If you have had a chance to glance around my little shop, you may have noticed that I lack one of the most important tools in the woodworker’s arsenal – The Workbench. I have struggled with the decision regarding what type of bench to make. This is not an easy decision making process as there are a number of factors to consider. Ultimately this is a right of passage that all woodworkers eventually traverse. Realizing I most likely would build more than one bench in my lifetime, I finally decided to get to work.
The workbench is basically a huge clamping platform for the woodworker. I did a fair amount of research before deciding to build a variant of The New Fangled Workbench originally built by Fine Woodworking Shop Manager, John White. This bench had immediate appeal because of its amazing clamping flexibility. I also appreciated John’s construction process.
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Fine Woodworking New Fangled Workbench Video
I will be using kiln dried Douglas Fir as a construction material for the majority of the bench because of its strength and low cost. I got 2x material from the local big box supplier. I also got some wonderful 5/4 x 12 vertical grain from a good friend who had bought a large load of waste from a stair manufacturing company.
As I began to write this blog entry, I received an email and phone call from our local Rockler Store for an upcoming hardwood lumber sale. When I loaded up on some wonderful cherry I realized that their 4/4 hard maple would make a great bench top! So a last minute design change, which adds a bit of excitement and strength to the project. I have plans for some unique modifications to John’s original design to support both machine and hand tool work in my shop. Tag along with me as I build a desperately needed workbench for my shop.