Workbench Wednesday — Bench #3, (2005?) A Sjoberg Salvage Operation

The bench today

Sometime in the mid-aughts I came into possession of a raggedy c. 1970s Sjoberg workbench that was slated for the dumpster.  It was a rickety old thing that needed to be pretty much disassembled and reconstructed to make work properly.  Before, it wobbled so bad it was probably an injury magnet, afterwards it was stout and sturdy.  I eventually added another four inches to its height by simply bolting on some mondo skids.  Since it was still unusably light I then bolted the skids to the floor and now it is one of my high-value work stations for when I am doing conservation projects for smaller decorative objects or gunsmithing, engraving, marquetry or carving.

Some of the accouterments I have added to it include a tilting fret saw table that fits perfectly into the end vise, and a swiveling ball vise made from a pair of toilet flanges, a duckpin bowling ball (it’s a Maryland thing) and a hot melt glue gun and wood scraps.  This resides on the floor underneath the bench when not in use.  I’ve also got a stereo-microscope sitting there for those times when I need it, and a pair of Gerstner tool boxes filled with the tools I need for these projects on a shelf above it and a small drawer unit with carving and engraving tools sitting on the shoulder vise end.  It is light enough to move aside easily whenever I need that vise.

The bench was one of the very first things I brought to the barn, probably within the first year after it was enclosed, in ’09 or ’10.   It was the closest thing I had to a functioning and available workbench and it arrived even before there was the final flooring underfoot.


Being pretty light it was moved around frequently until the spaces took shape.  It finally wound up in a perfectly fitted niche just inside the entry door, adjacent to the propane wall furnace.

It is not the perfect bench, but the purchase price was perfect and with a bit of finessing it has turned into a valuable contributor to the shop’s functionality.  Were my life situation different I could probably make a decent living with this as my only bench.