My current workbench is about 10 years old. It’s really too tall for a ‘proper’ workbench and was built in a couple of hours using whatever 2x4s I had lying around and 3/4″ MDF for the top. It’s been a fine work area – particularly after I added a 7″ woodworking vise, but… It’s flimsy and has seen some abuse, so I need to build a new one.
And over the years when I’ve thought of building a new workbench I imagined using heavy, impregnable hardwoods and elegant mortise and tenon joints. I imagined a thing of beauty and function. Maybe not a Roubo, but certainly study and built to last.
I’m not there, yet.
I’m still using wood I have lying around – pallet wood. The top is made from 3×4 lumber used in IT industry pallets used to ship pallets. I’d collected several from where I work (with permission) with the plan to use them as a workbench top, someday. No, they aren’t hardwood …just Pine; so I’ll have to spend some time adding a nice finish to protect it.
I had to spend a LONG time hand planing both sides after the glue up the 3×4’s. That was both boring and hard work AND rewarding. I think I fell in love with hand planing. It really connects you to your project. Did that sound weird?
The legs ARE hardwood. They are Oak boards from pallets. When I found these boards they were really nasty looking! DARK and rough. If you look at the before and after photos, you’ll see I’m giving my Dewalt Thickness Planer a workout… And it’s earning it’s place in my little shop.
It’s about 35″ tall. Based on everything I’ve read, that’s the right height for me. And I just realized it’s about the same height as my kitchen counters. I think I’m going to enjoy that.
I still have to add workbench dogs, a bigger & better woodworking vise, and few more supports and shelves, but even now it’s heavy and SOLID compared to my old one. In the meantime, I have a couple of other time-sensitive projects calling my name so I’ll have to get back to it. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.