I created the first rendering of my new workbench in 2014. For several years, the workbench design was just a thought. Now it is finally completed and it looks great and works great. This week I applied paint and shellac to the tool cabinet for my workbench and tucked it into place and stood back and admired what has been accomplished. After more than three decades of woodworking, I finally have a proper workbench. The tool cabinet was the final piece to this puzzle and now the workbench is finished.
Since my last update, I have worked mostly on fitting and attaching the drawer fronts for the front side of the bench. This is simply a process involving a lot of patience as I make repeated trips to the table saw to trim minute amounts of wood from the length and width of each front. These are the same steps taken in my last update, so I won’t repeat it here except to say just like everything with this project, repetition has lead to more accurate cuts. By the time I got the last drawer front in place, I was getting really good at fitting them.
I saved the best oak for the drawers on the front side of the workbench…
After fitting the drawer fronts, I cut the opening for my fingers. Note that I am working from the right end of my workbench. I have come to use my Veritas inset vise a lot. I have rarely used my big front vise during this project.
With the drawers finished, I was able to maneuver the tool cabinet into place and see how it looked. And it looked good. All that was left was to add some color.
For the drawer fronts, I experimented with a medium brown and red dye stain blend, but it was way too dark and too red. I had some garnet shellac left over from the workbench stretchers, so I tried the shellac, it is was just about perfect.
I can’t tell you how solid this workbench looks with the cabinet in place. With nothing in the drawers, the workbench in total has gained significant weight which was a basic goal with this workbench – to be heavy and solid. The drawers on the front will be used for items which I use a lot. I have an apron which I should use, but I just don’t. Things like a tape measure, pencils, etc. will be stored in the center drawer and the two outer drawers were sized to hold boxes of screws and nails. The additional drawers on the back side will be a place to store less often used tools.
So that is it. My next project will likely be a new TV stand for our family room. I also have the possibility of building another Moroubian workbench, but that project has not yet been finalized. Before I go, two more images – sort of customary for me to do this when I finish a project…
This workbench is a reflection of where I am as a woodworker. My first bench was made of construction grade 2 x 4 stock. My second workbench (which I still use as an assembly table) was taken from the pages of Fine Woodworking, but it was and still is not a fully functioning workbench. My new workbench, which is a mash-up of two historic designs outfitted with a modern tool cabinet has just about every feature a woodworker could want. It was challenging to make; a challenge that after decades of making things, I was ready to tackle.
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