With six pipe clamps and some dressed framing lumber, you can make an inexpensive bench that's as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife.
Synopsis: Fine Woodworking’s shop manager John White talks about the value of a good workbench, whether you do a lot of handwork or not. He researched American and European designs before designing his own, which incorporates pipe clamps into the bench’s top, the front apron, and even the legs. His planing beam slides on the pipes, and they replace a traditional tail vise. He used Douglas fir because it’s dense and stable, and assembled it with drywall screws and lag screws, so the joinery goes quickly. You get detailed project plans for this rock-solid, versatile bench.
For five years I worked as a cabinetmaker in a shop that used only hand tools for the simple reason that electricity wasn’t available that far back in the woods. One lesson that I came away with was the importance of a good workbench—and lots of windows. I now work in…
Get the Plan
Digital plans, a cutlist, and a SketchUp drawing for this project are available in the Fine Woodworking store.