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Found a Scandinavian/Tage Frid style workbench on Kjiji last year for $300. I thought it was a steal, my wife not so much. The kid who inherited it had been using it for small engine repair. He guesses that it is 75 to 100 years old. His great grandfather made it when he emmigrated from Denmark. The age and abuse showed but I had recently been to our local wood supplier looking for bench materials and realized that the top alone was worth at least 300. It is made from 3 hard maple boards measuring 3 1/2" thick by 5 by 76 long. The end pieces and base are made from big chunks of solid fir.

I took a full 1/4 to 3/8" off the top using hand planes to get it flat and remove the oil stains. Thank you Christopher Schwarz for the great videos. I took his advice and turned a garage sale stanley no 5 into a fore plane with a curved blade. It made a big difference getting the initial flattening done.

The L vice was missing its chop. I replaced the hardware with a Lee Valley screw for $40. The large dovetails had loosened from the hide glue giving up and age. Someone had hammered nails through them all. Cleaned them up, reglued and wedged them to make them tighter. Also replaced the original square reinforcement bolts with new stuff. Replaced the plywood tool tray bottom with a fir plank.

The base was a bit loose so I cleaned it up and double wedged the through tenons. It is a big heavy bench but it fits in the shop, 22" wide by 86" long by 36" tall.

I put about $100 into it and have new low back pain but it was worth it.
 

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John
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Nice job reclaiming that old vintage bench :)
 
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jemangin

There is a problem with doing this kind of work. (1) The work is superb (2) It is a beauty of bench (3) what possibly could you do with this (4) number 4 refers back to (3). This is such an art of work, how in the world are you going to be able to dare work on it. This is just to damn nice to use. What a great job that you have done. I congratulate you on your talent and skill. I also, covet your talent. There is one more thing that I think is going to happen. It did not sound like your wife was as enthusiastic about this project as you were. Therefor, be prepared for the next Honey Do Project.
 

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Nice work and I'm glad to see that you took the time to restore the bench. That was a workhorse that didn't need to be put out to pasture yet. There are lots of old tools like that that just need a little TLC in order to get put back to work and they just need the right person to see the potential in them. Tage was a master woodworker so he had no doubt thought out what a workbench needed to do so it should serve you well.
 
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