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Workbench

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

  1. Oct 31, 2013 at 6:45 PM
    #41
    teamfast

    teamfast Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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    The lee valley benches are nice but a workbench shouldn't be so nice that you wouldn't want to slap a greasy alternator up on it for disassembly. The basic build concept is the same for all of those who have posted. Build it how you need it. Use straight dimensional lumber and consider a sealant if your going to have greasy projects.
    I have a 3/4" mdf insert in my work bench that i slapped some water based sealer on. If the top gets really damaged it pops out without having to unscrew anything and a new piece will go right in.
    If your spending more than $70 your getting into luxury mode...
     
  2. Oct 31, 2013 at 7:09 PM
    #42
    OZ-T

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

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    No way would I get grease all over a workbench I was using for wood work , 2 different application there guy
     
  3. Nov 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM
    #43
    chipnoreo

    chipnoreo Where is the snow?

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    I built mine using a handheld circular saw. Got a guide to help cut the pieces straight. Most of the cuts turned out well. Only issue I had was cutting the 8x4 piece of hardboard since I didn't really have space to properly set up the cut. And it didnt turn out half bad. Also, cutting the legs exactly the same length took some meticulous measuring and cutting.

    As for stability, depending on the size of the workbench, if you have shelves below the top, you don't need cross bracing.

    I ended up using a variety of woods due to cost. My workbench is small (2'x4') due to space limitations. :( though better than I had (nothing!) I used 2 oak plywood pieces (1/2 and a 3/4 inch). I attached the legs (2 45 degree angled 2x4) to the bottom piece, then screwed the top piece on from the bottom of the bottom sheet. I then used 1/8 hardboard on top, edged with oak 1x2s. The top is sitting on a 2x4 frame, making it very, probably overkilled, solid.

    Used poplar 1x2s (strong axis vertical) to hold up the 1/4 inch birch plywood shelves. They are pretty loaded up and quite solid.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Nov 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM
    #44
    teamfast

    teamfast Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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    I guess you could use an old rubber floor mat to protect your bench.
     
  5. Nov 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM
    #45
    OZ-T

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

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    It's just 2 different things

    I wash my hands before handling some of the wood material I work with , I would just keep them totally seperate
     
  6. Nov 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM
    #46
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    I would keep them separate too. A woodworking bench is just another animal entirely. I would never put anything on it but wood.

    But another member had a great simple idea for saving any benchtop from greasy mechanical stuff: just stick an automotive drip pan on the bench top. The rolled edge stops small bits from rolling off to god-knows-where, too. So simple, so obvious, so effective, never thought of it....
     
  7. Nov 4, 2013 at 7:42 PM
    #47
    wileyC

    wileyC Well-Known Member

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    ...a removable piece of 3/16" hardboard works well for protecting the top...
     
  8. Nov 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM
    #48
    wileyC

    wileyC Well-Known Member

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    ...here is my progress on my workbench frame... i fabricated retractable wheel system to make it easily mobile... the wheel mechanism retracts and deploys automatically (w/ a caveat for the deploy step) by lifting up on each end of the frame... i put more picks in the "home improvement today" thread...

    i also have recessed t-track on both front legs, ...and two rectangular mortices on one leg that will be for mounting accessories, like a small sharpening "station"/table, and the like... maybe this will help w/ ideas... :)

    wheels up (resting on ground, "working position"):

    [​IMG]

    wheels down (mobile position):

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Nov 20, 2013 at 4:24 AM
    #49
    coolreed

    coolreed Well-Known Member

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    That will be a very nice WorkBench Wiley. My compliments.

    Mobility is an important feature.
     
  10. Nov 20, 2013 at 5:41 AM
    #50
    VeeSix

    VeeSix Well-Known Member

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    Well, not really - a bench is a tool. I could also say that spending more than X amount on a torque wrench is luxury mode too - when a $20 model from Harbor Freight will work pretty much as well.

    Mechanics usually work on metal tables in shops because they are constantly spilling oil on things - wood won't last. Plus they can weld on it. If you're doing car work totally, put a sheet of plate steel down on top of your bench, or use a solid steel bench/table with a vice. Done.

    Lots of the benches here are called "woodworking" benches, which is true, but they're actually different forms of planing benches - benches used for planing boards. Planing benches didn't use to have vises on them at all. Cabinet making benches were combination planing and dovetail/assembly benches, and had one or two vises on them, but they were still really long (7' - 9') for planing rough boards right off the lumber stack. Ripping and cross cutting lumber was done on short saw horses. It's astonishingly efficient to work this way once you have your shop and your tools dialed in, but it's a TOTALLY different way of working from the modern. Totally.

    Modern shops are usually like Norm Abram's, and not Roy Underhill's - all power tools (table saw, planer, router table) where to take the wood TO the tool, and not the tool TO the wood (think about it) so the bench is getting smaller and smaller, and becoming less necessary, unless you want to do traditional work in a traditional way. Planing rough sawn boards on a bench less than 7' long and about 300 pounds would be exhausting after a while. The more massive and longer the bench, the more effortless you can plane.

    Or just run it through a thickness planer and be done. I've done both, a lot, and there's no wrong answer. The older I get, the more I just want to see the work done, and the less I care about sentiment and nostalgia. For a lot of people it's the reverse path.
     
  11. Nov 20, 2013 at 5:45 AM
    #51
    VeeSix

    VeeSix Well-Known Member

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    WileyC - I like the wheels - I think the springs pop them down, am I right? And a dedicated sharpening station is one of the best things you can have in your shop if you mess with planes and chisels. With one of those gooseneck lamps with a magnifying glass. Kerosene is great to sharpen with, BTW.
     
  12. Nov 20, 2013 at 10:39 AM
    #52
    wileyC

    wileyC Well-Known Member

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    ...yep, there is an extension spring on each side (one per mechanism)... the mechanism swings in a semi-circular arc, ...in going from deployed to retracted, ...gravity does the work due to the center of mass of the mechanism and casters location offset from the center of rotation. there is a small "idler" (a shower door roller :D) that contacts the floor and keeps the wood components off the ground when in fully retracted position... however, for the reverse (retracted to deployed), an "assist" (the spring) is needed to rotate the mechanism far enough for the caster-floor contact to complete the rotation... to put the spring under load, i simply pull a "t-handle" connected to the end of the spring and secure it in a clasp located under each end of the bench (not visible)...
     
  13. Nov 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM
    #53
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Satoshi, debadged, rear view mirror bracket, tail gate hose clamps, trimmed mud flaps.
    Thinking about the top, wondering if I should leave the front coplanar with the legs, and the sides of the top overhang the legs (so I can clamp stuff to the bench top). Your thoughts?

    I think I will eventually get a similar top mounted vise as below, and was thinking putting it in the front left corner (right side of bench will be against wall). I know I want the internal jaw to be just past the edge of the bench top, but not sure if there will be room to mount it to the front of the bench for this.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nov 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM
    #54
    wileyC

    wileyC Well-Known Member

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    ..some guys like to have the top flush w/ the legs, ..but if you're going for an all-around utility bench, i'd tend to think having an overhang would be better for using clamps to holddown work... also, i've noticed some guys will fabricate a system of removeable/swappable vices/grinders/etc, ..like taking your vice and bolting it to a block of wood with a metal tongue on the end, ...the tongue gets inserted into a hitch receiver type object bolted to the bench...
     
  15. Nov 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM
    #55
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    This is also something i want to incorporate. this thread is helping me remember all the little details I've seen over the last few years...:)
     
  16. Nov 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM
    #56
    OZ-T

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

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    :thumbsup:

    " and always remenber the first rule of shop safety , to wear these , safety glasses "
     
  17. Nov 20, 2013 at 12:08 PM
    #57
    skidooman

    skidooman I'm your huckleberry

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    Here is my bench. My wife built this for me one day while I was at work. lol. I need to put a shelf above it, and get a piece of sheet metal for the top. Makes clean up way easier.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Nov 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM
    #58
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    Nahm.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Dec 2, 2013 at 9:01 AM
    #59
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Finished the workbench. Nice, simple design. Wanted to say 'Thank you' to all who helped to answer my questions along the way.

    Frame is redwood 2x4s and the legs are redwood 4x4. The shelf and top are maple ply.

    Still deciding if I am going to treat it with some kind of oil based protectant (such as Minwax), or leave the wood raw.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Dec 3, 2013 at 9:55 AM
    #60
    T Fades

    T Fades [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Satoshi, debadged, rear view mirror bracket, tail gate hose clamps, trimmed mud flaps.
    Would you recommend putting a treating the bench with a protectant of some sort?

    Should I only treat the frame, leaving the plywood top and shelf un-treated? I have heard if you only treat one side of plywood, it will warp.
     
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