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I started this workbench at the end of 2011 based off this article. Ultimately, this workbench is what launched me into the hand-tool world (as you can see, the dovetails are all hand-chiseled). It took me about 3 months, working for about 5-6 hours every Saturday, to bring the bench up to 90% completion. I then brought it home and started working on it with all my projects. It wasn’t until about 6 months later that I finally decided I needed to fit the bins to the bench (they were already built, but just needed some planing to fit in the spaces), and then another month or two before I finished the double-screw Veritas vice. Once completed, I finally mounted the wooden jaws on the tail vice, and put 2 coats of Boiled Linseed Oil on it. A year after I started it, it is 100% finished and complete!

The bench is built almost entirely out of European Beech (since I lived in Italy at the time of the build and it was easy to find). What’s not Beech? The 24″ double-screw vice is a large Mahogany slab, and the tail vice is Elm (left over from my “Beer Cabinet”). Here is the cut list I made prior to building it to give an idea of the wood/pricing involved; the project did not deviate too much from the cutlist.

Cut List for 21st Century Workbench

I built this almost exactly to Robert Lang’s specs (based off his article). It measures 87″ long and 31″ wide. The top is 3″ thick. I deviated where I saw fit, but the most notable are 1) not drilling as many dog holes (if I need more, it’s easy to drill them), and 2) I got a 9″ tail vice instead of the 7″ one used in the article (if some is good, more is better, right?).

The only thing I messed up a little bit: I’m left-handed. As you can tell by the pictures, the vices are set in a right-handed arrangement. I realized this after I had drilled the mounting holes for the tail vice… I didn’t feel like chopping off a few inches and re-doing it (or filling the drill holes with wood), so right-handed arrangement it was. To be honest, I don’t even notice. I’ve not had any problems planing or sawing with the vice arrangement as it is.

It’s a dream to work on. It’s heavy as hell and sturdy – I could park my SUV on the thing and it wouldn’t flinch. Hopefully it will last a long time with all the moves I have left to make!

  • pmelchman

    great diagram…..this is what I’ve been asking for on numerous forums!!!
    thanks
    pmelchman
    dragonfly woodworking