Kids' continental workbenchThis is an extremely solid, continental-style workbench I built with and for my kids - but since it's the best workbench I currently have, it's become my favorite, as well.
Materials are spruce and a double layer of 3/4" of MDF for the top; I know, hardly traditional. Though traditional benches were typically built with what was readily and (usually) cheaply available, and here, that's spruce and MDF. I also used 3/4" poplar for the construction of the shoulder vise section, and for the casing around it.
I considered maple - also available here, though not cheap. I prefer spruce and MDF for their advantages: cheap, easy to work with, and, if a workpiece bangs into the bench, I want the bench to bruise. Not the workpiece. The workbench should bear the scars.
A workbench should be solid, versalite, strong. This one meets all criteria.
Overall, this bench is a 2/3 scale approximation of an adult version I'm building, except in length. Length is 1/2 of the adult bench.
Dog holes are spaced at 6" intervals, as with the adult version. Extremely useful.
(I know, looks kind of undersized. Short. But it measures 27" from the ground, and while that's about 4" shorter than I would like for myself, it's still very useable. Planing, cutting, etc. - it's my favorite bench, and will be until the adult version is finished.)
The final result - great bench. My kids love it; they're very proud of it. I love it - I clamp a workpiece, I cut or plane, not a quiver in the work. Hand-cutting is quick and effortless. Who'd have thought?
Bench screws are from Busy Bee Tools (SketchUp model for these is available separately in the 3D Warehouse). The spiral-threaded hex bolts used to secure the legs I created using my bolt creation toolkit.
Finally, I cheated on the shoulder vise. It's secured to the bench using two 8" heavy duty drawer slides. Still, this gives you two ways to use this vise - as a proper shoulder vise, or as a full-length tail vise.
Besides these, a handful of screws were used in the construction. No nails were harmed in the production of the piece.
I will be posting the adult version, later, when I have finished it.