Reader Project: Hefty Woodworking Bench

So what do you do with a 30-year old cedar deck and a sagging dining room table?  If you are Dennis Dever, you salvage the wood and build this behemoth woodworking bench.

So what do you do with a 30-year old cedar deck and a sagging dining room table?  If you are Dennis Dever, you salvage the wood and build this behemoth woodworking bench.

hefty woodworking bench from salvaged material

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“Virtually all of the material used below the table top is from the old cedar decking. I used two 5/4” planks laminated together for framing. Smaller internal pieces like the drawer guides are cedar ripped down to desired thickness. Only the glue (over a half-gallon of Titebond), screws, 1/2-in. AC plywood for drawer bottoms, and drawer pulls are store bought. And a power strip discreetly recessed under the table on the right side.

The work top is of 3 ft. x 5 ft., 2-1/4-in. thick lamination; one-inch hardwood surface, 3/4-in. AC plywood, 1/2-in. AC plywood. Pine fascia conceals the plywood edges. You might say there are actually two tabletops. The top of the base is cedar board that provides a weight distributing platform for the heavy work top that is attached by 2-1/2-in.- high transverse runners just inward of the vises. Advantages to this system include ability to run bar clamps under the work top, room for a shallow but long pencil and notepad drawer, a surface for the extension table slides, and space for some rolled up polyethylene sheet handy for protection from paint or occasional engine repair, etc.

Laminated 4-in. x 4-in. (actual dimensions) cedar makes the table legs. With one inch thick embellishments all around, the over all thickness is six inches give or take, as there are slight variations in plank thickness and cupping. No planer was used on this project. Just a lot of innovative clamping…and olympic weightlifting plates.

I extensively used ideas from two The Family Handyman articles: “Bomb-Proof Woodworking Bench” by Dave Munkittrick, and “DIY Workbench Upgrades” which I found online. Then I threw in my preference for the Gothic.” — Dennis

hefty woodworking bench from salvaged material

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