LumberJocks

Workshop Make-Over #1: Workbench Update

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Tony posted 2581 days ago 1203 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workshop Make-Over series Part 2: Current Shop Layout »

I have some spare time between projects, so I have decided to make some long-needed changes to the workshop. This short series will log the events as they have and as they happen.

The first thing that needed to be done, which I started some time at the beginning of May, was to update the work bench. The drawer system I am still not happy with for the following reasons.

1. When working at the bench, I tend to leave the drawer open partially (bad habit) and the drawers tend to fill with sawdust.
2. The drawer containing my planes and scrapers has become too full – but even with only the hand planes in the draw – it is too heavy and does not slide that easily – it really needs some full extension runners, but the design does not allow for this. – I have tries various things to make the drawers slide easier, but only the reduction in weight works.
3. I am getting older and the drawers are getting too low and all the constant bending is not doing my back much good.

I will update the tool storage system sometime in the near future, but not in this make over.
The update to the bench is a new work surface/Top. The old one I made about 3 years ago, but it was a lamination of different materials- it stayed nice and flat, but the actual work surface was made from Alder (that’s all I could get at the time) and it was definitely too soft. I could have skimmed the top ½” off and re-surfaced it, with a harder wood, but then I would have all the trouble with realigning the “bench dog” holes so I decided to make a new top.

The new top is made from 8/4 Beech, the dimensions are exactly the same as the old one (2m x 0.86m {76 ¾ “ x 34” } . There are a couple of pieces of White Oak and Birch, but these are from the vices, I did not want to remake these as they were in good condition (I remade these in April).
I also reduced the number of bench dog holes (round) – hopefully less sawdust will fall into the storage space beneath the workbench.

The top was surfaced machine planed, then glued together. The final levelling was hand planed and scraped – and finally had hand sanded down to 120g to remove the shine.
The top is finished with 2 coats of poly, thinned with 40% White Spirit (mineral spirit) and a thin coat of paste wax. I just wanted some protection against glue spillage or stain.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The new workbench top

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Just another view of the work bench and part of the layout of the current shop.

Part 2 will be the table saw Upgrade.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)



12 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2699 days


#1 posted 2581 days ago

The bench looks great Tony. I’m looking forward to seeing your solution for storing planes. I’ve been kicking quite a few ideas in my head for how I am going to address them.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2901 days


#2 posted 2581 days ago

A great looking bench. I have the same problem with my bench dog holes. My drawers get messed up. I was thinking of gluing a strip of wood underneath them.
Thanks for sharing.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2638 days


#3 posted 2581 days ago

The top looks great, Tony!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Don's profile

Don

2599 posts in 2779 days


#4 posted 2581 days ago

Very nice, Tony. I love the look of the bench and the overall look of the shop layout. It looks super clean – is this normal?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2688 days


#5 posted 2581 days ago

Nice job Tony. I’d kill to have your shop. I like how all the surfaces work together.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View TheGravedigger's profile

TheGravedigger

963 posts in 2626 days


#6 posted 2581 days ago

Nice bench top. Having just completed one myself, I can appreciate the work involved. I’m still in the concept phase of my under-bench storage design, and envisioned something similar to your setup. I’m anxious to hear your insights on you intended changes, as I’d rather not make similar mistakes if I can avoid it.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2741 days


#7 posted 2580 days ago

Tony – Great looking bench! I am enjoying your posts on your shop. Thanks!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2632 days


#8 posted 2580 days ago

HI ALL

Don – Yes, I clean the place during the day and at the end of the day where possible. Every Sunday, I spend an hour with the respirator on and an air hose – I blow all the dust of the shelves and machines. I have to keep it clean, it is such a small place, I cannot work in a mess or clutter. It also means that a clean workshop is a safer working environment.

Bob – I should be posting the next part tomorrow, where the worktops are finished.

Robert – I think the original text covers most of the pitfalls of the tool storage under the bench – When I do change it will be for a wall mounted tool cabinet.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2590 days


#9 posted 2580 days ago

Great bench top. I love Beech for things like that.

Beech also steam bends really great, and when sanded with a real fine grit and then buffed it will shine.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2913 days


#10 posted 2578 days ago

Fantastic! Great looking bench top.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5315 posts in 2679 days


#11 posted 1898 days ago

this is a beautiful set up…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112000 posts in 2179 days


#12 posted 1898 days ago

Nice job looks great. Hey tony if your really board My shop really could use some of that great work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase