Workbench Build #1: Design Requirements

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 01-28-2013 04:04 PM 2752 reads 3 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workbench Build series Part 2: Styrofoam Modeling.... »

After doing some reading here and spending some time in my shop I have come to the realization that I need a standalone workbench for my shop.

Right now I have 2 benches that I call “Table top benches” meaning they serve as counter space for equipment and a large soldering station. What I need is a bench that I can access all 4 sides on, has adequate clamping ability and is solid while being mobile at the same time.

I also need it to not only serve as a woodworking bench but also a metal working bench. Meaning I need a machinists vise on it but at the same time I don’t want to sacrifice space on the top of the bench for the mounting of said vise.

My initial thoughts are to build a traditional solid top bench with an overhang on one end that can be un-screwed by 2 large machine screws with a center pivot point rod that will allow it to flip. That way I can have a metal working side and flipped it will be a wood working side.

I am going to do some sketching (not sketchup but pencil and paper) to work out the details on that. I have a pretty good idea of how to pull that off but we shall see.

As for the mobile part there are a number of options available for that I just need to decide on one.

The other requirement is that it shouldn’t break the bank. My wife and I are expecting our first child (a son :D ) and I can’t spend too much on my “Hobbies” right now so it will probably be built with construction grade lumber from our local big box store rather than from a mil but some pricing will ultimately decide that.

So, there you have it the bare bones of the bench. I would love any ideas or thoughts on this and or any critiques of the proposed design. I really want to have this thought through before any money is spent as I plan on this being around for a WHILE (hopefully be able to hand it down to my son).

More to come when I get some plans drawn up and priced out.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

2 comments so far

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7992 posts in 2825 days

#1 posted 01-29-2013 12:20 AM

I don’t fully understand your plan for the flip section but I can help with an idea to make the basic structure very strong and rigid at a minimum financial outlay. This may not be the bench for you but some of the construction concepts might be of help.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

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3043 posts in 1980 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 01:25 AM

Yep, it is difficult to explain. I’ll have some sketches of what is in my head in the next post but basically I plan to have one end of the bench over hang the base more than the other side. This end will be separate from the rest of the top with a pipe dead center running longways of the top to allow that overhang to “flip”. One side will be a wood top and blend with the other half (really less than 2/3) of the top for working with wood on and the other side will be covered in either a steel plate (my boss at work has a S ton of this at his house and is on board to help me with this) or stainless steel with a nice machinists vice secured on it.

I am still working out the fine details of the flipping mechanism but between me and him we have a preliminary plan that seems solid.

The cool thing is the plan still allows a wagon vise on that end which when flipped will let me clamp different appliances in there such as an anvil or bench sized brake etc while still functioning as a wagon vise on the wood side.

Basically I need 2 benches with room for 1 so this is going to have to pull double duty. Did that clarify anything?

Oh and thanks for the link! Your bench looks great and I might incorporate some of the design ideas into this one.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

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