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Shop #4: Bench Legs, Stretcher Questions and Lumber Rack

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Blog entry by Big Ben posted 1281 days ago 1533 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Workbench Part 4 of Shop series Part 5: Completed Workbench »

I have not had much shop time but I have glued up and pegged the legs. The pegs worked well and the joint as very tight. But I do have some questions on the stretcher, currently I have the two stretchers at 2 5/8” Wide x 3” High x 48” Long. My question that size (2 5/8” x 3”) sufficient to hold the following:

Drill Press http://www.ryobitools.com/catalog/power_tools/benchtop/DP102L
Planer http://www.dewalt.com/tools/machinery-portable-thickness-planers-dw734.aspx
Shop Vac http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/16-Gallon-Vac-Blower/index.htm
Compressor http://www.portercable.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=11507

Would it be better to use planks that are 1.5” thick or 3/4” plywood?

From Woodworking

From Woodworking

From Woodworking

From Woodworking

Also I had to get my lumber pile out of the family room floor, so I finally installed at a lumber rack.

From Woodworking

From Woodworking



5 comments so far

View Greg's profile

Greg

23 posts in 1288 days


#1 posted 1281 days ago

The 3” high stretcher would probably be sufficeint given the short span of the shelf. However, I’d lean towards a stretcher that is taller. Something to keep in mind is that making the stretcher taller adds more load carrying capacity than making the stretchers wider. Generally, doubling the height of the stretcher will increase the load carrying capacity by a factor of four whereas doubling the width will increase the capacity by a factor of two. I would select a nominal 2×6 for the stretchers for the following reasons: 1. I hate saying “I wish I had made it bigger” 2. The larger dimension fits the look (stoutness) of the rest of the workbench.
Good luck.

-- Greg - For the benefit and enjoyment of the people

View swirt's profile

swirt

1935 posts in 1568 days


#2 posted 1281 days ago

I agree with Greg. Try to go with a taller stretcher if you can.

Regarding the planks or plywood…. I’d go with the planks only because it would fit with the style of the bench better… but I am quirky like that.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1476 days


#3 posted 1281 days ago

I’d go with the 3/4” ply as well. It’s a bench and bound to get banged on. Also, it’s very strong, as long as it is supported well.

Just curious, why put the shop vac and the air compressor on the bench? Typically, they are on the floor. They have hoses that ‘go’ where you need them.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Big Ben's profile

Big Ben

87 posts in 1486 days


#4 posted 1281 days ago

Ron, the compressor and shop vac would go under the bench on the lower shelving. And did you mean plywood or planks?

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1476 days


#5 posted 1280 days ago

ply = plywood.

But it depends on what you are going to use it for. If for the planer and drill press, I’d use ply. It’s a table then.

If you plan to bang on it with hammers etc. then I find the best kind of bench is one where you cut the planks – 1.5” thick and glue and clamp them together – like this IIIIIIIIIII. A lot of the benches folks make here are like that. Mine is like that, but it’s made out of maple. Very hard. Takes a beating and lasts a long time.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

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