A little over two years ago, a local developer who had just finished dropping some huge oak trees in their yard contacted me about milling up some slabs. So I packed up my Alaskan Chainsaw Mill and hauled myself over there immediately. Once I collected my new red oak slabs, I decided to make an awesome new bench.
For my latest instructional post, I decided to revisit this old project and make a new woodworking workbench for myself. Follow me as I re-trace my footsteps from years ago and tackle this awesome project again.
If you are trying this at home, make sure you check out my video of the step-by-step instructions below. If you want to learn more of the nitty-gritty details of building this insane bench, check out my digital workbench plan now.
Included in my comprehensive plan are:
- 19 Page PDF with detailed drawings
- Parts & Cut List
- Detailed joinery diagrams & measurements
Let’s start by taking these huge slabs of Red Oak and rough sawing them down into some usable lumber. Once you are finished sawing the Red Oak into slabs, you will need to skip plane, or smooth it out, so you can get it into the shop and start your project. If you are starting from dimensioned lumber you can skip this step.
Next, you need to glue up both the top and the legs. Leave these long so you can cut to final dimensions later. Once the glue dries, start by jointing one face, and dimensioning the legs first.
Start by laying out the legs on your bench all together at the same time. Layout is always easier in bulk. Then, you’re going to cut them out with a basic drill mate. If you’re feeling a little brave, you can try some freehand routing on these mortises. But I wouldn’t recommend trying this technique out if you aren’t 100% confident in your skills for this.
Make a mock-up of your bench using the base you just created. As you can see, it’s going to be pretty big. The next thing you need to do before putting your mortises in the legs is to make a cap for the end that will hold the vice. For my build, I used large dovetails in a half blind method.
Once you are finished making the cap, you can finally cut those mortises into the woodworking bench. You might need a stepstool or an extra box to raise you above the legs to give you some leverage while you work.
Once the mortises are in, you can use a drawbore technique to pull the base assembly together. After you are done, go ahead and add some color to the base of your bench. I spray painted my base black.
Next up, you’re going to put geared two vices into this bench. I got mine from the awesome Andy Klein for this build.
For the final step, you grab some slats that you can cut rabbeted grooves into. These slates are going to be placed at the base of the bench to make a shelf. This part isnt necessary, but is a nice addition. To finish off my bench, I used some of Andy Klein’s bench dogs tools to make some pop up dogs for my vices, and cut ¾” dog holes in my bench top.
Thanks for checking out my latest build! For a complete and thorough look into how I built this insane woodworking bench, remember to download my full Hand Tool Workbench plan now.
This Hand Tool Workbench is my take on a basic timber frame style woodworking bench. This design is very versatile for each specific woodworker’s needs and is highly customizable.
The size of this specific bench is 7' L x 24" W x 39" T. The height is custom to my own personal work height, and is easily adaptable to any woodworker. The bench is constructed using mortise and tenon joinery with draw bore pegs. This allows for an extremely strong bench, using basic woodworking techniques.
If you enjoyed it, check out some of my other projects:
Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.