My workbench has:-
- Six foot by three foot worktop, with the left end surfaced in perforated hardboard to allow a dust collection capability. Under the perfboard the benchtop is drilled through to create a plenum which is connected to a dust collector.
- Veritas twin-screw vice with solid maple jaws.
- Front and rear rails of six inch by two inch hard maple, hand flattened and squared. Much sweat over about 6 sore-backed weekends.
- Tee-slot extrusion in each rail for sliding clamps/stops/whatever.
- One inch peg holes along the rails & jaws for dowel pegs to clamp weird shapes and sizes.
- Clear Fir legs, stretchers and end rails. You don't have to use anything as expensive as clear fir, but when you're putting this much effort into something you might as well try to keep the standards up. Maple would be nice.
- GCFI protected electric outlets at each end.
- Five drawers of assorted sizes for easy access to main tools.
It was developed from the plans in Today's Woodworker issue 25. Back issues seem to be no longer available unfortunately. I think it weighs about 250lbs and it is certainly solid. So far it appears to be a very successful design.
For anyone interested in building a similar bench there is SketchUp file of the design available. You can download a completely free copy of SketchUp to look at it and modify it to your own needs.
Do let me know if it helps you.
The general layout of the bench is very simple, just a solid set of legs and stretchers joined with a combination of lag bolts and bolt-barrel nut pairs.
The dust collection feature is separated out in this view. It’s just a chamber formed by cutting out part of the sub-top and a load of holes and a connection to your dust collector. It works amazingly well and as an added bonus doubles as a vacuum powered hold-down clamp.