That Still Only Counts as One

I’ve been building an even better workbench of late, and today was a major milestone in the build: laminating the top. Unlike my current workbench, the main slab of this benchtop is just two boards. And they both came from the same length of wood, so in my book, that still counts as only one board. 

Gimli would be proud.

The lamination is 91 inches long, 15.5 inches wide, and a shade under 4 inches thick. I would like the benchtop to be about 22 inches of total depth, but I dont have any more 12/4 ash and I don’t want to laminate smaller boards onto the main slab.  So I have a decision to make: add a tool well or make a torsion box out of 5/4 ash to form the final third of the benchtop. Can it be both?

That hollow will come out during final dressing.

I keep thinking about that stretcherless Shaker Workbench and how that back board was held on with pegs in the main slab. But I’d like the option to use the tool well when I don’t need a full-depth bench. 

Has anyone ever made a reversible tool well?



    1. I have. The design I have in mind is a bit of a hybrid between Roubo and Moravian. The front legs will have full length tenons that go through the main slab, with the slab also resting on the cross brace (which will support the tool well/bench extension). My legs are straight, not angled, though.


  1. Here’s another thought – 15 1/2″ is plenty wide for a workbench. Unless you really want a tool we’ll, there are some advantages. My own bench is about that deep, and I like that it takes up less space in the shop. It is plenty heavy, so I don’t think you have to worry about stability. And, it’s not often that you need those extra inches of width. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

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