Workbench: Episode 9

Workbench Episode 9 Keyframe

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We’re ready to fit the jaw liners on the vise. Precision fitting is required to make sure they don’t touch the bars and sit in the correct position. Paul adds leather on the outside jaw to increase grip.

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  1. Matt Gee on 23 February 2018 at 11:04 am

    Hurray! Highlight of my Friday! 🙂

  2. tas on 23 February 2018 at 11:18 am

    Thanks Paul and team!

  3. Darren on 23 February 2018 at 11:30 am

    Absolutely loving my bench. Have done a few small tasks on it already.

    I knicked the edge of it cutting a piece of wood the other day and was gutted. Still, benches are made to be used, and i’m sure it’s only the first knick of many!


    • Tim Beaton on 23 February 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Think of a Fender guitar which already comes with nicks and scratches! Which you usually pay more for, than a perfectly finished one.
      Have fun with your bench!!!

      (As soon as the weather here in France gets warm enough to use my garage. then my bench build will commence!)

  4. martin Brown on 23 February 2018 at 11:37 am

    Paul, You look so very proud of your workbench your enthusiasm is so infectious, i’ve enjoyed every moment as I always do with everything you show us. Many thanks!

  5. Simon Wilcox on 23 February 2018 at 11:54 am

    I really love the timelapse in these videos, it helped answer a question I had earlier (does Paul finish *all* of the underside?). Great series of videos, I’ll be starting on my bench very soon !

    Thanks to all who help make Paul’s work so accessible.


  6. ruben verschueren on 23 February 2018 at 12:02 pm

    My laminations are almost done. It’s just a bit too cold to do the last ones. About -3 degrees Celsius and the glue needs 5 degrees. Zt least I can watch the next steps here. Can’t wait to see what you’ll make on this lovely bench.

    Will there be holes for bench dogs?

    • Philip Adams on 23 February 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Hello Ruben,
      Glad you’re enjoying and following along with the series. There won’t be any bench dogs as Paul doesn’t use them, but uses clamps instead. This is the final episode.

  7. Larry Christensen on 23 February 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Fantastic work Sir. Your bench build is the next project after I finish the cabinet I’m building now.

  8. Michael Ross on 23 February 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for all your work on workbench design and construction. I built larger on last summer (7′ x 34″ – so I can lay out door and bookcases on it) with a deep box in the center. I added a long board by the box that can be popped up as a stop. And I made the 2 aprons from more laminations as thick as the top because I like to have holdfasts on the apron.

    As big as it is I really wanted it to disassemble for transport and your leg wedges are an excellent way to do that. Four long lags counterbored into the aprons are Ll that need removal to take the bench apart! It is rock solid!

    I thought I might not want a vise, but I am going to get one. It seems too efficient to pass up on it.

    A question: Do you always put the vise off center? Why, and exactly how do you decide where to place it? I was thinking I might want mine centered, but I can’t imagine its effect on workflow.

    • Kurt Schultz on 23 February 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Michael,
      From my limited experience, having the vise nearer to a leg provides additional stability and a solidness when working the piece that you might not find being in the center. As for which end, generally depends on your dominant hand…left side if right handed, right side if left handed. If the vise is placed in the center, you might find supporting very long pieces using a clamp at the end cumbersome as you have effectively cut in half the reach of supporting the end of the piece from the vise.

  9. Samuel Gregoire on 23 February 2018 at 12:52 pm

    thanks Paul ! It was amazing ! You are a true inspiration.

  10. Brian Miller on 23 February 2018 at 1:08 pm

    It’s not enough, but a simple thank you is all I have. I personally feel this is the most significant project you nave ever put out and will have the most impact now and forever going forward for new guys like me. Not just the fact that I will always have this bench that I actually built myself but all projects from now on will come off of this bench. So many things to learn here, from actual skills to principles and philosophy. All I can say is: Thank goodness you didn’t go into some other trade and not woodworking.

  11. Kurt Schultz on 23 February 2018 at 1:10 pm

    OUCH!! I felt that! I was hoping that there might be a bonus video on a bench drawer installation and some of the other fitments? Maybe? Even though I have already added an apron drawer, saw recesses, and end tills to my bench (YouTube version), it would be informative to know how you approached these additions.

    • Philip Adams on 23 February 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Hello Kurt,
      We do plan on filming some additional aspects of fitting out the bench, and will let you know when they are on their way.
      Best, Phil

      • Alexander Dergachev on 23 February 2018 at 5:13 pm

        Hi Philip,
        just wanted to add a “+1” to Kurt’s request, I think the drawer and probably a shelf underneath would be two most wanted additions for everyone! I really appreciate the work you do and hope you can film those additional videos in some foreseeable future. Thanks!

  12. Kenny1 on 23 February 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! Great video ,great presenter. I’m just beginning mine. Trying to build it on the cheap. Lot’s of home construction in my neighborhood. I’m dumpster (skip) diving getting free scrap lumber.
    Will Paul have a video on drawers for the work bench. I bet lots of viewers would love to see one.
    Thanks so much for the great video.

  13. Danny Marchese on 23 February 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Great video series Paul, I just finished mine last week, AWESOME!!
    Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  14. Erin on 23 February 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I’m so excited to finally finish my bench this week. That last video was the ultimate cliff hanger, lol. I already made a table on my bench this past week since I couldn’t wait to get started. Thanks for all your answers and support Phillip. This project has been truly life changing, and I’m so glad I chose to follow along with the new series. Please pass on my thanks to Paul and the rest of the team as well.

    • Philip Adams on 23 February 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you Erin, I will do. Glad you enjoyed the series and have already made good use of it!

  15. JIM CHALOUPKA on 23 February 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Good project series. My preference is no leather over the top of the jaw.


  16. David B on 23 February 2018 at 3:08 pm

    OUCH! That had to hurt! Way to keep your composure!

  17. Anthony DeRosa on 23 February 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you Paul for sharing so much with us. You are an inspiration to all of us. God bless you and your’s.

  18. bsddude on 23 February 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I really love the tools and techniques Friday videos, almost as much as the projects. And yes I concider a good workbench a tool. I hope you keep giving us more of them. After the scrub plane I wanted to rush out to the shop and spend the day using both my No. 5 and No. 6 scrubs just to make bunches of big chips.

  19. Glyn Davies on 23 February 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Fantastic video as usual Paul.
    Your enthusiasm is contagious and must inspire so many youngsters, and old cronks like me alike.
    It’s so relaxing to watch you, and I always learn something every time.

    (I wonder how many people ‘winced’ and shouted “Mind your head” at the screen as I did when I realised you were going to bang it on the bench leg?)

  20. Stephen Fitzpatrick on 23 February 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I have to confess I jumped the gun and fitted my vice a few weeks ago, so eager I was to get up and running!

    Thank you for this, Paul & team, you’ve not only inspired me to create and work with hand tools, but shown me how to build my very own workbench; something I am very proud of and show off to anyone who visits! Here’s to many projects forged in the jaws of its vice!

  21. Gary on 23 February 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Great series! And, even though it was probably obvious to all but me, the fitting of the wooden liners with an extra inch on each end to increase the width from 9″ to 11″ is a great idea! I’m looking forward to future videos showing the additional fittings. As always, great job on the series!

  22. Dennis O'Shea on 23 February 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Another awesome project and 9 episode’s of just an informative explanation on the process That what make you video’s so enjoyable THANK YOU THANK YOU

  23. Jim Witschger on 23 February 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Great work. Question: with the leather at the top of the jaw between the vise and the wooden liner, but not at the bottom, are the jaws then slightly racked? Paul hand tightened the outside jaw face with a screwdriver and thus there was hardly enough force to compress it. If the material compressed to 1/16 inch, the top of the vise would close sooner than the bottom. Or is this just handled by the looseness of the jaws when tightening?

    • William Hall on 23 March 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Having the thickness of the leather will give a very slight toe in towards the top of the jaws. This is a GOOD thing, as it helps when gripping smaller, thinner pieces, getting hold at the top of the jaws as they close; as you tighten the vice further, any slight tendency for the jaws to deflect (because the vice screw applies pressure at the bottom of the jaw) is less likely to pop the workpiece out of the vice. Also, if you’ve used solid timber for the jaw, any slight cupping of the jaw with changing humidity is less likely to cause the first point of grip to be in the middle of the jaw, rather than along the top edge.

  24. Eddie Mackinnon on 23 February 2018 at 7:53 pm

    This series was pure magic I have watched these videos; each one with a cup of coffee and a wee biscuit marvelling at the craftsmanship but tonight it was with a glass of fine wine and I salute you Paul sellers and your team for your enthusiasm in the art of woodworking and lot has rubbed off on me My tools have never been so loved and I enjoy using them with the hints and tips you have given us thank you once again for a great series.

  25. Olivier COURTAUX on 23 February 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Good evening,

    Thanks you for this project.
    What is the brand of the panel saws Paul is using ?

    Best regards

  26. Charlie McMasters on 23 February 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you Paul for such a great series and inspirational finish! I am looking forward to building my first bench, need to finish making my saw horses and then I am ready to go!

  27. joeleonetti on 23 February 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks Paul.

    More of a curious question. I know you moved shops recently. Will this workbench and backdrop be what we be seeing in the Master Classes at some point in the near future?

    • Philip Adams on 26 February 2018 at 11:34 am

      This work bench will indeed be the one that is used. The backdrop will be similar but not the same one. We have a few videos en route about the move, so keep an eye out for those.

  28. Piet Dixon on 24 February 2018 at 12:00 am

    Wonderful, I have enjoyed every episode, the only downside…………..I haven’t anything to look forward to on Fridays. Thank you Paul.

  29. Yves Gaudreau on 24 February 2018 at 12:34 am

    Is there a reason why Paul install the vise raised from the apron instead of having the back jaw in line with the apron?

  30. Robert Morrison on 24 February 2018 at 1:24 am

    Like everything Paul does, this is another fabulous project.
    Thank you Paul!
    Did anyone get the name or type of finish Paul used?

    • Eldon Lewis on 24 February 2018 at 3:58 pm

      He just referred to it as outside furniture oil. I have been looking for this myself. I found Teak oil. Not sure if that’s the same stuff or not?

      • Nicholas Newble on 24 February 2018 at 6:36 pm

        Pretty sure it is Ronseal Hardwood Garden Furniture Oil.

        • ballinger on 26 February 2018 at 4:35 pm

          I’ll likely go for OSMO used it for the first time recently on my workshop floors and walls and it’s lovely.

          • ads king on 26 February 2018 at 7:55 pm

            Which osmo product are you going to use. I’ve been thinking about trying out this finish

      • Philip Adams on 26 February 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Correct. Paul used the clear natural version.

        • Bill Milhoan on 26 February 2018 at 6:23 pm

          I’ve got a bit of water in my basement – not where the bench will be and not all the time – but sounds like this outside oil will repel dampness during the winter. Is that correct?

  31. Peter Cook on 24 February 2018 at 2:57 am

    Thanks Paul. I very much enjoyed this series and see me building one of my own.

  32. Larry Williams on 24 February 2018 at 4:25 am

    Awesome series! Thank you, Paul. What a treasure.

  33. jakegevorgian on 24 February 2018 at 4:58 am

    Wow, Paul & Son and co 🙂 are you guys reading the comments? So many folks have made this workbench! True success! Cheers

  34. Pete Heller on 24 February 2018 at 6:47 am

    I appreciate Paul’s ability to teach and to inspire. And even more important I appreciate his willingness to share his knowledge.

    I did have one question however. In this latest episode Paul was sawing boards held in the vice at an angle. I would have expected him to instead use a bench hook to produce more accurate right angles and to avoid risk of cutting into the bench. Is there a reason for not doing so?

    • jakegevorgian on 24 February 2018 at 7:16 am

      I think Paul doesn’t used bench hooks—he uses clamp in vice for holding material. I personally dont like huge holes on my bench top either. It’s not practical…but again, it all depends on a task.

      This bench is great for joinery as you can tell from the size. For cutting, roughing planing work probably much lower bench will be ideal. This bench would also need hooks and such for quick clamp downs…

      Angled ripping has lots of benefits on small stock (up to 5 feet long stock) on this bench. Mainly has to do with the strength of your upper body plus two handed power strike…

    • jakegevorgian on 24 February 2018 at 7:20 am

      Paul has a treasury of great tips along his project videos. The ones I found to have more tips are in paid subscription series. Because there are many projects in that sector, Paul often brings up details on the technique he uses as he goes. That’s why I love the monthly subscription videos. Plus it’s fun to boot

  35. Leonard Gilbert-Wines on 24 February 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I have watch this all the way through and can not wait to start my own, which will happen late this year (once I move into our next house with a workshop).

    Thank you Paul and Team.

  36. Tom Bird on 24 February 2018 at 11:30 pm

    This is so great! Mine is almost done!

    A couple or quick questions for anyone who might have some insight:
    Does having the leather pinched between the top of the outside jaw and the wood pad cause any undesirable amount of toe in between the two faces of the jaws of the vice? Also, any idea why Paul sticks the leather to the wood instead of allowing it to be freely flipped in and out of the jaws as needed?

  37. Stamatis Tahliabouris on 25 February 2018 at 1:35 am

    Lovely! I really enjoyed this series! Thank you very much for sharing so much invaluable knowledge …

  38. Chris71 on 25 February 2018 at 6:53 am

    This video serie is so insipiring! I appreciate so much the way Paul shares his knowledge and experience in every woodworking skill. What a great teacher.

    Thank you very much!

  39. Darren Page-Thomas on 25 February 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I’ve watched most episodes 3 or 4 tiems at this point. Also then going back again as I get to each stage myself.

    I’ve got my aprons laminated and I’m very nearly out of twist on the underside of my benchtop so once I finish that I can get on with the wellboard and legs.

    Looking forward to the “Workbench addons” videos whenever they surface.

    I just wanted to say thank you. Watching Pauls videos on YouTube over the last 6 months has poked me into giving this a go and made me feel like I actually might be able to do it.

  40. Robert Harris on 26 February 2018 at 1:03 am

    Thank you Paul and team. Just to echo what others have said, you are absolutely an inspiration for doing what one likes, whether that’s woodworking or some other activity. I love the fact that you use handtools, and very basic one at ones at that. You don’t need a $2500 bench and a $400 plane and $65 mortise chisels (each!) to get started. Start with what you have. Do not wait to get started. Antique tools, second hand tools, and learn to sort them and sharpen, you’ll have to know how to sharpen anyway. I really have to credit James Krenov for the “why“ I like woodworking, but I give you just as much credit for helping people with the “how” to do woodworking. Thanks again!! R.

  41. Philip Adams on 26 February 2018 at 11:51 am

    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

  42. James Light on 26 February 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you Paul. I have so greatly enjoyed your videos. While my workbench is a little different than yours I still used many of your ideas and the videos were a great inspiration. Since I finished my bench several weeks ago I did a lot of research on how to finish the top, and found this interesting recipe. Used it and am highly satisfied with it. Just another idea if anyone is interested. Mix 1/3rd equal parts of Mineral Spirits, Polyurethane Varnish and Boiled Linseed Oil. It does not produce a slick finish like varnish will, but brings out the beauty of the wood grain and helps seal the wood to protect and make easy clean up of spills and drops of glue.

  43. Steven on 27 February 2018 at 4:29 pm


    I bought this vise upon your recommendation! What size screws did you use to attach the wood to the front of the vise?

  44. dusttilldawn on 2 March 2018 at 1:19 pm

    thanks paul loved the series of the work bench build l am thinking of putting a end vice on my bench any thoughts maybe 24 inches twin vice

  45. Ken Whipple on 8 March 2018 at 1:34 am

    Thanks for this great series! I have some vise hardware in my basement that has been waiting a couple years for a workbench. I will start soon!

    Quick question – I like the rolling clamp stand in the background. Is that discussed in any videos?

  46. Chris Dow on 15 March 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Just put the first cost of finish on my bench last night! Can’t wait to start some of the 1.5 million projects I have planned now that I have a sturdy bench. I started my bench watching the You Tube series and then you started putting out these videos so I finished it with these. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge for free!

  47. Ludo Boutin on 1 May 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve got 1 question regarding the vise.
    I’ve installed it, it’s well against the apron (just a little gap at the bottom) but when I clamp a piece in it, it is not vertical. There is a little angle.
    So if I clamp a board horizontally, it is not perfectly horizontal. It comes from my vise because it was the same in my previous workbench. I tried to correct but it was not perfect.
    In this case it will me more difficult to correct because if I put shims, the back jaw won”t be in good contact with the apron.
    I wonder if it is important. I used to have difficulties to plane boards without putting an angle different from 90° (with previous workbench). But maybe it is not due to this but only to my technic.
    Maybe I shouldn’t try to plane horizontally but just register correctly the plane to the board and correct (by overhanging) if it is not at 90° ?

    How are your vises?

  48. Daniel Willis on 28 June 2018 at 3:37 am

    I think an idea for a new series might be “bench tweaks” or something. Include such things as building the shelf on the side, the one on the back for the marking gauges, the front drawer, the bottom shelf…. They’d all go well together as a series of shorter videos.

    • Philip Adams on 29 June 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Daniel,
      On their way very shortly. Sneak previews available on Paul’s blog.
      Best, Phil

  49. Ben Fisher on 4 July 2018 at 9:02 pm

    How would you retrofit a tail vise to this build? Assuming it was already built as shown?

  50. Marc-Andre Petit on 20 August 2018 at 4:32 am

    I’ve finally finish my workbench and i really enjoy the process. I was really amaze to see all the things you can do with only a hand saw, chisel, hammer and an old stanley no 4. Your enthusiasm is contagious! I’ve never work wood before but I remember being awake by the sound of the bench saw early in the morning, woodworking was the hobby of my dad. A lot of lost memories of my childhood came back to me because of the smell of wood. Thanks to all the members of Mr. Sellers team!

  51. Ludovic Gatt on 17 April 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Bonjour Paul et toute l’équipe.

    Je tenais à vous remercier pour le courage que vous m’avez transmis. Votre sympathie et votre motivation m’a donné envie de travailler le bois.
    Vous avez l’air si heureux !
    Je me lance dans l’aventure en commençant par la création de mon établi. En plus le prix est abordable ! Cela fait vraiment défaut sur l’internet.
    Merci et merci encore.

  52. Jon on 4 January 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Anyone know how thick the jaw liners are? Thanks.

  53. direvus on 6 January 2021 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks Paul and team for this outstanding video series. I applied the second coat of oil on my completed bench today and I am delighted with the final result:

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