I have made workbenches the way I have to put them into realms of real woodworking for everyone. I am sure some brutes can shove them around their workshops as they work but I can’t, never have. I had my doubts the day we set up two sawhorses, a Black & Decker Workmate and a couple of camcorders on the lawn at the back of my house that we would find acceptance, ut we did. There were some setbacks but we carried on; squeals from next door as the village school children in the playground at breaktime played their games and the sounds they made mingled with seagulls and helicopters overhead. Sometimes the school bell signaled the end of break or the start of another just as I was speaking and we’d wait to see what happened. Mostly we just let rip and got on with it. Hard to believe that that was 8 years ago.
I think that what happened there signaled a new beginning for me. Since then we have made hundreds of videos for our woodworkingmasterclasses.com presentations, YouTube and more and of course, this birthed our efforts to expand real woodworking into the homes of hundreds of thousands worldwide.
Now that first workbench was not at all new. I built the first one for my own use at home in the UK back in 1973 and then its replacement in the USA in 1986 when I migrated there to live in Texas. The first woodworking school had the two-ended 8-foot versions but for home shops, it was mostly too big. Since then I found myself most comfortable on a 5-6 foot version or somewhere in the middle.
It’s been a year since I made my plywood workbench made from Finnish 13 ply plywood and I have been using it in the videos since I took my pine version home to my home garage at the new house. To be honest, I can work at either one perfectly happily as they both work perfectly well. The plywood one being hardwood is, of course, heavier and I have built more ‘hidden’ stowage into the area below the benchtop with a sliding well board for ease of access. Asking me which of my workbenches I prefer is like asking me which one of my grandchildren I like most. I really just wanted to say I have no regrets launching the plywood alternative because it is such a very good workbench. I have used two of them for a year to date but only one of them full time. If you built this one you would have no regrets