Introduction: Reclaimed Hardwood Workbench

I built this workbench with my dad out of jarrah and wandoo roof timbers. The top of the bench is pine.

If you're in Perth WA, we got the wood from Cape Salvage in Landsdale and the vise we found at Carba-tec.

180cm long
60cm deep
90cm high

Hand saw
reciprocal saw
plastic mitre box
Carpenters Square
tape measure

Step 1: Cut Wood to Selected Dimensions

Measure and the beams to the required size. We cut off the edges so we would have a straight edge to measure from.
We started out using the square as an edge to run the guide of the reciprocal saw along to get a straight line. We moved to hand sawing for most of the checks out of the wood because it was more accurate.

Step 2: Measure and Cut at Joints

We cut a section out of each beam and leg at the point that they joined up. There were a lot of them. I'm going to condense this step to a series of pictures. Then we chiseled out those sections and checked that the pieces fitted together. If not we used the rasp and a bit of hammering to persuade the pieces to fit together. We marked each piece as we went so we knew which beams attached to which legs etc. Most of the work of building the bench was in the measuring cutting and chiseling of these checks by hand.

Step 3: Putting the Sides Together

We used bolts to secure the beams and legs together. Before we drilled the holes we checked that all the angles were 90 degrees or as close as possible. We checked that the distance between the two legs was the same at the top and bottom and took two diagonal measurements. Then we drilled a pilot hole which would guide the larger drill bit in the right spot (this also makes it easier to drill a big hole in hard wood). We then hammered the bolts in and secured them will nuts and washers.

Step 4: Attaching the Vise

before putting the whole bench together we had to attach the vise to one side. After thinking through a few options we used an off-cut and attached it to the side of the top support beam. We did this to avoid removing to much from the beam that would undermine it's structure.

Step 5: Assembling the Bench

Same process as before but with the two sides attached by the shorter side beams. The bench holds itself together and stands uprght before reinforcement. We used bolts as before on the bottom support beam and coach screws on the top beam (pre-lubed).

Step 6: Putting the Lid On...and Finito!

We used another offcut to add another beam to attach the top to. We just cut it to the width of the top and used more coach screws to attach it. Then we screwed down the top. We used a countersink drill bit to make sure the screws were below the surface.