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Workbench #1: A Workbench in the making...

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Blog entry by Tokolosi posted 951 days ago 1423 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workbench series Part 2: Its coming together... »

My workspace is my garage. I have a small workspace that I built with some leftover MDF from garage shelves when I moved in. Its a place for just run off the mill round the house kinda stuff. You know, fixing the broken toaster, making a volcano for a school project, glueing together a broken picture frame. So when I started messing around with bigger and bigger wood projects I quickly realized I needed a dedicated workspace for those projects. One not encumbered by walls and laundry equipment.

So I found a decent packing crate, laminated the boards together and was quite proud of my worbench. Thats it balanced precariously on the sawhorses in the right of the picture.

There is not a single straight plane on it and I have learned through experience just how much pressure I can apply on the top before the whole assembly comes crashing down. But it served me well.

Then I was given a load of free 2×4’s, 2×3’s and some OSB from a completed church stage production. I had no idea what I was going to do with it and even though its just stock framing lumber I cannot say no to free or to wood. And if you combine the two you get me every time.

So as I was painfully extracting bent and overdriven 4” screws from my find, sizing and stacking them in the garage I was thinking what am I going to do with the stuff. A carelless turn while holding an 8’ 2×4 that sent my ramshackle ‘workbench’ crashing down once again gave me an idea. A workbench! Thats what the Church’s Christmas production stage leftovers was telling it wanted to be. And so it began…

I spent hours on LumberJocks pouring through the pictures of others beautifull hardwood workbenches. With vice grips and dog holes and deadmen. With drawers and cabinets and storage space. I drooled and made plans. I finally settled on a very basic design. And while I know that pine isnt the best wood for a workbench its all I got. It can always become a secondary bench should the Church decide to frame the Xmas production stage in hard Maple next year.

So with plans drawn I rough cut the required components last night.

Tonight I will cut straight edges on the 2×3’s I’m going to laminate on-edge for the top and do my first glue-ups.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien



8 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9624 posts in 1223 days


#1 posted 951 days ago

Hooray!!!!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4137 posts in 1556 days


#2 posted 951 days ago

Pine should work pretty well for a workbench, not as nice as maple or beech, but still it should be pretty beefy. Looking forward to seeing the progress.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1260 days


#3 posted 951 days ago

Pine is Fine.

Trust me.

How wide are you thinking?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Tokolosi's profile

Tokolosi

654 posts in 960 days


#4 posted 951 days ago

Wow RGtools that bench is amazing!

After seeing that I think my project is going to have to be renamed to “Work Table”. It is not going to be anything as fancy. And I have yet to learn how to do proper joinery. I am very much a newby and are learning as I go along. Due to my size constraints the top will be 60”x30” and 2-1/4” thick (Squared of 2×3’s on edge). The only tools I have to work with is a lightweight table saw, limited hand tools, an orbital sander and lefty and righty of course. But I am notoriously hardheaded. And once I set my sights on something, come hell or high water…

I will keep the blog up to date.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1260 days


#5 posted 951 days ago

Can’t wait to see it develop.

My bench has flaws. All of them do. That’ is just fine though.

One peice of advice 30” might be a bit wide if you have your bench against a wall (reaching across it for a tool on the wall is a bit of a strech) 26-20 is more apropriate. If however your bench is in the middle of the room 30 is a good measure.

Have fun.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9624 posts in 1223 days


#6 posted 951 days ago

Ditto that 26” or so is ergonomically better than 30”...

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

590 posts in 1552 days


#7 posted 951 days ago

Good luck with the bench, looks like a great start. I’ll follow ya along, still working with a pair of sawhorses and 4×4 sheet of plywood.
Dale

-- Smitty

View Tokolosi's profile

Tokolosi

654 posts in 960 days


#8 posted 950 days ago

On to part two...

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

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