Introduction: Mini-Work Bench
I've wanted to make one of these for some time, so while grazing through Pintrest, I came across several great designs and thought why not combine some of these features into one mini-bench. Those that follow me know that it just can't be a simple single purpose design. I've got to add as much versatility to a project as possible. There's a video at the end detailing the bench and it's features. Enjoy!
Step 1: 2 Vises/Multiple Hold Downs
The bench has 2 vises, one at the front and one at the end with holes every 2" for bench dogs.
Step 2: Construction, Top and Dimensions
I made this from dimension lumber scraps around the shop. It's glued and screwed them to make a sturdy base that can be clamped to the main bench. The top is laminated with different pieces of softwood and smoothed through the planer.
The dimensions are 25" long by 12" wide by 9" high.
Step 3: Front Vise
Made from cherry, the front vise can hold stock up to 18". It opens to 4" and has a short double sided handle that operates on the bench top without having to hang over the edge of the main bench. The mechanism is 7/8" all-thread, a 1/2" cast iron pipe "T" fitting, a 3/8" long bolt, some PVC for grips and rubber caps for end stops.
Step 4: End Vise
I used a left over hold down clamp from an old cut-off saw as an end clamp. Slots in the cherry end stock to hold it secure. It's a great re-use of old parts (I save everything!).
Step 5: Bench Dogs/Hold Downs
I made several types of dogs here and they can fit either on the front vise or on the top to accommodate various sizes of wood. The top has embedded 1/4"-20 crown bolts to hold threaded dogs and clamps from the top. I use a set of specially made clamps from my drill press for irregular shaped objects.
Step 6: Special Dogs for Metal Slide Clamps
I wanted to incorporate a way to hold sliding metal clamps for small glue-ups into the versatility of this bench. I modified some taller dogs with slots for the clamps and the holes in the top allow almost limitless repositioning and clamping combinations.
Step 7: Vertical Stability Point
One of my favorite features is the vertical clamping point. Using a 1/2" pipe floor flange modified to attach to the base, I can add a piece of pipe, though a hole in the top, to provide a stable clamping spot above the work surface.
I secured another piece of 1/2" pipe with a special wood clamp parallel with the top, then added the end clamp from the old cut-off saw that just slips inside the pipe to clamp down on the top. This will come in handy for taller objects up to 12".
Step 8: Storage of Components
All of the components are designed to fit in the bottom of the mini bench. I closed off the sides and bottom with some thin ply and place them in via the back. The pipe from the vertical stability point doubles as a carrying handle.
Step 9: Finish/Protection/Wrap-Up
I stained everything but the top in a natural oil stain with a coat of water-based poly. The top is oiled with teak oil as it will get the most abuse.
Well that's it. I had fun making this and it's getting lots of use since I have a small shop and my large bench is usually cluttered. It's easy to build and you can modify the dimensions to fit your needs. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate this as a 5.
Hope you enjoyed it.