'Low' workbench

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Thank you to @joeatkin2 and @lewisss for invaluable help on this project.

Living in a 1st floor flat can be a bit frustrating in terms of DIY so I made a woodworking workbench for small tasks which be clamped to the kitchen table or used outdoors fo working on sunny days.

Having used it for a week now i’ve come to appreciate another key advantage is that it elevates the work to see joinery clearer and stops you having to do the backbreaking stoop on lower benches. So it can be helpful when clamped to one of the benches in the space.

It was made with reclaimed staved oak work surface (someone on my street chucked it out after fitting a new kitchen), and some reclaimed mahogany from an old dining table that has been in my dad’s garage for 20 years.
Although I liked the look of untreated oak,I found it marked and stained so easily and opted for a wipe clean, clear danish oil finish.

This bench is HEEAVY which helps with stability. It only needs friction pads for most tasks.

The only things I bought were:
Axminster QUICK RELEASE VICE - 175mm(7") for £55 and
a maple dowel.

I made some quick bench dogs which act as stoppers for holding various thickness material. A low profile dog is perfect for planing thin stock.

The metal dog that came with the vice was replaced by a hard piece of scrap hard wood cut to size and a screw hole threaded to match the fastener.

To stop the feet snapping across their short grain, the feet are reinforced with a maple dowel and a strip of oak running perpendicular.

Bench dog holes were drilled using a guide created on the pillar drill.

Stripping away the years of wax coatings on the shabby wood reveals some lovely, stable mahogany.

I didn’t take any chances with the heave vice. 6cm long M12 and m10 lag screws make for a firm fit, having carefully predrilled the holes to avoid splitting.

The snug dado joint were done using a router and edge guide having first removed most of the wood on the chop saw with the depth stop setting.


Really nice attention to detail :slight_smile:

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It looks great! Exactly what I need for my flat too!

Where did you get the vice, bolts and nuts? I looked on axminster but the vice retails for £69.

Are they 3/4in dowels?

12mm dowels

I got the vice when it was a little cheaper, but i think £55 before vat

The screws I bought from my local hardware shop Ace Mica Hardware in Tooting. There was a bit of trial and error but I basically went for the biggest longest screws that would fit.

Cool…are the legs glued onto the rebate? How do you stop the dowel dogs from falling through?

Slit them and put a bit of veneer in the wedge.
But also they hold themselves in place when in use.

The legs are glued. The trench gives a large surface area for glue and there was no wobble on the dry fit - so little stress on the join.

Out of curiosity how thick is the staved oak surface?

About 40mm thick