This classic Europeanstyle workbench is massive and stable yet still affordable The traditional dog system lets you clamp the largest workpieces with ease

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he main challenge I was faced with when I began designing this maple workbench was to start out with the classic European-style design, and end up with a project that was functional and buildable — but still affordable.

I wanted to keep all the features that contribute to a great heavy-duty workbench. A flat, stable, hardwood working surface. A convenient tool tray along the back edge. A front vise with a large wooden face. And finally, an end vise and a "dog" system.

dog system. That last feature is what I think makes this bench unique. Traditionally, benches like this have had a large L-shaped shoulder vise on one end of the bench. But this vise uses clogs (metal or wood blocks that lit into holes in the bench top) to hold the workpiece steady.

Shoulder vises tend to be expensive, and also have a tendency to get out of adjustment when changes in humidity occur. So for this workbench, I came up with a simpler end vise-and-dog block system. This system can actually be

"adjusted" to better cope with those changes in humidity.

material. Since I wanted my bench to be both heavy in weight and able to stand up to hard use over the years, I built it completely from hard maple and finished it with tung oil. Getting a maple benchtop flat was a challenge, but you'll find out how I did it on pages 29 to 31.

another version. If you want a less expensive and easier way to make the top, take a look at the laminated version on pages 42 and 43. It's built up from par-ticleboard (or plywood) and hardboard.

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