My Tall Workbench with Flair

This bench was inspired after the Joinery Bench that Shannon Rogers brought to Woodworking in America.  It was intended to simply be a taller workbench and I honestly did not know how useful I would find it (ask me in half a year).

This small bench was built taller than normal (39.5″) to allow joinery to be cut at a more comfortable height – no more bending over to see your scribe lines.  I built the base using drawbored mortise and tenon joinery.  The bench was made of Western maple.

Tall Workbench Assembled

All the joints were drawbored mortise and tenons.  I used my drill press and chisels to cut the mortises and cut the tenons with my bandsaw and tuned them with my shoulder plane and chisels.

Mortise and Tenon

In this video, I demonstrated how I shaped and installed drawbore pegs while discussing why drawbored mortise and tenon joints are effective.  Listen how the sound changes as the peg encounters the offset hole in the stretcher’s tenon.  (Duration:  1:27.)

To keep the build simple, I only did what was necessary.  The faces of the legs were left rough-sawn and the back of the bench top still bears a live edge.  The bench top was attached to the base with four lag bolts in oversized holes to allow for expansion.  No glue was used.

In this second video, I showed how I used my sliding table saw to straighten one edge, then crosscut the two adjacent edges square.  (Duration:  3:09.)

The bench itself required 13 hours to construct and the Moxon Vise with Flair required another two hours.

Tall Workbench

What do you think of my 13-hour Tall Workbench with Flair?

Quite a few other bloggers are documenting (or have documented) the building of their workbenches.  You can read about their benches by following these links:

(If I have missed your bench build, please leave a link in the comments section.)

13 thoughts on “My Tall Workbench with Flair

  1. Nice bench Chris. Because of my lower back injury I require everthing to be much higher than other find comfortable — even using bench planes feel better at an elevated height.
    I’ve considered making one with an adjustable height using hydraulics, etc.
    You are still a young man but down the road your back will love you for the lack of bending.

    1. Hi Ron,

      Thanks for the comment. Adjustable-height benches have always intrigued me but I’ve never used one. I think they would be fine for assembly and probably beating on, but do you think they would be steady enough to hand plane on?


  2. Sure would be a great chopping block..
    Seriously though.. I am over 6 feet 4 and I try and make all my benches a little taller to accommodate that fact.. you will certain appreciate the extra height…

    1. Larry, you giant! :)

      This is the first day I’ve actually been using the bench and I’m really enjoying the taller working surface. I used to sit on a stool at my shorter bench. It will be interesting to see how my work habits evolve with this new bench.


  3. Chris — Love the quick video. Perfect info, perfect amount of time.

    Leave room at the bottom of the video for text overlays. I recently realized that too and try to adjust the camera when I know I have an overlay on the bottom.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Michael. I’m glad that you like the video and found it to be of a good length with good information.

      In the future, I’m going to shoot video from afar and crop it closer when I edit.


  4. Ok, seriously, how come I’ve never heard of a Moxon vice before this? I am so going to make one. Great videos, by the way. Your saw must have a little bit of juice to not even change the engine sound while cutting through a huge slab of maple!

    1. Grant,

      Seriously, how have you not heard of a Moxon vise until this post? Only every woodworker on the internet is talking about the vise (or at least it seems that way).

      I’m glad you liked the videos.

      My table saw has a 5 HP motor. I just wish it could take a 12″ blade. I’ll have to look into that…

  5. I am with you.. wait 6 months and see how it works out. Though it still looks to short for me. I think the Moxon could be higher yet 48″ would be nice. So the twin screw vice with a moxon in it seems to be a nice fit. Love the sliding table saw Chris. So the slab was pretty warped. Did you flatten it much first, and get the top and bottom parrallel? Do you have pads under the legs, or old tire tubes?

    1. Hi Morgan,

      You have a keen eye (which probably has something to do with that Master of the Southwest title you earned).

      So far, I’m liking the bench. 40″ seems pretty good. 48″ would probably be okay for you, but that’s almost up to my armpits (never used that word before).

      Yes, the slab was warped. Good observation! It is part of an ongoing experiment… again, check back in 6 months! I used a power planer to get it roughly flat. I was not too concerned with getting it parallel – close was close enough. I carved away the center of the wide skids to form 4″x5″ pads at each corner.


  6. Hey Chris, I notice in one of the pictures that you have a (great) Veritas Tucker vise mounted on another bench. Lee Valley stopped production on those I understand because they were too expensive to manufacture.
    There was just one up for sale on e-bay, brand new never been mounted that went for a little over $1200. U.S. — maybe they should start building them again???

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