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Workbench

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by T Fades, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Oct 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM
    #1
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Going to be making a workbench for the garage. I have drawn out dimensions, but I am not sure what type of wood I should use.

    Was thinking about using 4x4s for the legs. Should I be using presssure treated?

    For the horizontal supports, going to use 2x4s. These should also be pressure treated, correct?

    For the top, I plan on using 3/4" plywood, with a 1/4" hardwood on top of the plywood. What type of plywood should I use? Standard, Birch, other? Do they make pressure treated plywood?

    For the shelf, was thinking about 3/4" birch plywood.

    Any other recommendations?
     
  2. Oct 10, 2013 at 5:59 PM
    #2
    wileyC

    wileyC Well-Known Member

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    i'm building a workbench at the moment as well... i must say, i've gone the path of building a more traditionalist woodworkers bench...so, this may or may not appeal to you...

    based on my experience thus far (which is pretty little :D), i have to say poplar is a great hardwood to work w/... it's readily available in my area as well, and not very expensive, so that also played into my selection...

    ...don't see the need for pressure treated, ...it's going to be inside right?...

    for the top, i'd recommend doing a hardwood top, at least 3" thick, for adequate holding w/ holdfasts in dogholes... some folks buy premade laminated maple tops, generally they are only like 1.5" thick so they'll glue two together to get more thickness... i'm making my top from some 4" thick poplar slabs, but in retrospect it would've been much easier, and not much more in cost, if i bought some premade maple tops...

    the problem w/ plywood as a top is that if you wanted to flatten the top, wood can "move" over time/conditions/etc... you'll have issues because it's just a thin top veneer, and the grain directions are staggered throughout... there is a pretty neat design from LVL (laminated veneer lumber), which is kinda like plywood, but the layers all have the same grain direction, ...do a search on the web for LVL workbench, there's some that have a really striking appearance because of the LVL layers....

    for the legs, you could use 4x4 cedar or whatever is at the home center, ...but most either get large stock from hardwood dealers, or laminate their own boards of choice into thick legs... decided on what joinery to do for the members of the frame; mortise/tenon, draw-bolt, draw-bore, half lap, etc... you could even make a strong frame using large dowels like w/ the dowelmax system or similar....

    happy building! :wave:
     
  3. Oct 10, 2013 at 6:04 PM
    #3
    snorola

    snorola Well-Known Member

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    I built this one two years ago, cost me nothing as I took scraps from construction sites I worked on. Just used pine 2x4 which is plenty for the legs, doesn't need to be pressure treated if its in your garage.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Oct 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM
    #4
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    Damn... I bought the stuff to build one not long ago, still need to assemble. I'm just using 2x4's for the legs, 3/4" AC plywood for the bench, 2x4s on edge screwed through from the plywood at the outer edge to keep it rigid and 2x4 cross members to keep the middle from sagging also. It'll look similar to snorola but no upper shelf and it'll be a full sheet of plywood.
     
  5. Oct 10, 2013 at 6:20 PM
    #5
    snorola

    snorola Well-Known Member

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    FYI mine is 3/4" ply, last week I had an all pro bumper with a 10k winch on it sitting on the bench and no sagging. The thing is solid!
     
  6. Oct 10, 2013 at 7:21 PM
    #6
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    Why pressure treated ?
     
  7. Oct 11, 2013 at 7:47 AM
    #7
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Really not sure, just thought it would help with moisture, but it will be in the garage, so that really shouldn't be an issue.
     
  8. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:03 AM
    #8
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Looks very similar to the plans I have drawn up, except I plan for the benchtop to overhang the legs by a few inches so I can put a vice on that sumbitch.

    Just curious, how high is your benchtop?

    How deep is the top?

    Is it held together with woodscrews? I was thinking about drilling holes and using uber strong hex bolts or something. Not sure how feasible that will be as I do not have a drill press. I do have a cordless drill, but it may be difficult to keep the holes aligned right.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM
    #9
    snorola

    snorola Well-Known Member

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    Will get measurements when I get home tonight. Wood screws will do fine, 4 in each corner on mine.
     
  10. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:16 AM
    #10
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    I wouldn't worry about it and I live in the rainforest
     
  11. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM
    #11
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    Off topic but what's the deal with the vertical Tuck Tape at every stud on your vapour barrier ?
     
  12. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:21 AM
    #12
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    What kind of work do you intend to use it for? Woodwork, metal work, mechanical work? General purpose? Are you going to be pounding on it? I used 4x4 legs on my old one, and if you put a middle leg in the front it gives you a rock solid stable location to mount a vice or pound hard on things. The power goes into your work rather than into making the benchtop flex.
     
  13. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:32 AM
    #13
    xJuice

    xJuice My spoon is too Big!

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    I used 2-1/2" FHP wood screws, either #12 or #10 don't remember. Used clamps to hold the pieces together for predrilling and counter sinking with my cordless.




    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM
    #14
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    Keeps the vapor barrier continuous, covers the holes put in it from attaching it to the studs.
     
  15. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:46 AM
    #15
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Cool, thanks!
     
  16. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:47 AM
    #16
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    For side to side rigidity, wouldn't it be good to use diagonal 2x4s attaching from horizontal support to vertical legs? Or maybe a piece of plywood attached to the back attached to the horizontal support and vertical legs?
     
  17. Oct 11, 2013 at 9:04 AM
    #17
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    You should have some bracing to avoid racking, yes, but try to avoid obstructing the front with bracing so that it is easier to access under-bench storage space, especially if you store heavy awkward stuff under there. You could use plywood across the back legs and attached at the top to the back of the benchtop frame (like a mini shear wall), or even just use a 2x8 or similar across the top back for the frame. Then you can use smaller plywood gussets on the front up underneath like Xjuice did. Alternatively, you could use some beefy L brackets instead on the front for max access. Using 4x4 legs would also increase stability. They are equally stiff in both axes of potential movement.
     
  18. Oct 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM
    #18
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Lastly, question about attaching the top. Was thinking either dowels (to allow for easy takedown, or using lag bolts attahced from underneath so they will not be visible from the top.

    I plan on using this workbench for everyday tinkering. Nothing major really. May eventually get into some woodworking projects.
     
  19. Oct 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM
    #19
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    Is that actually code ?
     
  20. Oct 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM
    #20
    VeeSix

    VeeSix Well-Known Member

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    Workbenches are a huge subject, many books have been written about them. But for a general tinkering/garage bench dimension lumber from Home depot is fine for the legs. 4x4's are fine for the legs but you won't need that much support unless you're mounting heavy vises/grinders or similar. More important would be to have a good deep "skirt" board around the edge of the bench - 2X8 would be good - that will give far more rigidity to the top than heavy legs.

    For the top, get a piece of 3/4" plywood and split it down the middle. This will give you 2 pieces of 2' x 8' ply, and doubled will yield a top 1 1/2" thick, just right for what you want to do with it. Put a heavy vise on one corner and a smallish anvil on the other. A bench top 2' deep will still allow you to reach the wall to get to wall-hung tools and save floor space.

    Be sure and make the shelf very strong as you'll load it up with heavy crap and plywood has very little resistance to deflection.

    For car work and general tinkering, the bench should be high enough so that work held in the vise is about at your elbow.

    This will not be a bench that is very useful for woodworking other than basic assembly. Most modern woodworking doesn't require a workbench - you take the wood to the tool (table saw, planer) rather than taking the tool to the wood (chisel, plane). If you're interested in doing traditional hand tool woodworking, then you need a planing bench, and that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
     
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