and that children is a lesson on why we have tool wells in our bench, i bet you miss the wooden floor of the castle i wouldn’t cry at a splinter either but i would cry at dropping a chisel onto a concrete floor,

  3. I don’t feel so bad now. I was building a workbench last November and I also had a chisel fall off the temporary setup. Unfortunately mine fell on the side I was standing on. Fortunately the edge didn’t hit concrete. My shin stopped it first. Six stitches.

    1. Just to be clear – thank you for showing us the mistakes you make, Mr. Sellers. Not that we may gloat and point and laugh, but that we can all see that you, like us, make mistakes from time to time.

      Excellent work, Mr. Sellers – for showing us that in our mistake-filled life, we can create things of beauty.

  4. Ahh. That magic moment when the aprons and the legs come together and you have that internal rush and realise “it’s a bench!”. Suddenly the project becomes a lot more real.
    I’ve made two of these benches so far: one for me and another with my daughter for her. I had a really great time on both occasions. I envy all of you who are embarking on your first bench build. Treasure the time and experience.

    1. The blades for the Veritas router will fit, but you may need to widen the adjustment slot with a file. They come a little bit long on the Stanley routers as well – at least it did on mine – but if you’re adding a sole then it more than covers it.

  5. I’m really looking forward to making a bench like this. The tiny bench I have does work more or less, but it is far from rock solid, and much too lightweight. But first I’ll have to finish the bicycle roof for our garden.
    Thank you, Paul Sellers and team, for all the knowledge you are sharing with everybody! I’ve learned so much here.

  6. I found a Record 52 1/2 vise at a moving sale yesterday. It’s in beautiful condition, so I plan to use it on the front of my bench. The problem is I just ordered my Eclipse vise last week, and it should arrive this coming week. I can send it back, but I’ll have to pay shipping. However, I got a great deal on both, so I wouldn’t mind keeping both of them. I know the previous bench style had a modification for adding a vise to the end, but I’ve already glued up my legs, so it’s too late for that. Is there another way to add the vise? Would cutting into my rails (I used 2×6 lumber) cause problems? Moving my legs inward doesn’t seem like a good option.

    1. I had a cheapo Pony vise that I bought when I first started. After getting a real vise and bench, I mounted the old one on the opposite side and other end. Its amazing how useful it is to have a second place to do a bit of planing or boring without taking the main piece out of my big vise. It sat gathering dust for the longest time while I rigged up clamps or what ever to do the odd bit of adjustment work. I needed to sharpen a saw once but was frustrated at having to take my board out of the vise that I had spent time adjusting to be ready for sawing. But I needed to mount the saw vise to the bench. Then I spotted the old vise gathering dust and now I have two vises on my bench.

  7. Paul,

    I built a knockdown bench and instead of using using a washer and nut (which can be lost), the designer had us use threaded rod ceiling mounts from (U.S.) McMaster-Carr to hold the sides to the leg. Part No. 11445T. They attach to the back of the leg by screws and are pretty robust. I don’t know if there’s a supplier for these in England/Europe though.

  8. My Stanley router plane doesn’t seem to get the depth needed with the added wooden sole (which is 1/2 inch thick). I took the wooden sole off for the workbench build, but lost some stability because of that. Is my cutter relatively short to what is standard perhaps?

  9. The cutters probably aren’t short, it’s that your wooden sole is too thick.

    My Stanley cutters provide between 1” and a little more, depending on how much they have been sharpened.

    To get the 5/8”depth with the sole on, the sole needs to be 3/8 or thinner.

    An Alterative is to get a Veritas cutter, which is a bit longer, or use the cutter without the adjuster nut.

    1. Hi Larry,
      thanks for your response. I checked my wooden sole again, and it’s 10 mm, which is slightly over 3/8. I get a maximum cutting depth of 9 mm, so I would have to make the sole 4 mm thin to get the required cutting depth of 15 mm for the workbench. So I don’t think that’s an option with solid wood. Plywood could work, although I fear the sole would have too much flex. Could you measure the length of your cutter, so I can compare it to mine?

      1. “Could you measure the length of your cutter, so I can compare it to mine?”

        Sure. My least worn Stanley cutter is about 2 9/16” below the notch. Overall length would depend on the cutter style. They changed over the years.

        When I put it in the router (71 1/2) it projects just under 7/8” below the sole. I’ve ever actually used it that deep.

        Veritas cutters are a little longer. You have to invert the adjuster to get them to retract all the way.

      2. “thanks for your response. I checked my wooden sole again, and it’s 10 mm, which is slightly over 3/8. I get a maximum cutting depth of 9 mm, so I would have to make the sole 4 mm thin to get the required cutting depth of 15 mm for the workbench. So I don’t think that’s an option with solid wood. Plywood could work, although I fear the sole would have too much flex.”

        Time to think out of the box a bit. Consider one of the plastics. Foamed pvc sheet could work, provide a slick surface, and be workable with woodworking tools.

        Acetal ( delrín) would be even better, although if you did it by hand, you’d be better off with HSS drills and a hacksaw. Get a plastics shop to cut a rectangular piece to size, then drill the big clearance hole with a hole saw. The mounting holes would be pretty straightforward. An ordinary tap will make nice threads.

        The only caveat is that acetal needs radiused inside corners it it may crack. Sand everything smooth, and don’t overtighten bolts.

  10. Thanks for great teaching Paul – reminds me of my apprentice days in the 70s, in NYC carpenter’s union. Taught by many different carpenters and now you! I’ve cut down two old spruce trees and waiting for the drying process for next spring, to build my 2nd workbench – the old style way you show here. Here’s a link to my 1st, then 4 times re-purposed work bench: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155461015603795&set=a.10151456232683795.1073741825.756858794&type=3&theater

  11. I would like to watch you fix that chisel. Also, I had a question about your changes to the Aldi chisel on your blog site. I didn’t see where you got the brass ferrule that you fitted onto your Aldi chisel.

    1. Sharpening that chisel will depend on how badly the edge is damaged. If the edge is badly nicked, it would be a grinder job, or a good while on the course stone. Then back to the normal technique from there.

      Think Paul picked up the ferrules from a show, but if you google brass ferrule you can find a few tool suppliers in the UK that supply them in various sizes. Sorry not to be more specific.

  12. Hi Paul, Just watched this episode. I know you have tried and tested methods of holding and sawing stock, but it occurred to me while you were cutting the wedges. How about making a Saw bench. It would be a great addition to the full bench for when we have large stock to break down to rough size. I already have one from the design of a Canadian Hand tool worker (Tom F), but it might be helpful for others

  13. I plan on adding a tail vice as I managed to pick up a pair of Record qr vices cheap on eBay which I’ve restored. In the previous series, Paul lowers the top rail on the leg assembly to create clearance for the vice mechanism when adding a tail vice. On this design that doesn’t seem practical as the rails appear deeper and lowering would interfere with the ability to bolt through from the apron. Would it work to just remove an appropriate size section from the rail instead of lowering given that it’s more substantial than in the previous series? Or is there a better solution for this? Thanks

    1. I wad in the same situation when I found a record vise at an estate sale right after I ordered my Eclipse vise. I ended up selling the eclipse vise, but I had decided that since the rail was wide enough I would drill and cut the holes necessary in the rail for the bars of the vise.

  14. This is my first hand tool project, so I’ve experienced quite a learning curve. In trying to get my bench top perfectly flat after a terrible glue up, it is getting quite thin. I’ve still got a bit of twist and its just over 2 inches. How thin is too thin? I’m not opposed to redoing my bench top if needed. I don’t want to cut my apron recesses until I decide what to do.

  15. What I like about Paul’s videos is that they are warts and all. He doesn’t edit out things that go wrong. Things that us learners would do and believe that someone like Paul would never do. For instance, leaving the chisel on his makeshift table and knocking it to the floor damaging the edge.

    I do such stuff all the time. Makes me feel better that Paul can do it occasionally.

  16. From a 68 year old ‘newbie’….
    Just cut the last of the 4 apron recesses and compared how they went first-to-last. My mind went back 45 years to dental school when 40 odd students were each supplied with a 6″ dowel of dyed plaster of paris, a metal rule, Stanley knife (not sterile!) and a cutting diagram to fabricate various shapes. The ‘test’ was timed, and that was the last anyone thought of it, until 5 years later, having graduated, we were given the same test for comparison….the general consensus was that we were probably no more accurate, but a lot quicker! So how did my apron recesses go? Well happily, they did get better and went quicker, but then I had the distinct advantage of constant references available to a master of his craft. Many thanks to all the team, I am loving every day of it.

  17. What is the thinking for the 9 inch distance for the leg placement? My bench top is 73 inches, and my legs are 5 1/4. Paul’s bench is 66 inches and his legs 4 inches.

    Also, will there be instruction for (1) the drawer, and (2) adding a shelf?

  18. I’m currently building my bench, and I try to replicate as many techniques as possible. I can’t figure out what the chisel on the floor is supposed to achieve. To me it just seems like extra work. I did do mine a bit differently, maybe that’s why.
    -Is the timing important? I dropped mine while laminating the top. Should I have waited until the apron cutouts?
    -What surface would be ideal? Your floor looks like concrete. I was working in my tiled driveway, but I have access to concrete floors at work, if it makes a difference.
    -You mentioned it landed right on the edge. Mine hit at an angle, so only half the edge touched the ground. Should I drop it again to get the rest of the edge, or would it be better to regrind and try again at the correct angle?
    -Does size matter (I’m talking about chisels here)? Mine is smaller than yours, or at least narrower. The length looks about the same (still talking about chisels).

    Sorry for wasting your time…

  19. Nikolaj: I’ve pretty much just started throwing all my tools on the floor first thing. Gets it out of the way.
    Sometimes I drop them in the middle of working, just for variety’s sake. As far as size, I try to drop them only a metric distance of 3.1 meters. I find that english drops don’t achieve the same need for resharpening. PS. My floor is solid, monolithic slab concrete.

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