No shop is complete without a good workbench. This one is very easy to build and rolls out of the way when it’s not needed, and it offers so many features that you’ll find it indispensable.
For starters, the bench boasts a high-quality woodworking vise that uses a round bench dog to hold flat workpieces securely on the work surface. The bench dog fits in one of many 3/4-in.-dia. holes drilled in the top of the workbench in line with the permanently mounted dog on the vise. An integrated stand called a bench slave supports long workpieces, and a large shelf will accommodate most portable benchtop tools. Large, smooth-rolling casters lock with the press of a foot lever to ensure that the bench remains completely stable during use.
Download the complete WORKBENCH PLANS as a pdf file.
Building this bench takes a day or two and requires only basic woodworking tools: a table saw, a jigsaw, a drill, a router and a few clamps. You'll also need a drill guide, 3/4- and 1-1/4-in.-dia. Forstner bits, a flush-trim router bit (see SOURCES ONLINE) and a pattern flush-trim router bit. Although I assembled some of the parts using a pneumatic stapler or nail gun, you could substitute screws or hand-driven nails or just glue and clamp those joints.
To build the bench, I chose fir plywood for its strength and light weight and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to create a smooth, flat work surface. I also used MDF for some of the parts where my choice of material made no difference so that I could get the most use out of the sheets and save money. All of the materials cost roughly $150 and are available at most home centers.
Most of the parts are glued together, an approach that adds tremendous rigidity to the workbench. However, I didn't glue the legs to the aprons or the top to the base so that in the future I could easily repair a component or change the height of the workbench if necessary.
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