My Workbench Drawer

P1020433In my drawer are awkward to place tools I rely on just for a minute or two throughout the days of work. Pliers and thickness callipers, different pencils saw files. You can see that it seems jumbled but it’s really not at all a problem. I found it best to have one front cross divider that keeps my much used tools where I want them; the brass brush and the burnishers for sharpening scrapers, some small saw files and two dozen other small tools. I then have two long dividers running front to back that simply to prevent the continents from slipping diagonally or across the drawer.  I counted the contents once and came out with 107 items. The drawer is recessed just below flush and the handle I made protrudes. P1020434 2Because the vise stands forward from the benchtop and apron it rarely if ever gets in the way. Many have said how they don’t like the drawer because you can never get in it when you want to because of what’s often clamped in the vise. That’s really not true at all. It’s minor convenience from time to time far outweighs the inability to forward plan and critically think through things ahead of time.

On all of my benches I have usually added the drawers after completion of the bench build. That’s because it’s of only marginal advantage to install it as you  go. Adding the drawer in no way affects or indeed compromises the structural stability of this remarkable workbench. In a past workbench I had a push-me-pull-you drawer that could be accessed from both sides.


















NOTE:Just so you know, Paul has a newer Workbench series. If you are interested in the updated version of Paul’s workbench please click the button down below. This page links to a cutting list, tools list, FAQS and much more.


  1. Thomas Tieffenbacher on 26 January 2015 at 1:54 am

    I have plans for several drawers under my new hybryd woodworking bench. You have planes there. LOL!

  2. Randy Allen on 26 January 2015 at 2:30 am

    Thanks for this Paul, I have a drawer like that for miscellaneous tools in my bench and always wrote it off to being disorganized. Now I feel much better about it 🙂

  3. Joe Newman on 26 January 2015 at 10:04 am

    There appear to be handles on the bench legs–is that decorative or is there a recess?
    Thanks for sharing your workspace and the thoughts behind it.

    • Terry Pullen on 26 January 2015 at 2:13 pm

      I think what you are seeing is the ends of through tenons protruding from the legs.

      • Joe Newman on 26 January 2015 at 5:21 pm

        Oh. Duh. Thanks.

        • Al on 8 May 2018 at 10:03 pm

          I too thought they were handles for compartments of some kind!

  4. Michael on 26 January 2015 at 10:32 am


    Could you remove the drawer and make a picture so I can see how it’s held by the workbench?

    Thanks in advance

    • Joel FInkel on 26 January 2015 at 6:56 pm

      I was going to ask the same thing.

  5. Tim from Australia on 26 January 2015 at 10:34 am

    Thanks Paul, another great read.
    If i could offer a humble contribution, in my ‘bench drawer’ I always keep some colored chalk, this is always handy for marking timber and is easily removed.

  6. mmelendrez1955 on 26 January 2015 at 10:57 pm

    great advise Paul. I like the idea of adding the drawer. I am always looking for the small items that are across the shop in a roll-away mechanics tool chest. I am working on a bottom shelf now. I am thinking I had better put the drawer in first just to get better access to the bottom of the bench.

  7. Peter on 27 January 2015 at 2:15 am

    Thanks Paul, I think the drawer is a great feature and would love to install one in my bench along with a shelf and a set of side drawers. Looking for info on installation. Thank you for all the great advice and instruction.