I would love a dollar for every time I have shifted the stack of old wood timber in my husband's shed. I used to feel so frustrated shifting it from under one bench to the other side of the shed. Then when he bought something else, we would have to shift it again to make room for the new item.

I am not talking rubbish thin timber I mean real solid jar rah in most cases some would have been 2-3 inches thick by about 6-8 foot long. Yes it was heavy too and of course I never wore gloves in the beginning and guess who wore the splinters. Then called a wuss because I complained about not being able to get them out when they festered and became infected. It was harmless stirring of course.

Any way we eventually made a lovely jar rah 8'x4' table top out of some of it. The rest we shifted it again to our new home a hundred kilometers away.

My husband soon realized that he needed a work bench to do his lead lighting on so we dragged out some timber again.

How to make a timber work bench from old Timbers

The best laid plans always go astray at least that's what I reckon and sometime the end result is even better than a planned idea.

Tools and old timber required

  • Wood saw
  • Wood Planer
  • Wood sander
  • Glue
  • Nails, Screws or fixings of your choice
  • Lots of patience and energy
  • We used an old table frame to sit this top on (you can make another frame)

Building the work bench

Pick out the timbers you want to work with. Measure and cut them to the required size, then plane the worst of all rough edges smooth.


If you have a biscuit or dowel machine you can join the timbers together by drilling matching holes to suit in both pieces of wood. It is very important to have the holes fit exactly opposite in each timber.

Place either a biscuit or dowel in each hole. Apply a generous supply of glue on either side of timber then slide the two pieces together with the biscuit or dowel fitting snugly into their respective holes. Now clamp timbers together until glue has dried.




That is all that is required if joining two pieces of timber together. Unless you are like my husband he wanted a longer work bench. So he cut two more timbers, planed them roughly and added one to each end.

As it still now looked uneven and incomplete he cut and planed two more jar rah timbers and fixed them one on either side. This gave it a more balanced appearance.

For this particular job he reinforced the timbers underneath as it was only meant to be a work bench he just screwed and glued the timbers. If it had been designed to be a lovely timber table top he would have used the dowel and biscuit process.

This was finished with a mixture of linseed oil and mineral turps, this is an ongoing process to protect it. You could also use a eurathane finish for the surface.

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It is a shame that he is still going to use it for a work bench otherwise we would have to start this process all over again.

What do you think? Was the finished product worth all that work? You bet it was. So now you know how to create something great from old timber. The moral of this story is not to complain about some of the things we tend to hang onto - it often comes in handy even years later.

Another Jar rah creation from old timbers.

Other woodwork projects to make