The Editors Mailbox

The Editors Mailbox

Intermediate Workbench Video Series

comments (23) June 28th, 2012 in blogs

Ed_Pirnik Ed Pirnik, Senior Web Producer
thumbs up 49 users recommend

The top is all thats left. My new workbench, soon to be a video series, is nearing completion.
To really lock up the mortise-and-tenon joinery in this bench, I doubled pinned every single junction.
Warm cherry drawer fronts and some fancy brass ring pulls gave my humble bench a nice touch of class.
The top is all thats left. My new workbench, soon to be a video series, is nearing completion. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

The top is all that's left. My new workbench, soon to be a video series, is nearing completion.

Photo: Lisa Morgan

This week, I offer an update on a brand-new workbench project I wrote about last month.

Sore Hands: Happy Woodworker

My sore hands feel like they've been thrust into hot coals, I've got splinters in parts of my body that I didn't even know existed, and well, I'm just plain tired. That said, I couldn't be happier right now. Shooting for a new Video Workshop series on building what I've dubbed an "Intermediate Workbench" is nearly wrapped up, and I couldn't be happier with the results. This is a bench I plan to have until I meet my maker. It's just the right size for me, has a touch of arguably unnecessary beauty, and it's rock-solid. You could back a truck into this thing and the frame wouldn't rack a single inch.

The online community will be able to watch the series and learn how to build this bench in the coming months. And for those of you curious to know a few of the pertinent details, here are a few juicy tidbits:

Moderate-Sized Bench is Big on Storage

More on Workbenches

Mortised Brass Ring Pulls
A Benchtop Bench
Building Bench Hooks

The overall size of my bench comes in at about 24-in. in depth and 60-in. in length. This was a compromise for me. I just didn't have enough room for a six or seven-foot bench, and a four-foot bench is just too small for me. So I settled on five-feet.

The trestle assembly is built of maple, and the top will be constructed of hard maple. My favorite element of this little gem however, is the integrated storage. I added two beefy drawer boxes and outfitted them with full-extension slides and solid cherry drawer fronts. OK, so the brass ring pulls might be a bit much, but think about it: your bench says a lot about your craftsmanship. When a client or loved one for whom you're building a project visits the shop, wouldn't you like to be seen working at a bench that's as lovingly crafted as your fine furniture?

For anyone with limited shop space but a desire to construct a serious cabinetmaker's workbench, I'm hoping this project will really fit the bill. Look for it sometime this autumn!

posted in: blogs, WorkBench, cherry, maple, video workshop, pirnik, drawers, ring pulls

Comments (23)

sdrud sdrud writes: I'm curious about when we might expect to see the video series? This appears to be exactly what I'm looking for in a bench.
Posted: 9:51 am on October 4th

Houtie Houtie writes: Hi Ed, Bench looks GR8. Think this is exactly what I've been looking for to fit in my cramped basement shop. When can we expect the video?
Posted: 5:12 pm on August 15th

Tumblewoodworks Tumblewoodworks writes: You'll enjoy that, Ed. Nice looking bench. What hardware are you going with for vise(s)? I went with the Benchcrafted, but I built a 10' Roubo. Everyone has different needs and space limitations, so I'm glad you're building something solid that diverges from the big beasts.
Posted: 2:29 pm on July 5th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: ChrisGlennie: The duluth aprons are super sweet (although more expensive) than this one. This one is manufactured by BucketBoss. I like it a lot although I will say that the adjustments on the back, where you cinch it down to fit you properly, aren't the greatest. The nylon webbing tends to get pinched and twisted in the metal guides you slide them through. That's my only complaint.
Posted: 10:05 am on July 3rd

Bsmiley Bsmiley writes: I've been shopping around for a good apron and the one I got was from It looks almost exactly like this one except has different trim colors. Fire Hose Bib Apron&processor=content
Posted: 5:27 pm on July 2nd

ChrisGlennie ChrisGlennie writes: Great looking bench .... And do you mind me asking where you got that useful looking tool holding apron ?

Thanks, chris

Posted: 2:14 pm on July 2nd

ChrisGlennie ChrisGlennie writes: Great looking bench .... And do you mind me asking where you got that useful looking tool holding apron ?

Thanks, chris

Posted: 2:14 pm on July 2nd

ChrisGlennie ChrisGlennie writes: Looks like a very well crafted workbench ! Also that tool holding apron you're wearing looks like a useful bit of kit you mind letting me know where you got it ?

Thanks, chris
Posted: 1:20 pm on July 2nd

Pabs Pabs writes: looks like an awesome bench... it's been on my list of things to do for a long time.. I look forward to seeing the vids on this one.
and the pulls, very nice feature, makes it look like fine furniture! good work!
Posted: 7:32 pm on July 1st

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: Bob Fenneman: have a look at dead squirrel's comment. He's got the right idea. You'll just need to add some leveling feet on two of the foot pads that support your bench's trestle end assemblies.

Cheers and thanks much for the kind words.
Posted: 8:09 am on July 1st

benmckenney benmckenney writes: Great bench! I built larger version few years favorite. Keep up good work.
Posted: 7:50 am on July 1st

JordanD JordanD writes: Thanks Ed for the great bench, we are making 4 in our Men's Shed and your design is ideal for our needs. Our bench top will have vyces both sides with thru draws to maximise usage.
Looking forward to the Vodeo. Thanks again
Posted: 5:42 am on July 1st

deadsquirrel deadsquirrel writes: Bob, I built a similar style bench several years ago. What I did to level it was to drill four 1/2" holes in the bottom of each foot and built a secondary foot with matching dowels. I could then use shims or wedges in between. If your floor slopes a lot you could just make the secondary feet different thicknesses. This is also a good idea if you don't know how tall you want you bench.
Posted: 5:16 am on July 1st

Wals22 Wals22 writes: This looks remarkably like the workbench in FWW's 2004 "Tools and Shops." Using also ideas from Jon Leppo's bench in the March/April 2003 FWW, I constructed such a bench and sent photos to FWW. Some improvements I made that Ed Pirnik did not adapt in his new bench are turning the long stretchers horizontally so as to make more room for drawers, having a shallow top drawer (GREAT for storing screws and other such small items), and having raised-panel sides.

Posted: 11:10 am on June 30th

SlowNoMan SlowNoMan writes: Love the drawers Ed and am marveling at your celebrity following ala Pickngrin1 ;-)
Posted: 10:48 am on June 30th

rnavrnp rnavrnp writes: Ed-

Just finished building the workbench and tool cabinet that Lon Schleining designed for FWW several years back so I fully sympathize with the aches and pains, (plus I've got at least 3 decades on you). I recommend Aleve!

Since the trestle design is very similar to Lon's, I can attest to the fact that you will still have plenty of support and should have no racking issues if you decide to lengthen the size of the workbench top. Nice job!
Posted: 10:48 am on June 30th

atcltd2003 atcltd2003 writes: Hooray - a real workbench for those of us with space and storage issues! Not that I don't appreciate the "massive mortise" full size workbenches, but there just isn't room in my shop. My workbench is a wobbler that has a Swiss cheese top with too many dog holes, lousy vices(are there any good vices?), storage for my 6" planer, and drawers for sharpening stones and gizmo's. So I'm really interested in the video's!
Posted: 9:05 am on June 30th

Bob_Fennema Bob_Fennema writes: This looks like what I need. I work in my garage which has a sloping floor towards the overhead door. Will you have some clever way to level the bench for people like me?
Posted: 8:58 am on June 30th

Pickngrin1 Pickngrin1 writes: It IS a beautiful bench Ed. Can't wait to see the video so I can build one for my cramped shop!
Posted: 8:23 am on June 30th

aquarium aquarium writes: The bench looks great and probably is the exact design for my needs. I look forward to the videos. Thanks a lot.
Posted: 7:25 am on June 30th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: Hah! Thanks guys, I truly do appreciate those kind words on the bench AND the podcast!

Cheers to you both.


Posted: 12:42 pm on June 28th

beem beem writes: +1 on the podcast humor! I'm looking forward to the series. No more hiding behind the camera, dude...
Posted: 11:57 am on June 28th

dandegennaro dandegennaro writes: Hey Ed, I've got a truck...anyway, great looking bench. I also enjoy your humor on the podcast, keep it going!
Posted: 11:35 am on June 28th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker

ABOUT THE EDITORS MAILBOX editors report from the woodworking front lines. Check in every weekday for news, information, projects, and answers to questions from Fine Woodworking readers everywhere.

Learn about our new format!

Archive: Temporarily unavailable. Stay tuned and sorry for the inconvenience.