New Workbench

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.

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