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Torsion Box bench


rrmccabe

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I have brought this up in a couple other threads but will be starting a center island bench upgrade in the near future. I am waiting on a new wood vise before I lock in the top design.

 

My objectives are:

 

  1.  Super flat top so I can assemble wood projects and dont have to worry about gluing and clamping them out of square.
  2.  Add some additional small shelving on the end for some of my "nicer" wood hand tools like planes, dovetail saw, Japanese pull saws, chisels, mallets, marking gauges,  etc.
  3.  Additional wood vise.

 

I currently have three diebold bank cabinets with a 1 1/2" top mounted on it.  I am going to remove the 4" base and mount them on an angle iron structure with jacking bolts so I can level the cabinets before installing the top. I need to remove the base because the new top will be 4" thick and I do not want to increase the height of my bench beyond its current height.

 

Here is my current setup.

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Here is the planned bench

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Here is a section view showing the grid in the torsion box top

 

4.jpg

 

Anyone built one of these torsion box tops?  I have watched a view videos and seems the preferred method is using winding sticks after leveling out 2x4s on sawhorses.

 

Seems like there should be a better way so open for suggestions.

 

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Apple boxes are pretty standard in the film industry. They are basically just a plywood box.  One of the CNC guys at our shop makes them different so they are pretty bomb proof. If I ever decided to make a Paulk type table or torsion box table I would do it this way. But, it would have to be done on a CNC for accuracy. You can see the difference as they are kind of puzzled together and even the center supports are puzzled in. You can do the same with all the table supports and sides. If its all cut on a CNC it would be as true as you could get. 

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7 hours ago, SetBuilder said:

Apple boxes are pretty standard in the film industry. They are basically just a plywood box.  One of the CNC guys at our shop makes them different so they are pretty bomb proof. If I ever decided to make a Paulk type table or torsion box table I would do it this way. But, it would have to be done on a CNC for accuracy. You can see the difference as they are kind of puzzled together and even the center supports are puzzled in. You can do the same with all the table supports and sides. If its all cut on a CNC it would be as true as you could get.

 

Thats pretty cool. Have not see that done before. You are right there is no room for error so CNC would be the way to go.

 

I would think those would take a pretty good beating.

 

The only part of this project I am not looking forward to is the mess MDF makes. But for staying true it works much better than plywood.

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We work with MDF constantly as its cheap and easy for the painters to prep.  Here is an MDF bath tub I made for a photo shoot :) 

Once you start to look for it in movies, tv etc. You will see a lot of tile walls are just CNC cut MDF. 

We just built two identical sets, so a retailer can shoot the before and after all in one day. I'd love to post pics, But I constantly have to sign NDAs on stuff I build.

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That is a cool bathtub. MDF huh?  Why do they build stuff like that instead of using a regular bathtub? I guess its easier for the before and after.

 

As far as Lexan or acrylic you would be losing your glue bond to the grid below and relying on screws. Not to mention after a few weeks it would be a haze in my shop. But look cool for the photo shoot after you built it :)

 

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25 minutes ago, rrmccabe said:

That is a cool bathtub. MDF huh?  Why do they build stuff like that instead of using a regular bathtub? I guess its easier for the before and after.

 

 

 

The tub was for a different shoot. They are constantly reinventing the wheel. IMO so often we could just use off the shelf items, but they have us build stuff instead. I guess its job security, the waste in the industry is insane. 

 

 

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The torsion top I built came from plans that instructed to use 1x4 pine boards crossed through each other and a sheet of MDF on the bottom and top to sandwich the 1x4s in between. Then a sheet of laminate top to protect the MDF, it is probably 5' x 3' 

Then I built a rolling base for it with storage and dividers.

It's been 12 years ago and I left it at my parents when I moved out so I can't remember any specifics about it or where the plans came from....

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Well the vise came today from Lee Valley. Once I had final dimensions I could finish my drawing.  Will beef up that one cell in the torsion box top with plywood to make a rigid mount.

 

Guess I better find some steel and make the low profile leveling base. Would like to get this done in the next week or two.

 

2017-01-25_19-30-16.jpgtable-0 2017-01-25 19251800000.pngtable-0 2017-01-25 19264700000.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although I am sticking with the torsion box top I am rethinking my additional tool storage for my nicer wood hand tools down low.

 

Mostly because I wash cars in my garage and although it does not often get wet over there, I would rather not risk it. Actually I do hose the entire floor down every couple months. So have concerns about something getting splashed.

 

I have this one cubicle on the wall that is super handy for the stuff I have no place for. All small items but totally random. The rest of the shop is pretty neat but this thing is a mess.


So I am thinking about changing the tool area on the bench to contain my "junk" from cubicle.  it wont be nearly as visible.


Then replace the cubicle with a nice hardwood shallow wall tool storage to hold saws, planes, marking gauges, mallets, chisels and all the measuring things that are currently on the pegboard below the cubicle with the "X".

 

So looking at wall mounted ideas now.

 

At least I came to this realization before I started cutting wood :)

 

 

 

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@KnarlyCarlUsually most of the tools are available in the 3D warehouse with Sketchup.  However in this case there was not a vise even close and I needed the real dimensions to design the structure inside the torsion box for mounting. So this time I did draw the vise.

 

But drill presses, bandsaws, tablesaws, etc. I did NOT draw.

 

Here is the direction I am leaning. Dovetail boxes for the end of bench for "junk" and wall mounted tools.  I wont go to the trouble to draw the tools as I have to hand make brackets for everything. I did drop a few in from the warehouse that are correct length just to get some perspective.

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