Fresh Start #1: Beginning with a Bench

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Blog entry by Ed_Wilcox posted 09-21-2013 10:36 PM 2440 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Fresh Start series Part 2: Clamps »

Now that I am finally settled in to our new home near Fort Hood, Texas, the wife has allotted me a small portion of the garage to be used as my workshop. Thanks to my latest birth/anniversary day, I have also added several new tools to help the beginning process. The table saw will still have to wait. Instead I have a new circular saw, a router, orbital sander, and a few other gizmos to accessorize.

Anyway, the first project I intend to get started on will be making a few clamps to assist in making my combination toolbox/saw bench which when combined will become my workbench. I got the idea from watching Chad Stanton’s YouTube video of his mini-workbench. The mini-bench was also featured in American Woodworker #167 (Aug/Sep) – I believe.

This bench is not quite as small as his. It will have a work surface of 4’ 2” x 26.5”. The saw bench height will be 24” and combined, the workbench will be 36” – and hopefully easily transportable. I also borrowed the idea for a wedge based leg vice and wagon vice from Shipwright. After several days working out the details on Sketchup, this is what I finally came up with.

Most of the details are complete, I just need to figure out how I am going to joint it together using as few screws/nails as possible.

After pricing the wood and building my clamps, I hope to begin next weekend.

3 comments so far

View RaggedKerf's profile


425 posts in 2176 days

#1 posted 09-22-2013 05:47 AM

Congrats on the new home and new workspace! Looks pretty cool—-I’ll be interested to see this one come together.

-- Steve

View shipwright's profile


8006 posts in 2853 days

#2 posted 09-22-2013 08:42 PM

Hi Ed.
Just to let you know, that would qualify for this.
I have actually made up a few more so don’t hesitate to ask.
Looks like a really well thought out plan and I’m flattered to have contributed a small part.
I’ll be watching this. I could use a compact work center like this in my small winter shop in Az.

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

View Ed_Wilcox's profile


15 posts in 1954 days

#3 posted 09-23-2013 01:31 PM

Hi Paul,
I’m glad you saw my post. I wouldn’t consider your input to be small. Seeing your wedge vices has actually influenced my entire outlook/philosophy regarding woodworking – basically, why buy something when you can build it yourself. Which is exactly why I plan to build my own wedge clamps. My next post will be on them as soon as I complete the Sketch Up drawing.

After seeing your vices as well as creations by other Lumberjock members such as Mr. Carter, shelling out $45 or more for a 4’ clamp – for example – is hard for me to justify when I can build a simpler device made from a 2×4 for a few dollars. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of being able to quickly clamp items together and if I could afford multiple pipe clamps, I would have them myself, but I see it also as an opportunity to work on my woodworking skills as well. Not only that, but I am also saving for a big item tool purchase, and every penny counts; I have to weigh everything as either a want or a need.

Therefore, whenever someone else has done the work for me and for less money I am grateful. I just hope the modifications I made to your wagon vice do not render it useless.

Thanks again for making your ideas available to all.

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