So I decided to breakdown and build a workbench for my super small shop. It was a hefty decision, considering I’m working in a single stall garage from the 50’s that barely had enough room for my sedan from the beginning. But it seemed to me that a workbench was a must if I wanted to take fine woodworking seriously at all. With that being said, I also didn’t have the time, space or skills to plane tons of boards to an exact thickness and insure a quality top after it was ...
The top of my workbench is a 4” thick torsion box: 3/4” birch plywood panels on either side of a frame of 2.5”x1.5” yellow pine members. When designing the top, these were my primary considerations: I wanted it to be flat and strong, and not too light. I wanted an array of dog holes. I decided that spacing them 6” center-to-center would be good enough for my surface vise. I wanted every dog hole to be in, or backed by, solid wood. That way, even if the h...
This is the first of a series of blog entries describing a mobile torsion box workbench I recently completed. I posted a project summary a few days ago (Mobile Torsion Box Workbench). The overall series will cover construction plans and details, material costs, and odds and ends. In this entry, I’ll describe some of the factors and thought processes that led me to build this bench the way I did. Some Background about MeI’m an occasional woodworker. I probably average three or f...
I’m glad Tom Caspar’s steps are so detailed. Tonight I tackled marking out and drilling the side and center pieces, getting them counterbored on both sides and painted (essentially steps 4 and 5 I think in the directions). If I wouldn’t have had other chores I could’ve gotten further but oh well. Tomorrow will be a great evening to be in the shop hopefully. busted a 5/32 drill bit and a countersink bit because of my cruddy B&D chuck…I wish it was a good enou...
Sometimes, going out drinking with my family can provide me with inspiration. I think (maybe, I dunno…) I have finally come to the decision on the kind if bench I am going to build! I’ve only been agonizing/debating/pulling out my hair about this since, ummm, forever. I have looked at thousands of different displays of some of the best and beautiful to the strangest and weird benches out there. Some seem like they might require a doctorate to build while others vaguely resemble...
Since it may be another 2 years before I finish this, I can’t really post it as a project, so it’s going here.I’ve been using my Joe Woodworker vacuum bag and press for about 10 years on and off, and have done a lot of veneering with it. (See my kitchen in my Projects). But I’ve always wanted to build a frame press, to make it easier to do larger parts, and make sure my veneered panels were flat.At the same time, I’ve also always wanted an assembly table, as I t...
Having a good workbench is a luxury beyond hope for my shop. It’s a 20×28 floorplan, but its full of machines and I have to garage our car every night. What to do? I needed something strong and stable, good and flat, but something I could get out of the way after a day’s work. It also needed to be light enough for me to handle. 50 years ago I wouldn’t have much trouble with heavy parts, but now, its definitely an issue. After quite a lot of modeling in SketchUp...
Recently I decided that my existing miter saw station wasn’t ideal. It is a mobile station and is fairly stable given that it is light and easy to move. But, in truth I rarely, if ever, move it. So, the fact that it is mobile has meant very little. What has mattered is that it is small, too small. Cutting long pieces on it can be a bit of a headache. This was enough of a push to start a new project. Looking around I have found plenty of inspiration. Using this I came up with a few de...
The Assembly Table has been in great use for the last months. It’s awesome to have a perfectly flat reference surface on which to assemble projects. However, one problem I’ve had since I replaced the top is the front vice. My old top was 1.5” thick and the front vice was level with the top. The new torsion box top is thicker (about 4”) and so the top of the vice sits about 2” below the table top. That makes it near impossible to clamp many things an...
I am really happy with the way things have come together on my latest project, The table saw island. Today I got the torsion box structure in place. After taking these pictures I cut the top of the torsion box, but it needs to be trimmed some more to fit right. I made an attempt to cut it out and put it in place but ran out of time for tonight, left there at 8:45 and it’s a 45min drive home. In one of the pictures you will see what I came up with for the dust collection to the saw. If...
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