Every shop needs a bench. That’s a fact as given as walls and a roof. You can’t work if you don’t have a place to. 

Unheralded. Assumed. Critical. That place over there where we do the things. 

While some workbenches are works of art that essentially outshine the furniture built upon them, mine is no such thing. Four cabinets, a vise and a hefty top. 

Building such a workbench is basically two separate projects: build the base; build the top. Neither is all that difficult, but surely fun to do. 

The base is simply rectangles. If you’re a woodworker, building rectangles is most of what you do. Consistent, square and solid. There are dozens of ways to accomplish this, but I chose to get better acquainted with my Festool Domino for the joinery. What a nice welcome to the world of speed and convenience for the one-man shop. 

Cabinets built, trimmed out in maple, joined into a single unit and balanced on 16 legs, it was time to build the top.

My first pass was to rip a full sheet of 3/4″ birch plywood down the middle and laminate the two back faces. This worked, but I opted instead to use this as a portable work surface to perch atop two sawhorses, as needed. I needed something with more heft for the main bench.

12 10’ 2x4s, jointed, laminated and trimmed to 9-1/2′ long was the answer. Weighing in at about 200 lbs, this is the beast that will hold the things I create, small and large. 

Six coats of poly later, tools mostly stored, it’s time to get started on projects that aren’t solely purposed to create other things.