Before downloading the plans READ THIS ARTICLE
If you saw my, “Top 10 Essential Woodworking Tools” video then you know the workbench is a requirement for doing woodworking projects. (click here for video) Your bench will be your most used tool. However, before you start making YOUR bench there are some requirements and specifications you will have to tailor the bench too. So please follow these steps before you build the bench and then realize it’s not set up for you.
The Proper Length.
Before you begin cutting you lumber, first measure the space of the area you will be working in. Make sure you have enough room to walk around the bench. Make sure you or your future projects will not be bumping into nearby walls, doors or other equipment.
The Proper Height.
The correct height is crucial. Everybody is different in size. Some of us are tall while others are shorter. Working at the wrong height bench is uncomfortable and will make your tools perform poorly. A bench too low will be hard on your back and neck. A bench too high will make it difficult to chisel and plane your material.
The correct height for any individual is your arms straight down at your side. Bend your wrist at 90 degrees to the floor. Measure from the floor to the bottom of your palm. Then subtract one inch from your measurement. This is the correct height for YOUR bench.
Common Questions of this Bench
Why did you rip the 2×4’s in halp only to glue them back up to make the top?
2×4’s are plain saw. This means they have the tendency to cup and warp. I rip them in half on the table saw and then glue them together again face grain to face grain. This helps eliminate the amount of warping.
Also, if I took 2×4’s and glued them edge grain to edge grain, during the flattening process I would end up with a top thinner than 1 ½”. By ripping the boards in half and gluing them face grain to face grain, I have 1 ¾” to start with the flattening process.
Why is the top in two pieces and not one large piece?
With two pieces it allows me to have a shallow area in the middle to place small tool in so they don’t get knocked off the bench by the work material. Also the tool tray gives me a place to attach a clamp if I am holding a piece of wood flat against the side apron.
Why aren’t the dog holes on the plans?
I left the dog holes off the plans because the amount of holes and the spacing of the holes is entirely up to the builder. Myself I spaced them roughly 4” apart on the top. And on the aprons I divided them equally in space for the length and height of the aprons. Again the spacing of holes will be determined by the length of your bench.
Why are the aprons two different sizes?
I prefer the wider apron, but having the smaller one on the opposite side allows me to store bigger items under the bench.
Why is Chad’s bench so tall?
My bench is a little taller than the ergonomic rules I stated earlier because I made it the same height as my table saw. This way if i have a large piece of wood I am cutting, the bench acts as an outfeed table giving the workpiece proper support.
Note where screws and lag screws locations when drilling dog holes.
One tag screws goes through the leg into the side rails. And two lag screws go through the legs into the front/back aprons and lower stretchers.
The Top gets screw down to the apron an elongated hole are drilled up through the side rails and a screw can go up into the bottom side of the Top. That elongated hole allows the top to expand and contract with seasonal movement.
Bottom 2×4 shelving should be equally paced and secured with screws instead of nails if heavy objects will be placed on it.
I hope you spend many years at this workbench and produce countless projects for yourself or for others to enjoy.
Chad Stanton- Designer and Owner of Wood Choppin’ Time
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