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Woodworking benches


rrich1

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I purchased Jay Bates' woodworking bench plans this week and plan to build it in the near future. It is simple design and will suit my needs with some room to grow with add on vices if needed. I want a leg vise for sure and maybe a tail vise for use with dog holes later. I plan to use the bench on rockler type castors where it will drop the base onto the floor. What woodworking benches do you guys have? Anyone want to do a bench build? I am not sure yet on what material I want to use. There is a sale at my woodshop this weekend for 15-20% lumber which might make it doable out of maple, ash,or something else. What do you guys recommend or what are yours made out of?

 

Here is the link to Jay's article on the bench. http://jayscustomcreations.com/2016/01/build-a-woodworking-workbench/

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I've been plotting and planning for months now and have gone so far as to purchase Chris Schwartz' Workbench book. I'm not done reading but have been pretty inspired by the Nicholson and a modifed roubo with a crotch. Not sure what I'll use but I'm thinking about actually doing pine for the structure and something hard for the top and vises.

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Some of you may remember that last year I built a worktable from a piece of 3'x5' butcher block that my dad found. Well that was great until he found a 4'x8' piece of butcher block. So last week I built a new base and finished it last night. This piece is 4'x8' and about 2" thick. This is a sturdy bench and it is very heavy! I just recommend whatever size you think you will need...build it a little bit bigger, and after about a week, you will wish you went even bigger!!!;D

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3 hours ago, ChrisK said:

I've been plotting and planning for months now and have gone so far as to purchase Chris Schwartz' Workbench book. I'm not done reading but have been pretty inspired by the Nicholson and a modifed roubo with a crotch. Not sure what I'll use but I'm thinking about actually doing pine for the structure and something hard for the top and vises.

ill have to check those out. which book do you have? he has a few workbench books

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Just an idea, try looking on craigslist for bowling lane wood. The beginning is usually maple and then transitions into a hard pine. I once did all the floors in a small house out of bowing lanes. I even used it on the kitchen counter tops. They were 2 1/4 thick, about 42in wide. They would make a nice work bench top as well. 

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6 hours ago, rrich1 said:

ill have to check those out. which book do you have? he has a few workbench books

https://www.amazon.com/Workbenches-Design-Construction-Popular-Woodworking/dp/1558708405

 

Its a great book be has a couple of really solid designs. The problem I have is do I build it now or wait to see if we build a garage. There is no way I can move the bench if I build it in my basement shop. If I build it now, it will spend its life downstairs if we decide it's not reasonable to build the garage.

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20 minutes ago, ChrisK said:

https://www.amazon.com/Workbenches-Design-Construction-Popular-Woodworking/dp/1558708405

 

Its a great book be has a couple of really solid designs. The problem I have is do I build it now or wait to see if we build a garage. There is no way I can move the bench if I build it in my basement shop. If I build it now, it will spend its life downstairs if we decide it's not reasonable to build the garage.

If it stays in the basement ... it would make a hell of a laundry folding table !!!

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I think its all about movement. There is a lot that goes into how you build a top.  Needs to be able to move seasonally as the weather changes.  And you dont want to go back and re level the top of a regular basis.

 

From a rigidity standpoint I think most woods will work. Even 2x4s on end. But from a movement standpoint you need to pick the right wood including how that species of wood is ripped.

 

If I could afford it, I would probably use maple or certain types of beech.

 

In my Rob Cosman workshop class I watched him build a bench out of vertically laminated MDF. Was actually pretty impressive and cant beat the cost,

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Went to my local woodworking store and got some prices and measurements of the available stock. they are going to open up their warehouse for their sale too with more stock in it. Trying to figure out what it would take to build it all out of hard wood or possibly just the top. mainly looked ash, maple, hickory, and even cherry. hickory and cherry would make for one sexy workbench! 

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3 hours ago, Jronman said:

I noticed you had a bin full of pencils. Is it fixed in one spot or can you move it around the bench?

I was debating on putting it on a french cleat so I could move it around but I usually only take a pencil and maybe a marker when working on something. I just nailed it to the stretcher so it was out of the way.

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1 hour ago, DaveJr. said:

I was debating on putting it on a french cleat so I could move it around but I usually only take a pencil and maybe a marker when working on something. I just nailed it to the stretcher so it was out of the way.

I'm designing a bench with cleats. I'm not too far yet. I'm hoping I will be able to use the cleats for adding to the table. Maybe an extension wing for sanding, one for staining, or something small like a magnetized deal to hold loose screws and bits.

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So I spent two hours today drooling over many different woods that would look great as a bench. All more than I would like to spend though. Then I was trying to figure out a good combo of woods one for the base and another for the top. Still more than I want to spend. In the end I am going to go with southern yellow pine. If I can find a good contrasting/complementary wood I will put a few strips in for accent. Will go back tomorrow to get it. Should still be there tomorrow. If not I'll find something else. Lol

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Just now, ChrisK said:

Remember that it's still a work surface dude! You'll end up putting a Purple Heart inlay and then cry like a School girl when you hammer in a chisel onto the top!!!! Hahahahahahahah

 

True !

 

My projects and abilities are commonly hindered because I dont want to mess up my bench.

 

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Remember that it's still a work surface dude! You'll end up putting a Purple Heart inlay and then cry like a School girl when you hammer in a chisel onto the top!!!! Hahahahahahahah

Lol. I know it's a workbench first. Little pizzaz wouldn't hurt though. I was thinking one strip on the long sides and maybe one in the legs. Nothing overdone.

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