Building A Real Wood Workers Bench

Building A Real Wood Workers Bench

First, you need to know that a wood workers bench is not a table. It is used to hold things while you work. It holds woodwork mechanisms like  bench dogs, planing stops, hold fasts, or board jacks, it often contains vises attached to its structure. First, the workbench has to be heavy enough, so as not to move while you work. Also, ensure that it is stiff enough to not break into pieces once hammering begins. Traditionally, in creating a workbench, you use the mortise and tenon joints, however, this would be difficult for a novice who does not have a workbench.



In the design we are using, we are going to make use of threaded truss rods. They provide strength, dexterity and rigidity for the bench. Also, we are going to be using methods that seem less strenuous. The top has to layers ant the bottom was formed using 4×4 legs and 2×4 stretchers, which were connected with dowels and threaded truss rods.



Klin dry wood:  Green lumber is soft for carving but in thus case, if you make use of green lumber, it might wrap on you as it drys. Ensure that the woods are straight and clean.

For the bottom part, you need ; Two 4×4’s
Four 2×4’s, from standard length stock. You also need four pieces of 3/8″ all-threaded rod, two feet long, and four pieces of 3/8″ all-threaded rod, four feet long.

For the top, you need;

One 49×97″ panel of 3/4″ MDF
One 25×73″ panel of 1-1/2″ edge-glued oak
One 1/2×1-1/2″ oak board, six feet long
One 1/2×1-1/2″ oak board, five feet long
One 1/2×1-1/2″ oak board, two feet long


For the vise, you need;

Two 24″ lengths of 2×8 oak
One 13″ length of 2×6 oak


The other materials you would need are;

4 – 3/8″ all-threaded rod, 48″ long
4 – 3/8″ all-threaded rod, 24″ long
32 – 3/8″ dowels
16 – 3/8″ nuts
16 – 3/8″ washers
30 – 1-1/2″ drywall screws
30 – 2″ drywall screws
30 – s-clips
4 – levelers






Belt Sander,

Orbital Palm Sander,

Jig Saw.


A Wrench,

A Hacksaw,

A saw with a crosscut blade and a plywood blade.


Work surface



The world must be cut in alignment to the shape of the table, so, if the table should be square and straight, you have to make sure that you cut the wood, square and straight. A table saw would be good here but in the absence of one, use a cutting guide. It is easy to make one. Use panels that would be convenient for you. Since we are going with a thin base and a straight guide. Hard board and plywood will be advisable. The guide strip should be as wide as the distance between the saw motor and the edge of the saw shoe. It is advisable to add a couple of inches for the clamps. The base should also be as wide as the sum of width of the guide strip and the distance from the edge of the shoe, with a little bit of extra inches.


Cut The Length Of The Base

The parts of the base are: four short stretchers – 2×4, length 16″ (23″ – 2 x 3-1/2″)
four long stretchers -2×4, length 41″ (48″ – 2 x 3-1/2″)
four legs – 4×4, length 31-3/4″ (35 – 3 x 3/4″ – 1″)

First, mark out on the 4×4, the parts that would form the woods. Layout the legs, mark out the cuts and indicate the parts of the legs that would be scrap. The goal is to make these pieces square and identical.  To easiky make them the same lenght  clamp the wood  together and to cut them all at once.


Rough Cuts

Since we made a cutting guide, there is no real need for a rough cut, but we are beginners, we cannot be too careful. Ensure that your rough cuts are a couple of inches longer than you actually need, thus way, you have more room to work with. It is entirely up to you to get a clean and square cut. Remember, The cleaner the cut, the tighter the joints will hold together, and  squarer cuts mean that the bench would be much squarer.


Final Cut

Once you are satisfied with the rough cuts, you can make the final cuts.


Route The Grooves

The next step is to route the grooves in order to allow the treaded rods pass through. A router table would be perfect for this. It is also advisable to make practice cuts in scrap materials.



After the grooves have been routed, stand the parts and as and then using a belt sander. First, you use 50 and 80 grit on the belt sander, then 100, 150, and 220 grit on the orbital. It more advisable to use a hand sander of you have one or already sanded wood. It is much more easier.


Match Up Your Parts

Match the parts up in a way that the not so perfect parts are in places that are not easily noticeable. For instance, if you stand a leg and it wobbles, use it as a foot, that way, the leveler will make it’s flaws unimportant.


Mark The Holes

Mark the points where the threaded rods would pass through. The hole for the upper stretcher has to be put in such a way that  when the rod is running through this groove, the top of the short stretcher is even with the top of the legs. Use a dowel center to mark the holes, it leaves a mark.

Drill The Holes.

Professionals drill the holes from the back, but as beginners, it is more advisable to drill from the hole, to get a precise location.

Pull It All Together

Start by Threading the rods through one of the legs, then set the leg flat on the table. Put the dowels into the dowel holes, and put the matching stretchers in their positions. Put dowels into the dowel holes at the top end of the stretchers and place the other leg onto the threaded rod and settle it down onto the dowels. When you are done putting it together, wrap a piece of tape around the end of each of the rods, and then mark on the tape where the rod should be cut.


Cut And Assemble

Clamp them to your temporary table and use a sharp hacksaw to cut off. The hacksaw might damage a thread when it cuts but you can run a but off the end to fix it. There is nothing tricky about this part. After you cit everything, assemble it and there, you have your first trestle. Repeat the process and you have all tour trestles.



An oil and wax finishing would be perfect. Oil is good for the base and it makes it easy to repair. Wax gives it a glossy finish and makes it easy to remove glue and paint spills. So, oil  the base then oil and wax the top. Apply more after another fifteen minuted then let it dry. Wait fie about thirty minuted then rub away any oil that seeped out. It is advisable to use linseed oil for the oiling.