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    Build a Simple, Sturdy Workbench

    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

    This easy-to-build workbench can do double-duty as a tablesaw outfeed table.

    The bench is constructed with lumber and supplies available at any home center or lumber yard. To build it, you'll need a few basic tools including a router, drill-driver, and circular saw.

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    Requirements for a workbench
    While you can follow our measured drawing, we recommend customizing the dimensions for your bench to suit your needs.

    There are two common ways to determine the height of your workbench. The first is the height of other surfaces around your shop. We designed our bench to match the height of the tablesaw so we could use the workbench as an outfeed support when cutting large pieces.

    Another approach to sizing your bench is based on your stature; the taller you are, the taller your workbench. To determine a good height, straighten your arm against your side, aim the palm of your hand toward the floor, and measure from the floor to your palm. This height is generally comfortable for bench tasks like hand planing and routing.

    Joinery and Construction
    In this first episode we focus on building the base. In episode two, we construct the benchtop and attach a woodworking vise.

    The base is constructed with kiln-dried construction lumber (not green lumber, which is wet and might warp as it dries). And the joinery system consists of long threaded rods, sometimes called truss rods, that fit inside the stretchers and are held in place with washers, nuts, and dowels.

    We cut all of our lumber to size with a circular saw and a shopmade straightedge jig. You can also use a miter saw or tablesaw if you have those in your shop. The holes for the dowels and bolt system are bored with a handheld drill-driver. A drill press would speed up the task and provide better accuracy.

    The benchtop and base
    The benchtop is constructed by cutting two matching pieces from a single sheet of MDF. This is a pretty simple task that makes use of the circular-saw edge guide we made in the previous episode. The two pieces are glued and screwed together and attached to the bench base with tabletop clips.

    Once the bench top is attached to the base, we show you how to install a woodworking vise with bolts. Finally, we finish up by drilling holes for the benchdogs.

    How to Make

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    Instructions: Follow the detailed step-by-step instructions in the video player above.