Workbenches


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I'd like to see your workbenches. In progress is ok! Please describe the material used, and what you like/dislike about the bench. If you made another, what would be different.

To start, I'll post mine. I hate it! It's nothing more than big box construction lumber with a laminated top. It works, but I think it's more work to make up for its inadequacies. For starters, it has no tail vise, and I installed the face vise on the right side instead of the left. It always gets in the way when face planing. I do like it for edge work, but I'm sure if it were on the other side it would be just as workable.

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All of these benches are "alright" compared to my $150 harbor freight bench!!

I love this thread. I also really like my Roubo. I've already done a thread on it. But here's a couple of pictures for you all.        

Thanks!   It is..  Just wish I'd of made better wood and vise selections.   It will always be in my shop as it was my first build.  Was also my first attempt at MT joinery as well.

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Here's mine..  It's actually the first thing I made in my shop.  In hind site, I wish I'd of waited as there are a lot of changes I would make.

 

It's all made out of clear Hemlock which is just too soft.  On the bright side, I got it all for free.  I don't recall what the cost of the vises were but, that's all I have into it.

 

So, once I finally get around to building the new one, I will use this one for assembly.

 

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All 2x6's from HD laminated together weighs in at about 500LB's never officially weighed it but I can barely pick one end up. I used about three gallons of Tite Bond 2 to put the whole thing together(lots of squeeze out)it's a beast the inlay work is Peruvian walnut. 8'x3'6"
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A sheet of 6mm MDF over an 3/4" OSB top (MDF for drawing rods). No tail vice but the top does overhang so speed claps are useful. Hand panning done with plastic block screwed around the edges.

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Sturdy and good for heavy work (that's my Dad not me, I have more hair....for now...)

 

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The main issue I found with the bench is only a recent one. Because the vice is not flush with the side of the bench you get no support when working the edges of long boards. 

 

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Once my bench build is finished I should have something that looks similar to this. 

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I like the plastic stops. I should do something like that on mine. Maybe a strip that I can take off when not in use. I still want a new bench :) I just picked up Schwarz's red workbench book. It has my head swimming! I want every bench in the book, and I can think of one more I want too.

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Mel, That's a fine book for sure, I enjoyed reading my copy. I don't own any up to date joinery books so I don't know if all authors are like this but I can read Schwarz for the sake of reading. It seems he can really write and engage a reader.

 

higtron, it's very useful for us. If we were doing less we would make do with a ply template but the trend jig shown is very nice. The router is a legend too, an Elu that must be older than me by some and it still keeps going strong.

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Tiods,

 

I like it. It looks very clean and functional! 

 

Thanks!

 

It is..  Just wish I'd of made better wood and vise selections.

 

It will always be in my shop as it was my first build.  Was also my first attempt at MT joinery as well.

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==> That's a fine book for sure

 

he's got two workbench books... If you are going to the effort of making a bench, then both are worth reading...

 

 

==> I don't know if all authors are like this but I can read Schwarz for the sake of reading

 

CS is a particularly good communicator...  His books, articles, blog, DVDs, et al are all top-shelf...  At this point, he's basically editing/publishing -- Lost Art Press carries some really excellent titles -- I've read most, if not all, of them...  The Anarchist's Tool Chest is particularly good read...

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Built mine from 2 x material from a big box store. First two photos are shortly after I set up shop and made the bench. Last photo is the normal state of my bench. Only thing I would change so far is ; I wish I had put two dog holes 3" apart in the dog holder on the vice end.

It would save a little cranking the vise in and out but it's not bad.post-14360-0-52437400-1378689051_thumb.jpost-14360-0-15314800-1378689091_thumb.jpost-14360-0-15086200-1378689144_thumb.j

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Very impressive Mark.

I never would have guessed that the material was simple 2X!

I spent a few Saturdays looking at the lumber at all the box stores in the area.

Then I picked one and spent 2 1/2 hours sorting through there so called select lumber to come up with enough plus 20% for the top.

Then I spent a lot of time with my low angle jack making them square.

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This is my first bench, if you can even call it that. It's just 3 sheets of 3/4" plywood glued and screwed together on some cheap plastic sawhorses. I put a strip of 1x3 poplar edging on the front and mortised the vice into it so that the vice is flush with the front (this pic is missing the vice chop which I'm still working on). I also put two dog holes in the front left, and will probably add more plus a Vertias Wonder Dog for a tail vice.

 

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It's 2' x 4' although I'd actually like to cut off about 6" of the depth since my shop doesn't have a lot of space and I want to be able to reach the saw and plane tills I plan to build and mount on the wall. 

 

It jiggles a tiny bit under heavy plaining or mortising but, but overall it's surprisingly solid and heavy. Next step is to get some 4x4s and build a real frame for it that is flush with the front to make it easier to plane long boards. I'm also building myself a bench-on-bench with Moxon vice for dovetailing and work that I want higher up.

 

I second (third?) the support for reading Chris Schwartz's work bench book (as well as Anarchist Tool Chest). It's a great book and got me fantasizing about building a Roubo eventually.

 

Although, recently I watched the bench build videos at Logan Cabinet Shop podcast and am very tempted to build the Nicholson-style bench he made out of 2x12's. I especially like the planing stop that goes down the middle and the fact that you could just use hold fasts on the front instead of having vices. Simplicity appeals to me. :)

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As much as I want to build a full size bench I just don't have the room right now. I am however going to build a variation of a joinery bench. I ordered the bench crafted Moxon hardware last week. I some white oak that has been sitting in my shop for a couple years now and I want to get rid of it. It's only 4/4 material so that means lots of lamination for the top. For the base I am thinking about going a completely non traditional route and using a metal base that grizzly sells and markets as a carving bench. The idea is to be able to build this bench in about a week or a couple weekends. Much easier than the full under taking of full size bench. At some point I will the the Roubo but not yet.

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Call it the naked love child of Andre Roubo and an escapee from the Shaker colonies.

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Laminated SPF construction lumber.  The legs (with the God-only-knows-why dovetailed through tenons) are French.  Filling the undercarriage with drawers seems to be a Shaker thing.  "Naked" because it's still waiting for me to dress it up with workholding.  The previous owners of the house left us a cabinet full of old paint and my five year old helped me with the color scheme.  Drawer knobs found all over the neighborhood during our once-a-year municipal junk day.

 

Before that, I was still learning:

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It had trapwork in the undercarriage that sort of worked to get it up on wheels.  When laminating the top, I left a square opening in the middle on the theory that I'd add a router lift.  That never happened, but I did find it useful for the occasional odd clamping needs.  The top was 3" thick, but I still supported it with aprons which, like the legs, weren't flush with the edge of the top.  Live and learn.

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My workbench currently consists of a piece of particle board which used to be a table top that I got of the side of the road during spring cleanup. Under that is a 2x4 frame and 2x4 legs, all screwed together. Very little in the way of joinery, not even stretchers to stiffen the legs. It's always been a temporary thing, but I don't think I'm realistically going to get round to building a new one this year.

 

The main problem with the top is it's made of particle board and could never be described as flat. And it's a weird shape because it used to be a computer desk, so it has funny curves.

 

My current plan (and we all know how well "current plans" go) is to build a new one in the new year out of some of the red oak I picked up recently, but I'm going to have to do some proper joinery on it to make it sturdy.

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Benchcrafted Roubo built with the WW Guild.  I know older forum members are probably sick of seeing this thing floating around, but I can't help it...it's still one of my favorite builds of all time, even though it's not furniture, per se.  After using this bench for more than a year now, I have still yet to find a single thing I would change.

 

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Mine is a commercially bought bench. It is a Swedish one made by Sjobergs and is called a Nordic plus. I have to say it is not the best but is just adequate (now I've added quite a bit of additional weight to it) and was bought as, at the time, I didn't have enough time to make one. It has loads of dog holes and the vices can be mounted in 4 positions just by unscrewing the clamp screw and putting it into another station. So I have it set as a vice mounted front left side and an end vice mounted at the right side. Sometimes I find it useful to put the end vice on the front right side. However the vices are not the best by any stretch of the imagination and could do with improvement.

The height is perfect for me as are the overall dimensions. Also the first impression I got of it is that the legs are a little on the skinny side especially when compared to some I've seen. But it doesn't rack under planing. 

 

I bought it with a storage unit underneath that I keep all my planes in. I have to say I added a few 50 pound cast iron stage weights to its legs and now it doesn't move about at all when planing. I have 4 weights adding 200 pounds to it. I guess it must now weigh about 350 pounds with all the tools. I flattened it recently (see here) after never flattening it :blink: (it only took 20 minutes with a number 7 !) and now it is great to use. It will do until I get around to making my Roubu.

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This was a 1-day build because I needed a bench badly and didn't have time for a lengthy build. It's 2x lumber with a 3-ply top of 3/4 plywood. The idea was to have 2 ways of working with it. The first picture is the bench with a 'sleeve' of hardboard and a pine apron around it. That slides over it to use for assembly, glue-up or simply fixing one of the kids bicycles.

 

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The second picture is it without the sleeve. The idea originally was to put a face vise on the right side (I'm left-handed) and drill some dog holes in the top.

 

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But the bench is too tall for real hand tool work, so I might cut it down and a bit. It's also not very sturdy. So I'm trying to decide between putting a face vise on and cutting it down, vs. building something more substantial using construction lumber like Shwarz outlines in his blue workbench book. We're renting right now, and I have limited space, so I hesitate building a 'lifetime' bench when in a few years, I might have more room for something of a decent size.

 

 

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