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I'm trying to plan out my first workbench build! Right now, my plan is to laminate a bunch of 2X4's together, smooth them down with my #62 Stanley Sweetheart low-angle jack plane (the only one I own), and attach them to a ledger board that's tap conned to my block wall. For the legs, I am thinking about using a mortise and tenon on some 4X4's, 4X6's, or even 6X6's (the only reason I would use anything larger than a 4X4 would be purely for aesthetics; I am quickly becoming a timber-framing nut). Any suggestions on the initial design or even accessories such as vices, etc? I saw a guy on youtube (wranglerstar) do a bench a lot like this one, but he used some 2X6's coming off of a lower ledger board and up under the table top, kind of like rafters, instead of legs, which I thought was pretty cool too. Any suggestions for improvement would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  • Welcome to WSE. As a start, there are a few good resources listed on the workbench info wiki (right click the workbench tag and click info). There are also a lot of questions and answers which can be viewed by simply clicking the workbench tag. – Ashlar Nov 15 '17 at 22:33
  • It would be helpful to know the dimensions of your bench top and What types of projects you intend to use it for. – Ashlar Nov 15 '17 at 22:36
  • Honestly, I'm not completely sure what kind of projects I will use it for. If all goes well, I would like to become a sort of hybrid woodworker I guess you could say. Hopefully somewhere between Paul Sellers and Mathias Wandel (Not sure if I spelled his name right). Also, as of now I am planning on making it somewhere in the ballpark of 12' long X 26-30" deep. Not so sure about how tall yet though; I am still debating on that with myself. – Squatting Dog Nov 16 '17 at 0:29
  • in terms of woodworking, there is an enormous space between those two people. they're almost the opposite in every way! – aaron Nov 16 '17 at 11:48
  • in general there are two really great books on workbenches - one by Scott Landis, and the other by Christopher Schwartz. Worth the read if you are building your own. – aaron Nov 16 '17 at 11:51
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Right now, my plan is to laminate a bunch of 2X4's together, smooth them down with my #62 Stanley Sweetheart low-angle jack plane (the only one I own), and attach them to a ledger board that's tap conned to my block wall.

Good plan. If you do have any significant high spots to remove after lamination plane across the boards or diagonally to start with, then adjust for a lighter cut and work along the length for final flattening.

Unless you're happy with a somewhat rustic appearance to the top you'll probably want to sand to finish off, or in due course further plane the top once you have access to a bevel-down bench plane which controls tearout better.

For the legs, I am thinking about using a mortise and tenon on some 4X4's, 4X6's, or even 6X6's

As a general thing anything over a 4x4 is overkill for a bench leg unless you're planning to do really serious heavy work on it (planing material to size from rough stock on a regular basis) and you need it to last for decades.

This does go out the window however once a bench is attached to a wall, since the wall attachment will take nearly all the strain — you could probably get away with 2x2s for the legs on a bench rigidly fixed to a wall!

the only reason I would use anything larger than a 4X4 would be purely for aesthetics

I'm glad you added that as it is one reason that can trump all others for choosing to go with a heavier leg. If the material is cheap enough that you're comfortable buying it and you like how it looks then that's the only thing that need concern you.

Any suggestions on the initial design or even accessories such as vices, etc?

This is something that will garner opinion-based responses so is outside the scope of what this SE provides. And it really requires some back and forth so a query of this kind is better geared to asking on a conventional woodworking forum which encourages discussion (StackExchange does not).

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I built a roubo split top style workbench last year using 2x4's as the top and legs constructed from 3) 2x6 for each leg. It took a couple moths to fully plan it and nearly as long to build it. The moral of this story is that a bench is a significant project that requires research, design, revisions, power and hand tools, some mock-ups and skill development to be successful. I strongly recommend reading a book or two recommended in the 'workbench' information wiki accessed through the tag button. After you've developed your concept more you can return to this site to ask specific questions.

Based upon what you have mentioned so far, I would comment that a 12' x 2'-2" top will be heavy and might be better served with legs rather than wall brackets. Such a base will also provide more stability for hand planing. The tools you will need to construct the top could include hand tools such as calipers, a square, chisels and saws, a drill, planer, router, power saw and plenty of clamps. You should also consider what accessories you will need such as hold-downs and bench vises.

Making my work bench was as challenging a project as any I have made using it. Enjoy the experience.

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