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Workbench Build #2: Styrofoam Modeling....

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 441 days ago 1936 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Design Requirements Part 2 of Workbench Build series Part 3: It begins....Kinda »

Work has kept me pretty busy this week and I haven’t had time to do a proper sketch of the bench as I have it in my head but, I did have a few minutes tonight to toss together a small “scale” model of the basic shape and function of the flip top design I have in my head.

Basically it rides on a central pivot rod with dowels (probably steel or hardwood.. haven’t decided yet) to keep the top aligned when secured together. I am still working on how to secure it. I am tossing around the idea of making the central pivot a screw with a wheel crank on the end of the bench. This would do 2 things..

1. Make the flip portion cinch up against the other half tightly

2. Would make the split portion of the bench into another vise type apparatus that can be used with bench dogs for horizontal clamping etc etc in the center of the bench.

Drawbacks of that are that the screw would have to be one hefty screw to hold the weight of the top alone while “flipping”. I plan on making a trip to my local Fastenal and pricing out some 3/4 to 1” threaded rods for the vises and will see what they have there as far as a pivot screw devise they may have.

Other options are placing recessed latches on either side of the top to latch it shut with and making the central pivot out of plumbing pipe. This would be cheaper and probably easier but might interfere with side clamping if the latches aren’t done just right.

That is all to be worked out once I can get some real planning and pricing done.

So here is how it functions in very crude form. They are in order from wood top to metal top. Note the dowel in the center acting as the pivot and the toothpicks are the alignment dowels (not aligning the model very well admittedly lol).

The black square is the wagon vise, the blue triangle is the machinists vise and the other blue square is a side vise. I may end up trying my hand at a leg vise instead but I need to do more reading ont he pros and cons of both types before I make that decision. I may do both.. on on each side of each other.. hmm…

I am also researching hardwoods for the laminated top. I live in the PNW.. you would think that would be an easy find around here but I have found only a couple suppliers within an hour of my house on Whidbey Is that I plan to have a look at and price out some lumber. Figuring BF is new to me so this could get interesting. That trip will have to wait till my tax return is here and I can get a buddy with a truck to help me out. I am not fitting too much lumber into my 4 door Toyota Corolla lol!

What would be the best economical hardwood for the top that will actually last a couple generations? Also any brainstorming ont he flip top portion would be great.

-- Eric - http://theidiotgaloot.com



9 comments so far

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4648 posts in 1296 days


#1 posted 441 days ago

If you want a good local hardwood you might have a look around some small mills for some arbutus (I’m Canadian… you call it madrone). It is beautiful stuff and can be had in large clear pieces. I used it on my bench for the strength requiring pieces and it worked out very well. It’s also a dream to work with. I got mine , clear, in 2” at a small mill for $4 / fbm.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

795 posts in 694 days


#2 posted 441 days ago

If the main reason for flipping the top is to have a machinist vise to use, why not mount the vise to a block of wood that can be held in the wagon vise opening. If there is more to flipping the end that I’m missing and you still want that feature I would not use dowels for alignment, I would use a good sized screw to cinch it down. The wagon vise can generate a lot of force when used against dogs. Force that will try and separate the top pieces.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

View Airframer's profile (online now)

Airframer

1952 posts in 451 days


#3 posted 441 days ago

Boatman, That is a good point and something I hadn’t even considered. Like I said.. I tend to over engineer things. I might go in that direction all things considered. My initial thoughts on the flip portion would have a stainless covering on the machinist side to allow a pounding surface that wont chew up the wood top with metal shavings etc but the securing mechanism is proving to be causing more troubles than it is solving.

Hmm.. I have more planning to do now. I do like the idea of clamping the vise in the wagon vise when needed.

-- Eric - http://theidiotgaloot.com

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

795 posts in 694 days


#4 posted 441 days ago

Pounding that far away from the legs is going to have a bouncing effect even with a solid top. The split will make it even more pronounced. Just more things to consider from real shop experience, I had some real lousy benches for too long.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

View Sarit's profile

Sarit

453 posts in 1638 days


#5 posted 440 days ago

Have you considered a hinged metal working section that just flip up and on top of the bench. For woodworking it can be flipped off the top and left hanging off the edge.
From my experience its tricky to get large flip top systems w/ alignment pins to work just right.
The slightest error will result in either a loose fit or an inability to flip to one side.

View Airframer's profile (online now)

Airframer

1952 posts in 451 days


#6 posted 439 days ago

After taking the comments and concerns from you guys into consideration. I think I am going to employ the K.I.S.S. method to this and make the top one solid piece and devise a removable vice mount of some kind.

I REALLY appreciate all the inputs. You guys brought up some concerns I hadn’t considered and were all very valid.

Now.. back to the drawing board Again lol..

-- Eric - http://theidiotgaloot.com

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

795 posts in 694 days


#7 posted 439 days ago

Good luck, can’t wait to see what’s next.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

View Airframer's profile (online now)

Airframer

1952 posts in 451 days


#8 posted 439 days ago

Thanks Jim,

BTW.. I just had a look at your chain kits for a leg vise. I just might be placing an order for one of those!

-- Eric - http://theidiotgaloot.com

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

795 posts in 694 days


#9 posted 439 days ago

If I can help let me know.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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