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My Work Bench

Charlesworth Bench

I will try to describe as best I can the important measurements and materials I am using for the bench that you can make your own if you choose to..
My copy will cost under $100 is is sturdy as hell..
You need a sturdy bench for planning to stop chatter before it starts..

Top is Pine Studs and Plywood for Tool Well 16"-10"- 6" total 32" wide by 7' (tool well is 10") made from 2"x4"x8' jointed and glued and cut to 7' long for a top.. It will take 10 boards for one side and 4 for the short side.. and 3/4"x 10"x7' Plywood cut into 4 pieces to allow the plywood to be slide out of the way of clamps..

Woodworking Bench


Bench height should be 4" below your elbow about 36" for most.. Bench Base is 32" wide x 5'long 4"x6"s for legs the rest is 2"x8"s could use 6"x6"Legs and 4"x6"s for stretchers and really be kick-ass solid .. 4 pieces of plywood will be used for tool well this way they can be slide out of the way for clamping easily..
You can use what ever wood you want for base and top I used Pressure Treated  wood cause of availability and price.. Also I have no room in the garage for it  and must be stored outside till I can build a workshop.

The whole thing is pinned with 1/2" maple dowels in hind site I would use 3/4" and  all the joints are urethane glued.. If your keeping it indoors I would use yellow glue this urethane glue is a pain to do clean up on

Base is finished with Dark Cherry Stain and Spar Varnish..

The way the base is now is super sturdy I forgot to square it up while it was clamped (was getting ready to rain and had to join pipe clamps and could not fine connectors) and this morning tried to see if I could put board in than force it open 1" No Way Jose will no move at all and that is with no top

The two vises I ordered from HF for $19.99 each.. This way since it will be out side will not be to concern and if it was inside I would most likely still use them till I had to have something better.. UPDATE since that I have bought one vise from for $39.99 and is 100% better than the HF vise, it is styled some what after the Record Vises and well worththe money I think..



First thing I started out doing was the legs.. The legs and stretchers are held together with mortise and tenon joints that are glued and pined..
Be very careful to lay your mortises out, two are lefts and two are rights..
I drilled three 1 3/8" holes with a Fostner drill bit from each side of the mortise in a drill press to remove most of the material then pistol drilled 1/4" holes in the corners and hand chiseled the mortises to fit the mating boards..
This was my first time cutting mortises by hand and went very well and was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.. I have a mortise machine but legs are to big to fit under the 6" width..


After cutting the stretchers I used messy polyurethane glue and clamped and  pined everything with 1/2" maple dowels..
I would use 3/4" dowels in hind site..

When it was done I did not like the look of the pressure treated wood so I decided to break down and buy some antique cherry timbers and re-make the bench the my I really wanted it..

Now if you believe this is cherry I have this bridge in Brooklyn I need to sell right away to raise cash.. hehehe

Here is some updates I made to bench, after one plus years out side in the weather the top is still in fine shape other than needing a new coat of spar varnish..

There is no signs of separation of the bench top.
My hats off to Gorilla Glue..

But remember when using Polyurethane glue to use plastic gloves as this stuff is a bear to get off..

David Charlesworth's
Work Bench Article  for your review..

Page One | Page Two | Page Three | Page Four | Page Five

These images are extra large and you need to click the expand button that will show when you hover your mouse in the lower right hand corner..


David's Books are my favorites and I have read the articles more than once.
I highly recommend them..

This is the book with the workbench

This is his other great book

 Buy the books from Amazon and make sure you choose Super Saver for Free Shipping.. They have the best prices I know of on books..




MKIII Sharpening Machine I have almost finished building a LV style MKII \ Lap Sharp sharpening system.. I call it my MK III, the total cost so far is about $70, I used a 1/3HP GE motor and some Pillow Blocks, a Jet Lathe 8" Face Plate with a 5/8" shaft and some pulleys.. So far I have only flatten blade backs and it works super. I have clad the plywood with a sheet of SS metal and will build or buy a tool rest soon.. You can view the images and description..

Hand Planes 101This is a collection of pages I have put together with all the methods I use in tuning and refinishing hand planes for my self and as a service I provided to woodworking forum members on the internet ..I am no longer refinishing hand planes but I am trying to explain with pictures and text the methods I use..

Back Yard Heat Treating Oven had started making blades for hand planes and marking knives and needed a klim to do the heat treating.. This page explains where and how I made my oven and how to heat and harden 0-1 Tool Steel.
Most of the info on the oven came from Back Yard Metal Caster really great site if you want to build a oven of start casting metals..

Machine Shop Lathe Service have started making hardware parts for infill and woodworking tools.. So far I have a hand full of customers I have made items for.. These vary from First Class Norris Style Depth Adjusters to Lever Cap Screws to Frame Saw Adjusting Screws to Back Saw Screws.. Check out my Machine Shop page to view some of the items I have made already.. I have planes to also start making small hand tools..

Got Wood? I have a few places I found for great wood deals, Justin Holden's
is one of them.. I have bought 669 BF of Okoume (African Mahogany) for $669 + $303 shipping and its SUPER Quality.. So check his pallet loads or single boards at his eBay store and be aware to read listing well as some of the wood he lists has checking problems and some is FAS..

Your Cutting Edge A Collection of pages on different methods of sharpening plane irons, chisels and various other cutting tools.. The Main Page contains methods include Bench Stoned, Scary Sharp Method that is using sand paper glued to a flat surface like glass of granite, Power Sharpening page explains use of motor driven sharpening tools, Sharpening Jigs and Gauges as well as Super Charging, what I call adding loose abrasive grit to sandpaper or bench stone to renew the cutting action,Getting Started page has a short list of tools I think is necessary for sharpening.

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