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Exit the workbench with shop renovation, sigh.....

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Blog entry by Craftsman on the lake posted 119 days ago 1136 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Four years ago I made a ‘new fangled bench’ as seen in Fine Woodworking. Since then my so called woodworking journey has been good and I think I’ve come a long way and done a lot of stuff. I’m always on my bench and work from it all the time. Thing is I rarely use any of it’s features. Don’t get me wrong. I think this is a great bench. It works well and when planing and holding things in place of all sizes in many positions it can’t be beat. But, I find that 98% of the time it’s an assembly bench.

After five years I’m going to be cleaning and remodeling a lot of my shop. It’s 24×24 ft. and space is at a premium. I have a kick down outfeed table on my moveable table saw. I’m thinking of getting rid of the bench and building a movable table saw outfeed table/assembly bench. This would free up the space that the bench takes up now and combine the outfeed table with the bench as one unit with some tool and clamp storage.

No question, just blogging about my thoughts on this. The bench, maybe will be passed on to a family member or if not I might try to sell it locally. I kind of hate to do this as the bench and I now have a history, but in the long run I think it might be for the best.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.



15 comments so far

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2081 posts in 2426 days


#1 posted 119 days ago

Thinking of going somewhere? I think you and your bench still have a lot of projects to build.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12515 posts in 2485 days


#2 posted 119 days ago

can’t loose the bench till it shows a little wear… it still looks brand new !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2260 posts in 1939 days


#3 posted 119 days ago

The bench is plenty worn. This a picture on the day it was finished!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6468 posts in 1805 days


#4 posted 119 days ago

well dan, i say come together with your thoughts and do what you feel is right for you and your shop, you will do what you think is right for you….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

390 posts in 2018 days


#5 posted 119 days ago

I built that same bench and my shop is smaller (16×10) than yours, and it is going to get a major rework. I have seen some small work benches but have not decided which one yet. FWW showed one that was two torsion boxes that could be put on special sawhorses. One idea to explore anyway. Like you said, this is a good bench but you need the room. To use it.

-- jstegall

View RibsBrisket4me's profile

RibsBrisket4me

1376 posts in 1007 days


#6 posted 119 days ago

I am one of those who is bench less. Got rid of my workbenches years ago and use workmates and a Rockwell jawhorse with MDF on top. That way I can move these any where I want and then hang them up on my Gladiator wall hooks. It really does save a ton of space and I have never regretted it.

-- http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid6255915

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12515 posts in 2485 days


#7 posted 119 days ago

just ribbing you Daniel … The first bench I built is in my garage. It was too big for my shop too.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View 489tad's profile

489tad

1958 posts in 1513 days


#8 posted 119 days ago

Would making the bench mobile help? I’d hate to do it but would making the top narrow help?

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2260 posts in 1939 days


#9 posted 119 days ago

I can move it now so it’s okay to get out of the way. And it’s not that big to begin with. Maybe the picture makes it look that way.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14402 posts in 2177 days


#10 posted 118 days ago

Thanks for the insight and thoughts. I haven’t built one yet and it probably won’t be a big one ;’-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View stefang's profile

stefang

11820 posts in 1836 days


#11 posted 118 days ago

I think traditional benches are best for hand planing, chiseling, and handsawing. Otherwise a regular table will probably be sufficient for a shop where machines are the primary tools. I’m sure if you ever feel the need for a planing bench again you will simply build another.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Garry's profile

Garry

96 posts in 217 days


#12 posted 118 days ago

Hi Dan, We have similar ideas. I’m about 75% complete on my Ultimate mobile Workbench. It’s probably more elaborate than what you’re thinking for your moveable table saw/assembly bench but I can tell you that it’s working great already.

I’m very challenged on space and facilities. One half of a two car garage in a rented house. I like to do much of the work outside in the driveway. The UHMW let’s me take most of my tools with me so I’m not constantly trekking back and forth into the garage. The open Paulk bench concept let’s me keep hand tools handy without cluttering the work surface. I building a compact Thien style dust separator to fit under the bench now.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

863 posts in 2115 days


#13 posted 118 days ago

Frankly, I have been a little puzzled by all the attention that these kinds of benches get here. As Stefang said, they are limited in their usefulness and a lot of those limits are geared towards hand tools.

I recently redid my shop and I opted for more of an assembly table. I started with a 1 1/2” thick laminated top from an electronics bench that my company was throwing away, reinforced and braced it to keep it perfectly flat and then added drawers underneath it to keep the small tools handy – screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, etc.

This table is too low to use as an outfeed table, however. I prefer to work with the table saw at a higher elevation than is comfortable at an assembly table. I use the router table (also at a higher elevation) for outfeed.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

524 posts in 1001 days


#14 posted 118 days ago

Do you remember this one :
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/60275

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View doordude's profile

doordude

1070 posts in 1485 days


#15 posted 117 days ago

Craftsman; just my two cents, I built the roubo bench from chris schwarze’s book. not only was it challenging; but its been the best tool in my garage. two vise’s, square bench dogs, the hold fasts; I think I use the most. while routing, carving and such. 3 3/4 inch thick top, you can clamp and pound on it till you wear your self out. But I do like what you mentioned about the kick down out feed table for the table saw. I need to make one this coming year. Wish I had the room for an assembling table, but I don’t; maybe someday…

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