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New work bench for shop.


Jronman

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I may have the opportunity to use my garage as a shop and was thinking about rebuilding some things including a work table. This table cant be moved and is very worn. If I am allowed I may tear down the old table. I had a couple ideas on a "new and improved" work table and wanted to see what your guys thoughts were.

 

I will be starting from scratch. In the new table I would like to include casters so the table can be mobile. I got the idea of having a table with french cleats on each edge of the top. I have never seen cleats used in a work table on the edges of the top. I have seen them below the top. I thought they could be very useful. I already have a few accessory ideas. One was a flat surface with a recess for keeping small pieces like screws, nails, etc. from falling off the table. I also thought about a similar version that was magnetized somehow. Another accessory idea I had was a table top extension with 2 fold out legs on one end with leg levelers. I would need to figure out how to make the cleats more sturdy. I dont know if they could hold the weight of an extension top plus the weight of tools and my furniture projects.

 

Have any of you guys built anything similar for your shops?

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I've built several work tables, outfeed tables and even in my first shop blog...

 

I highlighted some tables and a mobile work bench with a lift top and pull out drawers on extensions. I sold my home this August and for a variety of reasons, the only shop piece bit of furniture I now possess is the heavy duty stand for my Rikon Midi lathe. I am now starting my second shop blog "New Shop Underway...Part Deuce" as I just began framing some partial walls and running electric for a new basement wood shop. A big part of this will be a new mobile outfeed table for my Sawstop and a new bench. This time though my next bench will not be mobile. It will be influenced by Christopher Scwarz' book "Workbenches: from design and theory to construction and use" and will feature a couple of vises. My outfeed table though will be a modern one similar to my last one with large casters, open storage bays and an extension drawer or two. Or three. Or four..... ;)

 

Regardless, if your going for a more power tool friendly table and you want it mobile, use large rubber casters. Don't cheap out and buy the small hard plastic ones. I built all of my work bench / tables with the larger rubber casters and my small tables for my Dewalt contractor saw and Dewalt planer with the smaller hard plastic ones. They get hung up in sawdust, cords, wood chips, screws, you name it. Also, make sure you make or allow for power cords and don't make the table too deep, it'll be a pain in the butt to reach across. Hope this helps dude!

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FWIW..... it may not fit the bill, however.

I am currently using 3 of the Harbor Freight 60" hardwood workbenches on retractable wheels. Very stout, decent for the price.

under $130 with the coupon. I added the wheels from rockier (pricey but worth it)

if you use that as a base and build from that, will that be an option ?

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6 minutes ago, Jronman said:

@Foneguy may I ask what FWIW is? Also I have never shopped at harbor freight before. Is the workbench quality? I may consider it as an option. Thank you for the idea.

For What Its Worth......  as far as quality, it's really not bad, fairly stout.  The drawers are only ok, but the overall bench is what may be worth it. I only suggested it cuz I thought it may be an easy start and be able to customize . They work for me very well. I would definitely go by a harbor freight and check it out (if you can) they had been on display in every HF I have ever been in.

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I have no idea where the nearest harbor freight is for me. haha. might have to go out of state. I may use your idea as a plan b though. I'll probably attempt plan a and if that fails I'll try your idea. The cost is fairly reasonable. I was surprised to see heavy duty drawer slides on it. Not something you would typically see in a table of that price.

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Personally for a work table I would not build anything smaller than than a 4x8 as long as you have space for it.  My two 4x8 tables I bought on craigslist as they both had good metal frames. I figured by the time I bought all the materials to build a nice bench I could just buy one already made and modify it to my liking for pennies on the dollar. 

 

You can build nice drawers underneath, but again by the time you buy materials, you can buy a small Husky tool box, pull the wheels off and mount it under the bench.

 

Two things to think about.  Make sure you have a good edge to clamp to, and plan on space to make a router table into the top. 

 

At work we use plywood for the 4x8 rolling tables and we often just screw projects to the table. When the surface gets all screwed up we just slap a new sheet of plywood on top. Since they buy in such bulk, a new sheet of finished plywood is about 24.00

 

As Chris said, large 6-8in casters is the way to go.

 

Just my two cents...

 

 

 

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Good ideas @SetBuilder I was thinking I could have the table 4x4 then if I need it to be 4x8 I can add an extension. Maybe multiple extensions with various function if I need. Possibly one with a laminate top so I can use stain and glue on top without having much trouble with cleanup, another may be a down draft table. Possibly one could have a spot for a router. I'm planing in the way future when I have honed my skills and saved a couple thousand getting a dedicated table saw with router lift. Never really thought about making a spot for a router table. Great idea. What brand of casters would you go with? 

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1 hour ago, Jronman said:

Good ideas @SetBuilder I was thinking I could have the table 4x4 then if I need it to be 4x8 I can add an extension. Maybe multiple extensions with various function if I need. Possibly one with a laminate top so I can use stain and glue on top without having much trouble with cleanup, another may be a down draft table. Possibly one could have a spot for a router. I'm planing in the way future when I have honed my skills and saved a couple thousand getting a dedicated table saw with router lift. Never really thought about making a spot for a router table. Great idea. What brand of casters would you go with? 

 

No particular brand comes to mind. I had no choice but to go with small ones as that way its close to my table saw height. But if building from scratch I'd go with larger ones. 

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1 hour ago, plumbfitter said:

Two Words..

 

Ron Paulk.

 

Google his work table. There are thousands of modified versions out there. Im building one for my garage in the near future.

 

I bought the plans for the Paulk table, but have not made one yet. If I do decide to make one I would have it done on a CNC machine.

I made a small version for the top of my box at work and it took me about 3 hours and killed a new router bit. 

IMG_4949 2.JPG

IMG_4956.JPG

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If I was starting from scratch instead of inheriting a workbench, I think I'd want to make a two-piece workbench, one half on wheels and one stationary, about 8 feet long. Currently I have a 8 foot long workbench and I'm constantly looking for something I can move to work on. Considered getting a toolbox with a wood top but I don't have room for it right now.

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52 minutes ago, Jronman said:

What was on the link? I was unable to go to it. I got a 503 error

That site is down at the moment.

 

For a table that can be moved I would consider the Ron Paulk Design as well. FastCap now sells his table ready to assemble with all the CNC work done. Its a nice setup but comes at a cost.

 

Depending on the type of work you do will dictate your needs of course. I have a center island bench on cabinets that work great except its not quite true enough on the top to do accurate assembly on. I plan to build a torsion box top for it in the near future out of MDF with 1/4" hardboard surface.
 

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@rrmccabe I just looked at the table you suggested. It looks nice. I got some questions though. What is the space under the top for with the cutouts? Seems to me like the unique feature as to why people like the table. Are the cutouts on the top for a downdraft system or dog clamps or other purpose? Any other unique features I missed? I only did a quick look at the table. Will look more closely later tonight when I have more time.

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The space allows you to store tools as you work. Gets them off the table for safe storage freeing up the top.


The holes are as you said for dogs and clamps.

 

If you watch some of Rons videos you will see many options. Even hanging a small jobsite table saw off the end.

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Here is a setup I use. We use this setup for on site work or extra work area in our shop. I had a 4x4 mft top made for it as well. It can be setup to support a 4x8 sheet or in a small 4x4 size. The part I like is it breaks down and gets stored out of the way when I don't need it. f951f455e45b8fa95539dffe1ad896d5.jpge882a964d36a02cbc9c1804b10a03541.jpg356918f581b88f9623ae80985cdbdd85.jpg2543ba650ea5c295098ec0ec4546fa77.jpg

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Very nice !

 


Thanks! I designed it as a mix of a bunch of different setups I have seen and used over the years. I built it a few years back primarily as a table to support sheet goods when cutting with my tracksaw. Then it was just so useful to have on site or setup in the shop. Adding the mft top has been awesome!

Sent from my SM-T310 using Tapatalk

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44 minutes ago, SetBuilder said:

These are the simple roller tables we use. 

IMG_5057.JPG

This style has always worked best for me. I tended to abuse the top and have also, like you, just changed the plywood. Mine did have 2 locking casters though. No eye candy or anything fancy but no worries of damaging it either. I miss it. 

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